Off the Beaten Path

Yellow and white plumeria flowers littered the streets and magenta bougainvillea tumbled tumbled over the walls of mansions as we crept up a sleepy neighborhood street.  We had just taken a group of seven special guests and hiked up Hawaii’s classic landmark, Diamond Head.  It’s a fun, short hike with fantastic views of Waikiki and the ocean.  Done with the morning’s activity and well hydrated, we decided to venture off the beaten path.


After driving for a while, we pulled over into a cul de sac and parked.  I am sure our guests were wondering why were on the side of the street in front of a row of large houses.  “Is this legal?”  Kahana and I smiled.  “Yes, it’s legal.”  “Where are we going?”  “Just wait…you’ll like it.”  And so we quietly shuffled down a narrow path, listening to people’s breathing and the crunch of rocks and grass…until you could hear the unmistakable sounds of the wind and the ocean.  Everyone started walking faster, excited at what was to come.

The end of the path opened up to an expanse of black, brown and blue.  We were on the side of some cliffs.  Dark rocks meet frothy white and shade after shade of blue in an area called China Walls.  China Walls is a spectacular place to stop and appreciate Oahu’s nature.  Ocean water flies up forcefully as it slams into rocks and a cool mist hangs in the air.  It is a strikingly beautiful place that visitors will remember for the rest of their lives.


As I looked around, wind whipping people’s hair, big smiles, ocean for miles and miles, cameras recording the moment…I couldn’t help but think about my swim coach who moonlights as a cliff diver – his favorite spot to jump just a few hundred yards away…but that is another story…

-Meredith Novack


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