Thursday, February 20, 2014

North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

Approaching Honolulu harbour in the early morningKoolau MountainsByodo-In TempleByodo-In Temple2014JCIMG-0450b.jpgByodo-In Temple bell
Byodo-In Temple flower gardenByodo-In Temple Koi pondByodo-In Temple roof cornerByodo-In Temple roof cornerByodo-In Temple roof cornerBuddah inside the Byodo-In Temple
Resdient cat at the Byodo-In TempleYellow Hibiscus in the Byodo-In Temple gardenPink Hibiscus in the Byodo-In Temple gardenPeacock at the Byodo-In TempleA windsurfer in the bay on a deserted North Shore beachFumis Kahuku Shrimp
A dude and his board at Sunset BeachPopular Sunset Beach on the North ShoreSurfers at Sunset BeachSurfers at Sunset BeachSurfer at Sunset Beach

North Shore of Oahu, a set on Flickr.
February 20, 2014 – Thursday – The North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii

I am on an excursion today, our first of two days in Honolulu. The Explore and Taste Oahu’s North Shore tour is a 6.5 hour all day affair, which visits the tranquil Byodu Temple after we travel over the H3 freeway through the Koolau Mountains to Kaneohe. The temple is quite beautiful and tranquil despite the groups from the tour buses wandering the grounds.

We then stop at Chinaman’s Hat Rock, which is a rock sticking out of Kaneohe Bay. We drive by the Crouching Lion restaurant, which my friends and I stopped at for lunch the last time I was on Oahu. Our stop at Malaekahana State Recreation Area offers a great view of the ocean and a spectacular beach, not often visited by tourists or locals. As we pass the Polynesian Cultural Center, our guide George explains how the students study at the Brigham Young University and the adjacent Latter Day Saints temple in Laie, and also work at the Polynesian Cultural Center to pay for their education.

Our destination for lunch is just up the road: Fumis Kahuku Shrimp, where we have a pre-ordered lunch of shrimp, cod, or chicken. Most people order the shrimp, which is a large portion that comes in a Styrofoam plate along with some salad and rice and a soft drink. I ordered the Lemon Pepper Shrimp, which is very tasty. There is a washbasin to get the grease off after the meal is finished. Shave Ice can be purchased for dessert, for those so inclined. This is very casual dining, but the food is very good! The James Campbell Wildlife Refuge is visible out by the coastline from here, and the shrimp ponds where the shrimp are raised are right beside this roadside stop.

We carry on to see Sunset Beach for a quick 10-minute stop, then pass by Tunnel Beach, both of which are world-famous for surfing. Waimea Bay Beach Park is the next stop to see the turtles in the bay feeding on the algae. We turn away from the coastline at the little town of Haeliwa, and make our final stop at the Dole Plantation. This is the typical tourist trap if ever I saw one, but thankfully it is only a 20-minute stop before we carry on back to Honolulu over the H2 and H1 freeways, passing Pearl Harbor along the way.

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