Mona and I returned from a very enjoyable 10 days in Hawaii late Monday, Jan 31. We spent five days on Oahu and five days on Hawaii (the “Big Island”). On Oahu, we stayed at a military recreation facility at Bellows Air Force Station (Now referred to as the Marine Corps Training Facility, Oahu) in a cottage at the beach there. This is a beautiful, quite secluded area with nearly three miles of white sand beach out of sight and sound of most of the traffic, noise and hustle and bustle of the rest of the island. We thoroughly enjoyed walking the beach and relaxing in sunshine and temperatures ranging from nighttime high 60's to daytime low 80’s.
We quickly learned to stay away from the Honolulu side of the island during the morning and afternoon rush hours, when all roads there are clogged with stop-and go traffic. Therefore, we did our sightseeing around the island between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. except Saturday and Sunday when we started our day early in order to find places to park near the most scenic coastal areas. It seems that nearly all the locals spend their weekends recreating at the seashore, surfing, swimming, picnicking and just hanging out. There are few places to find quiet seclusion on Oahu. Since both Mona and I have been to Hawaii on previous occasions, we avoided most of the usual “tourist traps” and spent our time visiting favorite scenic seashores like the huge surfing waves at Makaha on the north shore of the island, the rocky promontories near “the Blowhole,” Hanauma Bay and the western shore on the other side of Pearl Harbor. On Sunday we drove to Schofield Barracks Army Base, where I planned to drive through Koli Koli Pass to the western side of the island. There is a beautiful drive through the pass on a road on the military reservation which snakes down the leeward (western ) side of the island, which is desert-like, with cactus and numerous mounds containing military munitions storage. I was disappointed to find this road closed even to retired military personnel, as this is one area that Mona has not seen. We retreated and found a lovely beach with a shady spot to enjoy our picnic lunch.
We then stopped for a return visit to Pearl Harbor, where we spent most of our time in the book store before returning to Bellows AFS. We did enjoy the spectacular views of the Arizona Memorial and the other historical military artifacts around the harbor. I don’t believe there is a more beautiful tropical paradise anywhere than some of the places on the island of Oahu. We just hate the traffic and crowds in the Honolulu/Waikiki area. We were glad to board our Hawaiian Airlines flight to the “Big Island,” I’ll describe our experiences there next week.