Ireland day 0976. Friday 31 May 2024- Honolulu 4

Ireland day 0976. Friday 31 May 2024- Honolulu 4
Today’s summary Drove out to the Koko Crater to have a look round yet another botanical garden (which was interesting and which focused on plants from drier habitats).   Then went round to the outside of the crater to climb up the old tramway to the top – a stiff heart-pumping slog which took a couple of hours up and down with excellent views from the top.   Fitted in a quick sea swim and some drinks before another dinner at Denny’s
Today’s weather Sunny and warm with an occasional drizzly shower.   Strong northerly wind.   Appx 26c
Today’s overview location
(The green mark shows the location of our route)
Close-up location
(The orange line shows where we walked for our first walk)
(Click buttons below to download GPX of today’s walks as recorded, or see interactive map at bottom with elevations corrected):
First walk:
Koko Crater Botanical Gardens
Second walk:
Koko Summit Trail

(Summary blog only.   Last full blog was Day 0368).

We are trying to make the most of our few days in Oahu – after all you never know when you will be back again.   So today we decided to fit in a visit to our fourth botanical garden – this time in the Koko crater, about half an hour’s drive south east from us, as well as a bit of hiking and a Pacific swim.

The Koko crater itself was formed in one of Oahu’s most recent volcanic eruptions – a mere 50,000 years ago.   And in 1958, the interior was designated as a botanical garden, so now it houses hundreds of specimen plants from the drier tropical regions of the world.   It was excellent, and included some of the most magnificent Bougainvilleas and plumerias that I have ever seen.   My rule of thumb for places I would like to live in is that they must be warm enough to allow Bougainvilleas to survive outside – so this certainly fits the bill on that criterion.

After a couple of hours looking round and a snack lunch, we exited the crater and drove round to the other side, to attempt the tramway ascent trail.   This tramway was built in the second world war to service a military lookout point on the top of Koko Crater.   Since it feel into disuse, it has found a new role as a popular direct hiking route straight to the summit.  It’s a fantastic hike – really getting the heart pumping and the sweat pouring.   It took about two hours of nonstop grind to get to the top and back down again, but the effort was worth as the view were superb.   To the south east, the inside of the crater where we were in the morning, and to the north, Honolulu.

Once we were down and starting to recover from our exertions, we decided to go swimming.  We had a look at the Kaloko Beach but the surf was too hazardous, so we elected for the Kuhio Beach Lagoon, near our hotel – much calmer and altogether less hazardous.

Refreshed from our swim, we dropped in at the ABC convenience store to get some snacks and drinks, which we enjoyed on our balcony, and rounded off the evening with another dinner at Denny’s.   Loving this laid-back sunny warm lifestyle!

Today’s photos (click to enlarge)

Here we are in yet another botanical garden.   Number eight for this trip, I think I absolutely love bougainvilleas!
Curious bottle trees in the Koko crater garden Starting the ascent of the old military tramway to the summit of Koko Crater.   There are over 1000 steps to the top
Well Val bravely walked over the bridge whereas I chickened out and took the detour round the side Life’s a beach!
On the top of Koko Crater, with the south eastern tip of the island behind us
Interactive maps

(Elevations corrected at  GPS Visualizer: Assign DEM elevation data to coordinates )
First walk:

Total distance: 4541 m
Max elevation: 118 m
Min elevation: 38 m
Total climbing: 183 m
Total descent: -183 m
Total time: 02:12:57
Download file: Koko-Crater-compressed-corrected.gpx
Second walk:
Total distance: 3938 m
Max elevation: 366 m
Min elevation: 35 m
Total climbing: 465 m
Total descent: -465 m
Total time: 02:00:42
Download file: Koko-crater-tramway-and-lookout-compressed-corrected.gpx

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