Day 5, Friday 12th June
Today was our day for the Windward coast; bottom to top. We packed up sandwiches and hoped to eat them on Lanikai Beach, because that beach (next to Kailua), from photos and descriptions, is my idea of heaven. However, we did actually find a place to park at Kailua, so not wishing to risk losing it, that's where we stayed for our lunch. You could have lunch at worse places. Oh, it is so amazingly gorgeous! We didn't want to swim though, as we had the whole afternoon ahead of us.
We really had to drag ourselves off that beach, as it is so divine - but we had lots to see. Next stop was the Byodo-In Temple. It was beautifully situated amidst a Japanese cemetery, with a backdrop of the Ko'olau Mountain Range. There was a huge gong to bang, a very large Buddha in the temple (take off your shoes), and water features with koi, swans, ducks and the usual zebra doves. There were also wild peacocks roaming the grounds, with warnings all over the place to keep away from them. They did appear to be somewhat scatty. There was a souvenir shop, of course, and this stunk of incense and the like. I was a bit moody because something had bitten me on the shoulder. Was it a mozzie or a sand fly from Kailua? Whichever, it itched like crazy. (I've since looked this up and there does appear to be a mosquito problem at Byodo-In Temple, so beware.)
Although very warm indeed, it was rather cloudy along this coast, adding to the tropical feel of the foliage everywhere. We drove up towards Kualoa Ranch, stopping somewhere to buy stamps, and parked up at Kualoa Beach Park to admire Chinaman's Hat. Then we continued on, past the Polynesian Cultural Center, to the top of the coast and around to the North Shore. The sun came out almost immediately!
We found a parking spot at Waimea Bay! Another beautiful beach, where we layed out in the water, like in From Here To Eternity and played with our boogie board! The beach shelved very sharply though.
We changed behind the parked car. Sand everywhere. As we drove out of the car park, T had a panic and thought he'd left his 'man bag' where we'd been changing and he opened the door with the car still running and tried to get out without the break on... His bag was in the boot.
We were back at the condo in time for the Friday night fireworks from the Hilton. They said you could see them from the lanai. They were practically on the lanai - frightened me half to death!