Last November (2016), I went to Hawaii, main island O’ahu, for 5 days. I spent those days discovering Honolulu as well as the countryside of this island and I was impressed by it’s variety!
The Manoa Falls Trail
Before I went to Hawaii, I searched the Internet for some ‘Must-Sees’ for the island of O’ahu/Hawaii. I feared that 5 days are way too less to experience the main island of Hawaii in all its facets, but the reports I found relieved me. Most of the people who have already been in Hawaii suggested to spend 5-7 days for each of the eight biggest islands of Hawaii: Niʻihau, Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Molokaʻi, Lānaʻi, Kahoʻolawe, Maui und Big Island. So, 5 days for one island should be okay 🙂
However, I booked a flight from San Diego to Honolulu, more or less accidentally. Actually, when I thought about where to go, I wanted to see an active volcano! And I thought, O’ahu would be the right address. I imagined myself flying with a helicopter over the spitting mountain, looking at rivers of lava, crusts of black stone and lots of smoke columns. Shortly before my trip started, I searched for helicopter trips and this was the moment I realized that there is no volcano in O’ahu…basically, there is. The Diamond Head. But this one erupted several hundred thousand years ago and is now…dead. But the way into this volcano is another story. 🙂
Anyway, after reading lots of travel reports and talking to a friend who has already visited Hawaii before, the Manoa Falls Trail made it into my personal Top-3-Sights. So, I rent a car, I took another girl with me, Melanie, and we went together on this adventure.
If you have never been to a country which such a rich flora, it is just overwhelming to discover it. I saw the greenest green I have ever seen in my life! I looked into the deepest exotic forest I have ever been to. I was speechless and I almost waited for Tarzan, hanging on a vine, grabbing me and taking me with him into his jungle home. Or a T-Rex eating me just right away.
Do you know this feeling when you are somewhere and from one moment to another, a soundtrack starts playing in your head and you feel like being a character in a movie? This was totally my Jurassic Park– Moment! It was so supposedly untouched and natural that my inner voice screamed: That’s not real! You are dreaming!
Only the heat, the extreme humidity and the heavily breathing reminded me on the reality of this scene. After I was stunned for some minutes, I startled and the spirit of discovery just rushed through me. First, I only saw all possible nuances of green, but when I focused, I realized small blossoms…white, red and even violet.
After we walked through a nearly dead part of the forest (I guess I had the feeling like that because of the grotesque looking trees), we came into a bamboo forest. I can not say whether the ‘structure’ we saw there was made by humans or whether the nature created this portal, but it was a beautiful place and it had something mystical and magical.
As you might have already seen, the way to the fall was muddy and slippery, but I was prepared with my hiking shoes…Melanie was not. As I told her that people use to take a swim in the little pool the fall creates, we both took our bikini on, and she decided to wear her thongs. But she also took some sport shoes with her. I don’t know the reason, but completely out of our minds, Melanie did not change the thongs and so, she went on the trail with her thongs. It was really dangerous and she nearly slid away several times, but it was also funny and we both laughed a lot 🙂 As another side effect, we two had to work together which kind of bond us together. It was teamwork and we were happy when we saw the fall the first time. As it didn’t rain the days before, the fall was rather small, but anyway, it was a good feeling to see the goal. The way closer to it was made out of stones that were slippery as hell (as I said in the beginning, humidity was very high!).
Unfortunately, we were not the only people who thought about visiting the fall at this day. Therefore, we didn’t spend much time there. Taking some pictures and back to the car. Due to the camera lens, I was not able to take a picture of the whole fall, it was just to high, but one picture is quite good to get an idea (and I’m really sorry that all of you have to see my extremely pale belly, but that’s the only picture I have that can really tell how tall the fall is!)
It was a cool and exciting tour and the fall was definitively worth it. But the trail you have to take to get there, is as much exciting as the fall itself. I would always recommend to check the weather before starting the tour. Even though, it did not rain the days before, the track was very slippery and I won’t imagine how the track would be, if there would have been rain before!
Before we went back to the car, we went to the little kiosk close to the parking lot (btw…you have to pay for it, but unfortunately, I can not remember how much it was). As it is recommended in all hiking brochures, we cleaned our shoes. It is very important to do that as every region in Hawaii has its own flora and it is not a good idea to intermix. I mean, there is no one who checks on that, but everyone who loves the nature, should stick to this rule.
I can highly recommend to do that trail, with the right equipment it is not dangerous and also not that exhausting. You should only keep in mind that the high humidity leads to problems with breathing which is exhausting the longer you move. But if you make some breaks (and we did a lot as we both like to take pictures), it is a nice walk.
If you don’t want (or can not) rent a car, it is also possible to go by bus. In general, it is possible to make a round trip by bus and it´s really cheap. But then, the trail is longer as the bus doesn’t stop at the parking lot, but down at the beginning of the hill. So, you have to walk up the hill first to go to the parking lot and then the trail starts.