After more than 5 days at sea, we can stretch our land legs today. The celebratory breakfast today included caviar and champagne. I had a mimosa, but passed on the caviar.
Our 9:30 excursion was a climb to the summit of Diamond Head. Sixteen hardy souls signed up for this adventure, the first of many to come. Our guide and bus driver, Tori, spoke of the geology of the area and pointed out sites along the way. Since it was a Sunday, the park was extra busy with many families and children also walking to the summit. I figured, “If they can do it, so can we.”
The trail is about .8 miles long with a 600-foot elevation. The beginning of the trail is a paved walkway and soon changes to a substance called tuff, a compacted combination of corals and volcanic matter. After a bit, it was single file up on the right side and single file down on the left. There were many switchbacks and more than 100 stairs. The path was uneven, so we had to watch the ground ahead to avoid tripping or twisting an ankle. All of us made it to the summit and took some scenic photos. Mac helped others by taking family photos for them. He loves photography. We took some breaks and water stops and weren’t in a rush. The entire trip was about 2 hours of hiking. Well worth it, but probably won’t do it again.
At 5:15 PM, before we set sail, a local, award-winning children’s hula troupe, performed for us. The Halau Hula Olana group has danced before heads of state and on an international stage. The children, seeming to be from age 6 to about 16, were fabulous. The youngest ones were also adorable, smiling all the time they danced. Their precision matched that of very experienced dancers. What a breath of fresh air!
That was followed by a Hawaiian cocktail party on the pool deck for all the world cruisers. There are 192 of us out of the 500 or so on board. Others are doing a segment or two. The first ends in Auckland; the second in Perth. Everyone we have met are very friendly and well-travelled.
Later tonight we saw American Made, a Tom Cruise movie, on the big screen. Tomorrow we are in Hilo on the Big Island.
Yours in travel,
Pat & Mac
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