I still wanted to find the start of the abandoned trail up to the Nuuanu viewpoint which I did a half-dozen times many years ago, so we made another hike to Luakaha Falls. This time we went by the easy route not far from the Board of Water Supply building on the Old Pali Road, and included the short detour to the Kaniakapupu Palace.
The old palace is quite a bit different from how it was in the late 80’s. No more trees growing up the walls and the grounds are quite clear and open.
From the palace we took the easy trail up to the top of Luakaha Falls, crossed over the stream and headed uphill, hoping to jog my memory. We ended up doing a series of false starts and back tracks up a series of ridges, to no avail. When that became tiresome we went back to the stream and went up it for a while to see what was there.
While at the stream I also did a quick test of our new Olympus TG-810 waterproof camera. It kept working fine after an underwater test shot but did develop a condensation issue on the lens later in the hike. That’s not too surprising since there are times it’s so humid you can see your breath while hiking in the bamboo. I didn’t try dropping it to see how it would hold up but time will probably remedy that oversight.
From the top of the falls you can get down to the grassy area at the bottom by crossing the stream, going uphill to the main ridge line, then a short distance downhill to a spur on the right that leads down a very steep slope to the stream below the falls. There are a lot of trees and bamboo so it’s not too bad getting up and down.
** A note about mosquitoes. They love us. So much so that the average person hiking with us won’t be bothered at all. The best way I’ve ever found to avoid being bitten is to maintain a brisk pace and don’t stop for anything. Ever. They can’t bite what they can’t catch. We’ve tried Off and other repellents and they may cut down on the number of bites slightly but don’t help that much. When mosquitoes are approximately 1 bloodsucker per 10 cc density they’re going to find you regardless what you use to jam their radar. Just keep moving. It’s better exercise that way too.