I am dangerously getting used to this life style. It dangerously starts to feel a lot like home.
Leaving the North Shore for an adventure island day, we drove to the South of the island. Oahu was formed by 2 volcanoes irruptions: the East an the West sides are made of different mountains chains, and the valley flourishes right in the middle. As we were cruising south, the landscape continuously changed. Keeping an eye on the ocean, we went through jungle paths – we could almost grab the leaves through the window! – and concrete jungle roads. Driving around impressive cliffs falling down to a green and yellow valley, we spotted many blooming trees – they blossom twice a year on this island… The drive itself already was an adventure.
Once we passed Honolulu and its skyscrapers, we headed to Koko’s head. One of the many submits of the islands, which craters is a botanical garden. Out of time, peaceful and habited by strong spirits – called Mana in Hawaiian – the place took me further away from home. Walking on the red dirt paths, in a gentle breeze carrying all kind of perfumes, in a bright sun highlighting all the colors around… everything around was arousing my senses.
There is that one tree with half flowers. The legend says the lover of this tree only grows on the mountain, whereas this one can only grow down in the valley. Both are blossoming the half of each other flower. Talking about strong mana…
Further, we see cactuses growing on trees, flowers so perfect they look fake, hibiscuses of all shape and colors, an grouses so big they would make a sufficient dinner.
Looking up, we see the submit we will soon climb. From the outside of the Volcano, we found the path which used to be a tram track. Walking on what once was a railway, we climbed all the way up to the top. Shadow is rare, sweat is dripping, heartbeat is acclerating and giving the tempo to my feet, carefully reaching for the next step. The bridge part is definitelly the most challenging. Walking on my toes, from one wooden beam to another, I try not to focus on the open shaft below the track. Made it! Now up to the stiff part: it feels more like climbing than walking. Once on top, a refreshing breeze welcomes me. I am on top of the world; open arms, happy heart and content smile.
The way down is just as challenging as the way up. I am coaching myself, keeping an eye on the bay we are heading to to snorkel. As I touch the ground, with a huge smile on the face, I think about my daddy. He always told me to never walk on tracks, I must say it never felt so good to desobey.
Hanauama bay, here we are. Preserved area, people gather here to enjoy the pure turquoise water and its amazing sea life. Snorkeling gears on, we follow our guide through the corals and once we pass over the reef we progress into crystal clear water. All around us, fish are swimming – I do not know where to look, where to go. Disoriented by excitement and happiness. In and out the reef we assist to a breathtaking under water show where characters of all colors and shapes, lightened by a generous sun, keep on dancing, not minding us for a minute.
Coming back to the surface, Koko’s head which we conquered earlier today is looking after us. What a place to be…
We travel back home in style: red pick up, with belts that save life. Open your beer, buckle up, enjoy the view. Driving back north, through the east side and its green cliffs; we see the sky turning pink as the sun falls down into the ocean. As much as this island is enpowering me, it makes me feel humble. Nature amazes me, and I am both proud and grateful to be able to enjoy it to this extend. Flying, swimming, climbing, exploring… My knees are blue, I have red dirt under my nails, sun and salt all over my skin, sand in my hair.. and I am the happiest I have ever been. We are one: I am here, now and being alive as never made so much sense. Sure feel good to live on the »Leïd back » side. The only rule you have to know and respect is to harm no one. For the rest, whatever works for you…