Oahu – 3

Moderation is the key in life – in everything you do. Moderation guarantees the physical and mental health of a human being. Not over working, or doing anything in excess such as eating, sleeping or lazying away is moderation. When you eat, the quantities should be moderated as well so should the amount of spices or fat or protein, etc. Anything in excess and the body will not know what to do and the excess starts to become cankerous. Many suffer from sleeplessness or lack of adequate sleep. A introspection of one’s physical and mental activities should be in order. Early to rise and early to bed is the classic and proven mantra for a healthy body and mind. Getting up early prepares your body to sleep early. Before going to bed, reducing any stimulating activities is also necessary. I see people on their smart phones reading or gobbling information or even working late into the night. Both of these stimulate the mind and precludes it from preparing to sleep. Some people take pride in saying I am a night-owl, I am not a morning person. There is no pride in that. There should however be pride in the fact that you take care of your well being. Proper exercise, right eating habits and good sleep takes care of your well being both physically and mentally.

I managed to get into the water – the man-made lagoon behind the resort for an hour or so on the Saturday morning. The lagoon opens into the ocean after quite a distance and outside of the huge rocky structure put up. The swim was meagre but gave me a taste of the ocean – literally. Way too much salt, enough to start puking. But the waters were gorgeous. The vacationers were busy swimming or snorkeling or paddling on a paddle boat. Those of us living in inner cities don’t get to watch the horizon seemingly appear higher than your eye-level often. Such was the view – higher but stable. I keep wondering how can that be? Obviously it is some sort of optical illusion. After lunch, I took the walk behind the resorts to garner about two miles of steps. Far away, the ocean was very active with the surf rushing to the rocks and splashing high over them. Signage precluded me from getting close to the waves and I had to be content watching them from a distance.

The next day, we took the excursion to the Kuala ranch. The ranch owned by the Judd family spreads over 4000 acres of pristine island. The ranch had a big part to play in World War II with the government acquisitioning the ranch and building military bunkers and putting up anti-aircraft weaponry. We visited the bunker sitting high above the ocean. The views were just spectacular. Besides the bunker, there was the movie tour taking us through many locations where many of the famous movies were filmed – Jurassic Park being one of them. The valley where the dinosaurs walk across is clearly astounding in scale with high, green-draped peaks on one side and vast plains on the other. The charismatic guide had many a story to tell, one among these being his auditioning for a film after decades of bait and drop. The lunch was surprisingly vegetarian friendly though a bit short in time. Horseback riding for the first time, we went up and down part of the mountain. My horse was Bert who according to the group lead was naughty and needed a lot of attention. He would not pace as easily as the rest of the group and she had to keep talking to him as did I. The ride was more of a walk and reminded me of the characters of the Wild West movies and how they expertly ride a horse kicking up the dust and taking falls – all seemed impossible. Just 40 minutes on the horse and I could feel the sun beating down on me and my knees starting to cry out due to the constant outward rotation of the foot as they sat in the hooves. Well I did learn how to guide a horse – starting, stopping, pulling it up to prevent eating on the way. With our shoes on, they just don’t feel the prod with the foot unless it is very purposeful.

Back from the ranch and wanting to make the best use of almost half the afternoon, we picked up another expensive rental at about $100/day and 30 minutes doing the paperwork and waiting in line. We wanted to get to Elephant Rock for a short hike, but by the time we got there – half-hour before close – the lady at the ticket booth turned us away for lack of time. Going to Oahu and not visiting Waikiki beach is like going to the Agra and not seeing the Taj Mahal. The famous beach is lined on its shore with glitzy shopping for almost a mile. The beach side was packed and parking was scarce. As I drove, I could see the fast moving surf and the riders riding them to the shore. We found parking half-a-mile away and settled down near the Waikiki Wall – a man-made concrete wall like structure cordoning off part of the beach – I guess to prevent erosion. The place was perfect for the sunset. I could see a few sail boats, a cruise ship and a cargo ship all waiting for the day’s end. Until about the last five minutes the sun was behind the clouds and then it opened up in full glory but only to be masked by that cargo ship. Dang-it! They spoiled the view for so many. There were at least a couple of yoga-enthusiastic groups practicing yoga at sunset. The day over, the Down to Earth Organic food store had some good eats for dinner with some great shakes. The trip was over as well.

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