Monday, February 8, 2010

Swinging Bridges

Today, Jeff had to work at the clinic on the other side of the island, but Simon had off of work and wanted to do something, so I went with Jeff to work and Simon picked me up and off we went to Swinging Bridges in Waihe'e Valley.

On the drive, we stopped at McDonalds for a bathroom break because we had no idea what the conditions or facilities would be like once we got there, and Simon was hungry so picked up some Apple Pies. AND this McDonalds FINALLY had Banana Pies! So he got two for me, and you know that made my day already!

So, off to Waihe'e Valley which was very easy to find, drove past a bunch of Taro patches (wet taro - I learned there are different kinds, and this kind grows with lots of water, like rice), and on to a stand that charges an entrance fee to be on their land and to park your car. it's $6 per person normally, but $3 if you're a local, and since Simon is Hawaiian and I was with him, she let us get in for $3 each! It was definitely worth it.

Hiking along the trails, I took a ton of pictures - of course. The surroundings were so beautiful, all of the native plants, trees, flowers and fruit trees were really neat to see all together, and Simon actually knows what lots of them are and what they're used for, so I also got a bit of a lesson the entire walk too - whichI loved, even if I forgot over half of it by now already!

And so, on to the pictures....

a banyan:



a lone pine tree in the middle


path well traveled



tunnels - there are lots of these for the waterways






More tunnels





flowing water off of the edge of the road







I thought this overhang was neat with it's few lone trees, and Simon was checking out some of the plants and berries.









Finally, the First Swinging Bridge!


Right now the water is VERY low so you could really just walk throught the water and boulder hop the stream to get across if you didn't want to do the bridge. But that IS the whole point of going to a place called Swinging Bridges, is it not?

And on we continue





Swinging Bridge #2



i stopped towards the middle to take a picture downward so you can see what the bridge itself looks like, and also some of what we're crossing over. see? not so very deep either. but the end of this bridge is rather high and over the water and rocks, so it can be a little disorienting. definitely a trickier one than the first bridge.

looking off to the side - very shallow water.



We made it!

And continue on to what we're told is a waterfall and pool at the end....




Through a bit of bamboo forrest....





This GREAT tree (mango?) was so impressive...




an archway of trees...


.... and still going.....










... some boulder hopping....



.... past a great banyan....



... and another tree with such spirit!....



.... The path narrows, is more laident with tree trunks, and turns into only rocks...











mushrooms!










ginger root in the wild










spider


entwined trees laying together.




















The end of the path! This is the "waterfall" that we were told of. So, we stopped and had our lunch/snack.






And back on the trail to go all the way back to the car!

This is a flower that is one of Simon's favorites - it has a very sweet smell, and looks kindof like a huge honeysicle.

Me, walking back across bridge #2 (Simon took the easy way back across the water, but was nice enough to take some pics of me when he did!)




Ta-dah!

And continuing on our path back....



Back at the first brige again, with some different pics from the other side:




Simon spots a fish









And on we go....




What a great hike! Very easy trail, the only part would be for those who are afraid of heights, but you CAN go around if you have to - it just might be a lot wetter to do that depending on the time of year you go and the rainfall. I'm planning on comming back here with Jeff when our friends Jon & Cassie come and visit us.

We went back to the car, Simon talked with the check-in woman for a bit regarding some of theplants that we saw throughout the walk, and then we headed out.


We went to DA KITCHEN for dinner - Simon got Chicken Katsu and I finally got Loco Moco! I was really hesitant about the whole 'eggs and yolk on top of my burger mixed with gravy' thing, but this was REALLY good. It'd make a great hangover dish, and I can see why it is a hawaiian comfort food - really sticks to your ribs! So very glad that I got it, and I'm sure it won't be the last while i'm here!

We then checked out a nearby beach park to see if we want to go hang out there one day, and walked around the Queen Ka'ahumanu Shopping Center for a bit before just hanging out at Simon's hotel until Jeff got out of work. Was a really nice day :)

Mahalo.

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