Saturday, August 29, 2009
Yes! After eight years of archi-torture, I can finally say, "I'm done!" Today, I took my celebration to the mountains for I've been deprived of it for too long. A short hike wouldn't do justice for such an accomplishment, so I decided to take on the 10-mile Maunawili Demonstration Trail, starting from Waimanalo to Pali Lookout.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
As I arrived at the Four Seasons Resort Lanai at Manele Bay, my attention turned to a painting behind the front desk. I asked the receptionist about it and she handed me a pamphlet of what appears to be a hiking trail map. After checking into my room, I immediately changed into my hiking clothes and rushed towards the trail. I had to be somewhere in an hour, so I had to pick up the pace. It didn't take me long to arrive at the island's impressive landmark, a rock they call Pu'upehe Rock or 'the Sweetheart Rock'. The lighting couldn't have been any better for it was late in the afternoon, and the rock face prominently took presence in the landscape with its golden rich color.
The trail leading to Shipwreck Beach in Lanai was unlike any other trail. I arrived at my destination by means of a rented 4x4 Jeep Wrangler. This trail wasn't part of the plan, but I was left with no choice. The rental center warned me that the Munro Trail is inaccessible, and it's a $500 fine if I get stuck or caught in that trail. It was disheartening for it was always my intention to go there. I took the risk and disregarded their warning and thought I could do it without getting stuck. However, I started entertaining doubts after a mile into the rugged dirt trail. There were some steep and narrow sections, the bumps and dips were too much for me to handle for my first off-road experience. I turned around at a flat area along the trail and decided to head to Shipwreck Beach instead. The trail was much smoother, but rough enough to get me bouncing. I ripped through the dirt trail leaving a cloud of dust behind me. As I arrived at the beach, the jeep nearly got stuck as the tires dug deep into the sand. Luckily, I made it and I could already see the shipwreck, for which the beach was called, in the distance. Since my time was limited, I decided not to proceed any further and headed down south to check-in the Four Season Resort Lanai in Manele Bay.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009
Puu Ma'eli'eli sits atop a foothill separating the well-traveled Kahekili Highway and the coastal neighborhoods of Kamehameha Highway. I planned to do an afternoon hike, and since this trail was only 3 miles, I thought it was something that even my sick and-worn out body could handle. It was certainly a work-out especially for my hiking buddy who just had one hour of sleep the night before.
The trailhead wasn't so hard to find although there was no ribbon or sign to mark the beginning of the trail. Luckily, the articles I read from Island Trails and Associated Content provided me with sufficient information on how to arrive at the main trailhead. Parking is along Hui Iwa St, right across the Valley of the Temple in Kaneohe, you will also see McDonald's at the corner of the intersection. After you park your car, proceed down Hui Iwa St and turn left at Kahekili Hwy towards Kaneohe. Continue walking until you pass the last townhouse. Immediately turn left into the woods and find the trail. The trail should instantaneously get your heart beating fast as it will lead you quickly up the ridge. Be sure to make a left as soon as your reach the ridge and follow the main trail for about an hour or so. You'll encounter overgrown vegetation and low-hanging branches. The views are limited but you'll get some tree cover for most of the way. This trail is a mini roller coaster and there are a few junctions that may lead you to the wrong direction. Stay on the main trail and it will eventually lead you to a sign near the end. Do not turn back upon arriving at the sign, continue further for about a minute, and you'll arrive at your reward.
When people say that this trail provides panoramic and scenic views of Kaneohe Bay, it's certainly not an understatement. In fact, the bunker at the end of the trail is the best seat on the island to enjoy the lofty views of the windward side. This is an excellent beginner's hike if they don't mind itching after brushing their arms against the tall grass. Please be mindful that the trail sits on private property, which means by entering, you are trespassing.