This awesome beach is the result of a volcanic crater blowing out a coral reef, and the ocean reclaiming it’s loss by breaching the wall of the crater, leaving this magnificent crescent beach– and a new coral reef.
No, this is not the conference location for the New Media Consortium 2005 Summer Conference, but pretty darn close.
Yesterday was pre-conference workshops, and for me it was my own workshop on exploring Oahu. I enjoy visting new places via public transportation, so I started outside the hotel to get the local bus, otherwise known as TheBus.
I rode it to Diamond Head, a prominent point looming at the end of Waikiki beach. This is like everything else here, a volcanic landform, relatively young, and provides a hike up to its rim for a commanding view of Oahu. Being on foot, I walked up the road, through the tunnel drilled in the wall of the crater, paid my $1 foot fee, and climbed the wall of the crater.
Well, not really climb,. It is a walk, gets pretty steep towards the end, but certainly something all the varieties of people there managed, little kids, hefty tourists, older folks, all shapes and sizes. I saw a guy in a suit with dress shoes. The lasy little bits go up stairs and through some tunnels created when this was used by the military as a defense outpost.
See the flickr tag set from my trip up there, I cruised up and down in about an hout. The view is commanding.
Next it was time for some beach action. From the base of Diamond Head, it was a bit of a wait for the #22 “Beach Bus” that goes to Hanauma Bay. When I boarded the bus, it was jammed full of people in bathing suits and hauling snorkling equipment.
It is a beautiful place, and extremely popular- read crowded. The bay is a volcanic crater that has been breached by the sea, leaving the crescent of sandy beach/ There is a reef just off the edge of the sand, and it apparently has been rather abused by people.
As a nature preserve, there is a $5 entrance fee. Then there is a mandatory 9 minute video trying to educate beach gowers about the fragility of the reef and environment (note- it was about 20 minutes to get through the whole process). While I was eager to get to the beach, I gave kudos for the park for trying everything possible to keep it available but not let it get trashed by the crowds.
I just spent the time relaxing on the beach and enjoying the relaxing scenery (more photos). It was hard to leave. Almost impossible.
But I had arrangements to meet up with Bert Kimura, my colleague who I know through his work with the TCC Online conference, and offered to show me around the island during my visit here. Yesterday, he met me at the park, and we stopped at a small place by a lagoon called “The Shack” to catch up and enjoy a beer. We’re planning to do some hiking on the island after the conference.
Bert was kind enough to drop me off at the hotel, and last evening was a classy NMC conference opening, with a recpetion out on the hotel balcony, with fabulous food, good music, and the greatest conference audience anywhere. I love this conference.
But now it is onto the main event- the conferenc eopens this morning, and I have a presentation to tidy up for 11:00 AM.