“It’s probably not that far. We can walk- it’s right there.” Words that are almost always wrong and definitely were that day in Honolulu.
Diamond Head was right there. You could see it from the beach, it couldn't be that far. Why bother taking a taxi or figuring out a bus when it’s right there. There should have been a warning like on side view mirrors “Diamond Head is further than it may appear.” So I convinced him, for like the last time ever after this bad decision, and we started walking.
Leaving Waikiki, past the Honolulu Zoo and some very tan homeless folk, past the surfers smoking weed out of an apple and into a town where some actual Hawaiians live. Then the road started its incline. Mountains tend to do that, I must have forgotten with my vacation brain. It’s a good thing I brought sneakers to change into, bad thing we started walking at all. And it’s Hawaii so of course it started raining midway.
Finally we arrived at the entrance and had to proceed through an ominous tunnel. We’re sure this volcano is dormant right? Against car traffic- what- no one else had my bright idea? We were inside the crater! Unfortunately there wasn’t an escalator to the top like I was hoping at that point. Who knew the rest of the way was a series of twisted tunnels, paths and stairs, some very steep, to the top.
As we continued through the crowds I vowed to always invest in a guide book...and a rental car. I couldn’t believe there were some (Japanese?) women wearing heels! I hope they didn’t walk to diamond head in those or I should be really ashamed. The optimist in me was grateful there was at least a handrail I could pull myself up with.
At the top- the views were definitely worth it. That vantage point to stare down on Waikiki and off into the pacific was an interesting one and worth it (at least to the top of the crater, I don't recommend walking to Diamond Head itself). I estimate we walked about four miles in total. Which sounds pathetic as I write it because I definitely felt like Lawrence of Arabia pushing on through the harsh (actually it was pretty lush) landscape for my destination and some water. Or at least Aladdin after he got out of the cave of wonders. Who knew I would be so dramatic about a stroll?
We hiked back down to the crater and, sigh, found a free trolley that would bring us back to town.