Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Nu'uanu Pali: O'ahu's very own Thermopylae

Eight years ago, I was in Honolulu right after I submitted my thesis for evaluation by external panelists. Back then, I was using a Canon Powershot point-and-shoot. This year, I went to Honolulu again, carrying, once again, another Canon Powershot! Anyway, I revisited the Nu'uanu Pali Lookout, a famous spot in O'ahu's Ko'olau Mountain. It became famous because back when Hawai'i was a collection of small kingdoms. King Kamehameha I came from the Hawai'i Island and conquered Maui. When he fought the king of O'ahu, he drove the king's men to the Nu'uanu Pali from where they were driven off the cliff. After that, King Kamehameha I was able to unite the islands into what was to become the Kingdom of Hawai'i.

Sounds familiar?

Certainly, particularly the falling part. It's very similar to the story of King Leonidas in the movie 300.  In that movie, Leonidas kicked the Persian ambassador into the pit after he didn't like the news that the ambassador gave... he was downright pissed because the messenger said that Leonidas had to submit to the Persian king, Xerxes.

The Nu'uanu Pali is on the windward side of O'ahu and rises to 356 metres, which means that this area gets a lot of strong winds. I think that the Nu'uanu Valley acts like a wind tunnel for trade winds. But aside from the winds, the lookout offers a very beautiful view of the Kane'ohe Bay, with Chinaman's Hat (Mokoli'i Island) and Coconut Island in view.

The sheer drop of the mountain is also a sight to see. To me, it is amazing to see it particularly because the mountain is high enough to be touched by clouds... clouds that move very fast with the wind.

During this visit, the wind wasn't as strong as I would have expected. Perhaps, it's because the winter has come and the wind is blowing in a different direction... I'm not sure. Doesn't matter, however, this is still a very scenic place to be at. I'm happy that I had a chance to visit it again.