Friday, February 12, 2016


Thursday we had a "round the island" tour. Our first stop was the Byodo-In Temple, a non-denominational shrine on Oahu's Valley of the Temples on the east shore. It was dedicated in Aug 1968 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the first Japanese immigrants arrival in Hawaii. The temple is a replica of a 900 year old Buddhist temple in Kyoto, Japan, where Fran's parents lived and where Fran and her sister were born.

Next we visited the Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet along the Kamehameha Highway, also on Oahu's east shore. They grow, harvest, crack, dry and prepare the macadamia nuts in endless varieties of flavours, which are all available for tasting. It took us many samples to finally decide which packages to buy :-)). We also discovered many of the staff here were performers and craftsmen who performed at the Marriott Luau we attended on Tuesday.

For lunch we travelled a little further to the Aloha Shrimp Truck. Between the six of us we had Garlic Shrimp, Lemon Shrimp and Ginger Shrimp. What a treat. But we all managed to save room for dessert at the Kahuku Farms Cafe. All food served there is produced from products off their farm property, started by Japanese immigrants and now run by the forth generation of the family. We all chose the grilled banana bread with vanilla bean ice cream and vanilla haupia and vanilla caramel drizzled on top. Wow, what a treat.

Next, our tour continued to the end of the east shore, where the Turtle Bay Resort is located and then along Oahu's North Shore, famous for its big winter waves attracting surfers from around the globe. The large surf is a result of swells produced from winter storms in the North Pacific. Famous surf locations we visited included Sunset Beach, Bonsai Pipeline and Waimae Bay. Earlier this week, there had been an Eddie Watch (Eddie Aikau surf competition requiring consistent waves of 30' or more). The waves did not quite meet the criteria so the event did not occur, but we were still treated to very large, spectacular waves pounding the shoreline.

Finally, on our return trip across the centre of Oahu, we make the obligatory stop at the Dole Pineapple Plantation to check out their tourist wares.

What a splendid day we had seeing Oahu's varied landscape from lush to arid, calm waters and splendid sand beaches, the rugged North Shore with its high surf and the endless fields of the pineapple plantations. Mahalo

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