Early wake up calls have never been my best friends – it’s actually more the contrary. Daytime routines can get rushy, busy, exhausting, depending obviously how your individual one looks like. I learned to appreciate the night and its darkness a long time ago already: I can focus better on things while everything calms down, when the streets turn into an empty world, or when a Saturday night celebration was gone far too long and the sky turns pink while an almost creepy silent train takes me home on Sunday morning. Night brings me advice, a clear mind and the most intense creativity boosts, it’s a personal love story that will never end.
I was never a hiker either. I live quite close to mountains that are visited from stunners from all over the world, but I never got into it. I love the panoramas, but I never considered hiking for myself.
Well, all this changed when I got to Hawaii I guess. I met tons of people telling me dreamy stories about their crater hikes here and there, showing me outstanding pictures of sunrises and sunsets, depending on the location. This made me seriously curious, so I decided to consider Diamond Head as my probably first hike ever.
What motivated me the most was the idea of getting out in the middle of the night, hike up the mountain with a torch in total darkness and be on top of it, in a tropical place, enjoying the sun setting slowly. The hike is considered as one of the easiest on the island, and I think it is. It’s quite an easy road to walk until almost the fire control station on the summit – you’ll have to deal with a bunch of steep stairs. My condition is quite average, since I don’t really do sports regularly, and I felt it when I came closer to the top (shame on me… so bad!)
If you take it pretty chilled, you’ll be on top of the crater in about one hour. Gates open at 6am in the morning, and it’s perfect to arrive quite on time for sunrise. You won’t obviously be the only one, but I had to say that I wasn’t bothered by the tons of other people that got my same idea. During the walk up there I was quite more concentrated on what surrounded me, what I saw down the shores: a lighthouse, the sky changing permanently color and everything being still so amazingly quiet.
It’s a great way to be with yourself even you’re having the hike with somebody you love. And then the top… On one side big city Honolulu, wrapped in violet shades, on the other pretty much the sun coming out of the horizon. Hikes like this made me realize how I love watching the wide side of the ocean, realizing I’m sitting on a piece of cement, on top of a hill, in the middle of the big Pacific brother… Pretty much an endless moment, between dark and light, night and day. The amazing thing of seeing it change – it’s quite kitsch and beautiful at the same time.
Say what you want, but in my opinion, nature can touch me pretty much only in places like these. Dark couldn’t become light in a more awesome way.
How to get there: I lived pretty much in the centre of Waikiki (Kuhio/Seaside Ave) and I took the first bus (No.2) around 5:15am. The ride took 10 minutes. There is maybe a 5 minutes walk after to the State Park entrance.
Other: Go by bus or have a walk out of Waikiki if you’re a sporty earlybird, Entrance for pedestrians is $1 only. This will rise up badly if you show up with a car or a van.