Archive for the ‘Hawaii’ Category

flying over Japan


here’s what Honolulu looks like sometimes from the airport during sunrise:

here’s the airplane I rode:

here’s the closest I got to Mt. Fuji:

Here’s some mountains in Japan with snow on them:

this is the sunset as viewed from Incheon international airport (near Seoul):

this is the view from my dorm here (sunrise in Seoul):


camping sherwood forest


Spent two nights camping at Waimanalo beach park.

Here’s some pictures from/of the campsite:

And here’s a demonstration of 10x optical zoom from a Canon SX100IS: (zoomed out)

(zoomed in)

hike Haleakala


Half of these images were taken on the hike I did with my girlfriend last year and half are from hiking it with my sister and brother-in-law this year: Haleakala on panoramio

pictures of Moloka’i and Molokini


I finally went through my pictures from last month and posted them with the old blog entries. Click on these two links to view ’em: Moloka’i and Molokini.

Maui – part 1


Yesterday, we hiked inside the crater at Haleakala National Park, from the Sliding Sands trailhead down to the crater floor and back up to the Halemau’u trailhead.

We parked the rental car at an elevation of 2436m, hitchhiked up to the trailhead at 2969m and started down the Sliding Sands trail. From the top, the first part of the trail is all downhill through a variety of terrains (sand, small crumbly rocks, big non-crumbly rocks, etc). The view would change every 10 minutes after turning a corner around one of the many peaks inside the crater and the new vista would require a new set of photos. Either the small crumbly rock trail was set on a slope of hundreds of feet of small crumbly rock or the trail was level but through a rocky wasteland. Round another bend and the colors would change again completely. More photos needed.

After a few km of hiking, we got to the crater floor, we went North on a different trail to see the “bottomless pit” (which is a 22m deep vertical lava tube). From the maps and descriptions I’d read before we went, I expected the crater floor to all be at roughly the same elevation, but it was not so. Up and down hundreds of meters, just to get around the small peaks inside the crater.

After all that, it was just hiking back to the car. We passed one of several cabins in the crater that you can try to reserve many months in advance. This last part of the trail was the only one with anything besides sparse vegitation. On the way back up, it was foggy and cloudy, so half way up the steep switchback cliff, we couldn’t see the bottom, giving it a feeling that if you fell off the side, it would be an infinite drop.

All told, it was a 18.8km hike, not including the 10km hitchhiked. I took gobs of photos. It was very pretty.

2008-11-13 update: uploaded some of the images from this hike to panoramio.



Molokini is a small tuff cone island between Maui and Kaho’olawe. The ocean has eroded away the Northern half of the island, so Molokini is a crescent shape. The part above the water is a seabird sanctuary and the undersea part is a marine sanctuary. It’s a good spot to snorkel because nobody is allowed to stand on the coral here (or on the island itself) and the island is too small for streams to cloud the water with runoff.

We took a boat trip there yesterday and snorkled. The water is around 3-10 meters deep where most of the coral and fish are. I never saw such pretty coral in all shapes and colors. There were lots of different kinds of fish, including humuhumu nukunuku apua’a. The boat company fed us breakfast on the way out and lunch after we were done snorkelling. Visibility is amazing. It’s at least 30 meters, probably more.

We had a lot of fun and I think this is a better overall snorkelling experience than Hanauma Bay on O’ahu. Jess was the motivation behind doing this snorkel trip and now that I’ve been, I’m glad she made me go.

Update 2007-06-27: Added pictures.

Molokini itself:

A closeup of Molokini with snorkelers:

Water and fish from the boat:
water and fish

A dolphin we saw on the way back from Molokini:



Yesterday, we got up and went to Kalaupapa National Park. It’s the Northern peninsula on Moloka’i that is only accessible by hiking (or taking a mule ride) 600 meters down a cliff trail with 26 switchbacks. It’s been populated with people with Hansen’s disease since 1866 and still has 25 or so people who were cured in the fifties but still require medical care. It’s run mostly by the Hawai’i department of health, but will be totally uner the control of the national parks service when the last patients leave (some require more medical care than they can get on this peninsula and live on O’ahu).

We hiked it, and so did another 2 people, but 8 more came down on mules (pronounced moo-lays). Another 5 came by plane (there’s an airport, too) from Maui. The tour is on a rusted out school bus and because it’s a national park with people living in it, it’s restricted access and you must remain with the group and there’s a only a few buildings you’re allowed to go in. The tour guide told us that when ships used to come to drop off people with Hansen’s disease, they couldn’t dock since the water was too shallow near land, so they just tossed ’em in the water about 3 km out and they either swam in or drowned. Good thing there’s a cure now.

This is the view from the east side (near the oldest colony) showing the island where the ships would drop you off:
view from west side of Kalaupapa

It was beter than I thought it would be. The hike down wasn’t long. When you’re on the peninsula, it’s very pretty to look up at the green cliffs, next to the cloudless azure sky and inviting emerald sea. The hike back up was in the hot, hot sun at 1pm, but it wasn’t too bad.

sidenote: somebody wrote a program (maemo-wordpy) for the internet tablets and that’s what I’m using right now to blog this (no laptop required).

Update 2007-06-27: Added two pictures of Kalaupapa.

This is the view of the west side of the peninsula from about 600m elevation:
view of Kalaupapa

Kaua’i (part 2)


This is a hand-stitched panoramic of Waimea Canyon, which has been referred to as the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific”:

Waimea Canyon panoramic 3 cropped small

We planned to hike around Waimea Canyon, but we started late and it got cloudy and the system of trails we wanted to hike was fogged in, so we didn’t go.

Kaua’i (part 1)


We (Joe, Jess and I) went to Kaua’i two weeks ago. It’s called the garden isle, but we didn’t hike much or go kayaking like we should have; we spent a lot of time at the kmart helping Joe pick out sunshades. Ah, well.

The first night, we camped at Salt Pond Beach Park. Recommendation: don’t stay there unless you like chickens. Chickens waking you up by doing the “cock-a-doodle-doo” thing every 20 minutes starting at 3:30am until they really get going at about 5am, at which point you might as well get up. After staying at this beach park in the company of chickens, the three of us decided to have chicken as part of every meal for the rest of the trip.

From this beach park, we could see Ni’ihau, the forbidden Hawaiian island that only has about 200 people living on it (which is off the electrical grid and rather isolated from the rest of civilization). This view of Ni’ihau is taken from Waimea pier (not too far down the road from the beach park):

Niihau from Waimea pier small