Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Lanikai is one of the best beaches for swimming on Oahu with clear, calm water and some good spots for snorkelling. It's also quiet and off the beaten path. Everybody loves it.
This is Kailua Beach, which is just up the road from Lanikai and another fabulous windward Oahu beach popular with kiteboarders, windsurfers and kayakers.
This little island is further north, still off the windward coast. It is called Chinaman's Hat.
And the beautiful Pali cliffs overlooking the windward coast.
Aloha and Mahalo Oahu.
Thursday, June 18, 2009
But don’t be fooled by this gentle June setting. For in the winter months, the North Shore is the sight of some of the most monumental waves on the planet. Mecca of the surfing world, its shore breaks are legendary: Banzai Pipeline, Backyards, Pupukea - waves up to 50 ft and more. The seven mile miracle. It is entirely fitting that the birthplace of surfing, Hawaii, is also the place where the waves demand the most respect from those courageous and skilled enough to ride them.
The North Shore consists of one long two-lane highway with beach houses and the quaint little surfing town of Hale’iwa with clapboard storefronts. There are no hotels in the town, no Waikiki-style high-rises and no runaway development going on along the coast. It is so refreshing and wonderful that it has been able to hang on to its country, relaxed ambiance.
If only. Regrettably, my musing can only be short-lived. The threat of development is out there. The one resort in the area – the large 880 acre Turtle Bay resort with over 400 rooms, which is located on the eastern point where the North Shore meets the Windward coast, is planning to develop 5 more hotels on its grounds. Another 3,500 rooms. Oh, say it isn’t so!
An impressive alliance of 26 citizen and environmental NGOs’ have come together to stage an opposition effort to what would ultimately change (ruin?) the feeling and ambiance of the North Shore. See the Ko’olauloa North Shore Alliance website. An expanded four-lane highway and 5 new hotels would bring a heavy footprint to this strip of pristine coastline. The Defend Oahu Coalition is one of the groups acting to protect the North Shore. Their slogan is Keep the Country Country!
Runaway tourism developments are a blight on the environment of places like Hawaii and countries in the Caribbean. Aren’t there enough of them out there already? Isn’t one Waikiki enough? Please watch the video on the Defend Oahu Coalition website for terrific surfing footage and hear the people who live on the North Shore speak about their concerns and opposition about turning the North Shore into another Waikiki. Keep the Country Country! Aloha and Mahalo! Copyright©Kathy Stanley.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
While checking out his site, read his post titled “Feeding stingrays makes for lazy fat stingrays” which is a report on the latest research conducted on the stingrays at Stingray City in Grand Cayman. I have long thought that Stingray City and the flock of tourists to the site (many of them cruise ship tourists) could not possibly be good for this population of stingrays. Suspicions confirmed.
Yet another so-called “eco-tourism” activity that provides thrills for humans and threats for a marine species. I hope the Cayman government will come to their senses and wake up and pay attention to this. They need to cease the senseless exploitation of stingrays in their waters. Rick pointed out that other Caribbean countries are now embarking on these stingray cities as well. What a tragedy.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
Saturday, June 13, 2009
An afternoon drive through Valley of the
Nestled against the deep green sculpted pali (cliffs) and framed with tall pine tress is the magnificent Byodo-In Temple, astonishingly built without the use of nails. It was built to commemorate the first Japanese immigrants to
The name Byodo-in means “
Inside the temple sits the 18 ft. Buddha, Amida, “thought to be the largest figure carved since ancient times, an original work of art carved by the famous Japanese sculptor, Masuzo Inui.”
Coppery madrone trees surround the temple along with ponds and zen rock gardens representing the universe. Wild peacocks and peahens with chicks, spotted doves, myna birds and red-crested cardinals flit about while black swans swim amongst pools of giant 40 lb orange and white koi. Maholo Byodo-In Temple. Copyright©Kathy Stanley. More to come.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Surrounded by 50 ft palm trees swaying in the gentle trade winds, 25ft high red hibiscus plants, fragrant red and purple frangipani, red flowering Poinciana trees and an abundance of fuchsia and orange bougainvillea. Kailua Beach on the windward side of O’ahu is a serene little beach town, far from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. More to come over the next few days. Aloha and Maholo from Kailua.Copyright©Kathy Stanley
Friday, June 5, 2009
Copyright©Kathy Stanley 2009.