Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hawai'i - Diamond Head (12/27/2011)

Tuesday. December 27, 2011
The Chinese mosaic mural on the Hotel Miramar across the street:
Today we started with breakfast at Leonard's Bakery (933 Kapahulu Avenue):
Founded in 1952, shortly afterwards they began making malasadas for Shrove Tuesday, a Portuguese tradition. The malasadas were such a hit, they offered them year round, and moved to the larger facility on Kapahulu Avenue. 
Yes, they make hot malasadas continuously, their specialty. They are fried doughnuts which you can get rolled in either plain or cinnamon sugar. Or you can get them filled with a variety of fillings, like chocolate, custard, haupia (coconut pudding) or the flavor of the month which was lilikoi, a type of passion fruit.  
Now we were well-fortified to climb Diamond Head/Le'ahi.
We started in the broad saucer-shaped crater which was the result of a volcanic explosion 150,000 years ago:
Here were the Leucaena leucocephala/Haole Koa/Lead Trees which were introduced to the islands as cattle fodder:
The trail (built in 1908 as part of the Oahu coastal defense system) was 0.8 mile long, but there were so many switchbacks, did we travel only 0.1 mile forward?
Part way up the crater slope, there was a platform for the winch, where supplies were brought up: 
Even Kent stood out over nothingness!
The trail included a tunnel:
And 99 very steep stairs: 
You came out on the ocean side through a coastal artillery observation platform:
For a view of the Pacific Ocean and the Diamond Head Lighthouse: 
Some funny ocean currents there.
A few (54) more steps to climb to reach the highest point:
The view of Honolulu:
Tamiko & Brynne:
Kent & Brynne:
The view heading back down:
There are several other bunkers on other high points of the crater rim.
The view back across the crater:
Some flora; Stapelia gigantea
On the way back down, Kent took some geology photos: 
A tangled forest of cow fodder trees: 
Looking back across the crater to the point we had climbed on Diamond Head:

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