Thursday, July 28, 2011

Old Pali Highway & Likiliki Falls

A couple weeks ago...
Our Wednesday Hike took us down the Old Pali Highway to the Likiliki Falls. 

It has got to be, hands down, my favorite hike on Oahu thus far. 
It had so many exciting elements to it: 


I am in love with this hike. 

Here you will see a small compilation of the photos I took (with my camera phone!!) while on the hike. 
Tator, Angel, and I trekked through the jungles of Hawaii this Wednesday with our Summer Break hiking partners, Michele and Alexis. Their old Florida Friend, Gracie went along on the adventure. 

All I can say is: AhhhMAZING! 
God's glory is all around us. 
Beauty in Creation is Evident.

In the very first photo-thingy, you can see a bit of where we began. The picture with the title placed on it is a view from the popular tourist trap, Pali Lookout. It looks out over Kaneohe Bay and the Marine Corps Base. You have to drive up the "new" Pali Highway to get to it. What most tourist don't do once they get there is hike down the Old Pali Highway, which is now a closed road. 
~The hiding a Mile a Minute Vine flower.~

In the second photo-thingy are snaps of the very beginnings of the "trail". Look at how overgrown the Old Highway is!!

Right away there were some beautiful flowers waiting to be photographed. 
The yellows are... Yellow Ginger. Go figure. ;) 
The pinks are??? 

I wonder how long ago this banyan tree started growing over the cement barrier...
I'm going to have to do some research on banyan tree growth rates. ;)


So...we're walking down this old shut down highway. It's overgrown and wonderful. We come to Decision Point and decide we do not want to go to Maunawili Falls from there... And then... the excitement really starts. We take a 180 degree switch back that leads us to this --->

I think I totally squealed with glee when I saw that plastic rope and home-made ladder leading underneath the working Pali Highway.

We had to crawl under the highway to make it to the other side and continue on the trail.

Immediately, the art overwhelmed us. Every color of spray paint EVER put in a can was down there!

Being under the highway overpasses was thrilling. Maybe that's too colorful of a word..but I was excited.
I've never seen overpasses from these angles and with the sort of views that we saw.

The trail continued along the old Pali Highway and under the new one... almost all of the overpass supports were tagged.

I am always amazed by the things I see on these hikes. The views are spectacular. And the flora is always gorgeous!  Pictured above are, from top to bottom, Wedelia, Juniper Berry & Yellow Ginger.
Yellow Ginger smells like Honeysuckle. It was all over.
I love the shot of the girls going down the highway... it was wide open there.

It was right around this spot where our highway ride ended and our Likiliki trek started.
Thanks to a father-son hiking duo just ahead of us, we were able to find the hidden stair that led us into the mountain and along the narrow- almost too skinny for me -ledge-like trails. 
We were so excited to walk into the unknown...but made sure to pause a bit to feed my need. 
What can I say? There were some fantastic Kukui plants screaming at my shutter finger. (right)
And my bebes couldn't resist posing a-la-Narnia (that's what they said) with their sticks swords.
I think those puffy, country, weedy flowers are called Ageratum. (left)

All along the jungle-e trail, we saw chattery bits of stream that foreshadowed the gorgeousness to come. 
We crossed massive roots and climbed rope-assisted ledges. 
It was so much fun! 
The girls are always troopers. They scale the Hawaiian mountains like pros! 

Pictured above is a gulch we had to shimmy around. If you look closely, you can see that helpful father-son duo. They also gave us the heads up that when we saw the graffiti tree we must hang a left. Turns out, the graffiti tree (below) is just a big tree that people have carved into over the years.

As we drew closer to the waterfall, our mountain hike made way to another road... 
but this time, the road less taken was not the Old Pali. 
It was the original Nu'uanu Pali road, paved with giant stones. 
I knew as soon as I saw this road that I had to do some research on the history of this old road. 
Just reading Wikipedia excited me.

One of the bloodiest battles in Hawaiian history took place in this valley, the Battle of Nu'uanu. Over 400 Hawaiian soldiers were driven over the cliffs of Pali and it is said that some of their skulls were buried under those great stones. 
There is also a mo'o wahine (mythical creature) said to reside along this road. She is believed to have led male travelers over the cliffs to their deaths. 
Think: seductive, villainous siren.
Glad I didn't know about that while I walking down the road.

Finally... we made it to the sweet spot. 
Like it could get any sweeter...

But yah. It did. 
To start, ...and I kid you not...I heard Ancient Hawaiian Chanting coming from somewhere in the distance.

We passed through a little flower-lined path...

...and over a babbling brookish (hehe) stream....

And then we saw it. 
Likiliki Falls.


Ah!  It was so beautiful. I don't really have the words. 
The views of Kaneohe Bay and Nu'uanu Valley were like none I've seen before.
The waterfall was perfect, serene. 

And I discovered the source of the chanting.
There was a native tour guide with a group of people that had come up the "easy way" from the K-bay golf course. (Which btw, I am definitely parking a second car at next time I do this hike... driving back up to the Pali. yah!!) 
See, I was not going crazy. ;)

I love this shot of the waterfall flowers. They were holding on strong.

The stream of God is full of water. 

My cup runneth over.

We eventually had to leave. The girls had soccer practice later. So we went back the way we came.
We were hot and hungry and ready to sit.
And just when we thought we couldn't walk another step, or so said Angel...

The skies opened up and washed away our weariness. 
God gave us that extra little oomph that we needed with that amazing rain.
We drove home soaked to the bone and happier than when we started.


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