Friday, June 22, 2012

5-19-2012: Pali Puka & Likeke Falls

Finally, a hiking entry has arrived!  I apologize for the lack of entries as I have devoted more time to flying (work) and flying (RLU-1 Breezy), along with other miscellaneous activities.  On top of all of that, I am aiming to start training for flight school to receive my private pilot license, a childhood dream.  With all of this, DGC's Hawai`i Hiking Tales is no longer a top priority.  But with followers like you keeping this site going, I am inclined to bring you entries from time to time.

I have reconnected with an old 808 Goonies favorite, Chenay Borja.  She has been on a hiatus status lately but her schedule has freed up a bit more and I am looking forward to more adventures with her, Goonies style!  Together, we embarked on two hikes that both begin at the Nu`uanu Pali Lookout.  Due to their short duration, both can easily be combined for a nice little half day hike.  They are the Pali Puka and Likeke Falls hike.  Since I've done the Puka hike numerous times, I won't get into much detail here, but the Likeke Falls was my first time.  In fact, this would mark my very first waterfall hike for this year!

Joining us were Bogie, Miha, Mabel, and Kalani Napulou, whom I've finally gotten the opportunity to hike for the first time.  We pushed off for the Puka after 8am and made it in little as 30 minutes.  It was a nice way to revitalize my ridge walking side of me.  It was also an opportunity to test a duplicate pole that I use on the RLU-1 Breezy experimental aircraft.  Because of it's extendable feature, I was able to get in some unique camera angles that the following video will show.

Back at Pali Lookout, we began our walk down the old Pali road until reaching the junction of the Maunawili Demonstration Trail, a 10 mile one way hike that skirts the base of the Ko`olaus, ending at Waimanalo.  We took the route that leads to the Likeke Falls, and soon we found ourselves on some switch backs that lead us to the "new" Pali Highway.  The trail then dropped down via some very unreliable wooden stairs/ladder to cross underneath the highway.  The graffiti on the overpass beams and support structures made for an interesting work of art to say the least.  To get to the other side of the highway, one can either go thru an extremely narrow corridor on the left or duck extremely low under the bridge.  Once on the other side, we popped out onto a grassy area that made up the median of the Pali Highway.  Cars zoomed passed us on both directions, some drivers looking at us curiously.

Continuing on, we went underneath the second overpass with more "beautiful" graffiti art and picked up a trail leading into the forest.  Soon we walked on an old road for some distance before turning off to another forest trail.  When the forest canopy opened up at a few spots, we could spot the massive windward cliff and the Pali Puka itself, looming high above us.  Soon we were at the Likeke Falls.  We took time to enjoy the falls and have lunch.  Chenay, Kalani, and I proceeded to climb a muddy embankment to get to an area of the falls where there's a narrow ledge that one can walk on to get a nice cold shower from the flowing falls.

We noticed that the trail just before turning off to the falls still continues beyond to some other place, one that I will explore on another day.  If you are looking for short hikes, the Nu`uanu Pali Lookout is a nice area that offers quite a number of choices.  Aside from the two hikes we did today, there's also the Pali Notches and the aforementioned Maunawili Demo Trail, which also connects to the Mauanawili Falls.  Give these hikes a try.


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