A Day of Adventure on Oahu

 

When I planned our trip to Hawaii, I pictured myself sitting on the beach reading, occasionally dipping my toes in the water, going to a luau and watching the sunset. I am not the adventure type. I did not plan to swim with sea turtles or row down a river on a stand up paddle board. My travel companions had other plans. After a thorough investigation of suggested activities and reviews on the internet, my husband booked a private adventure guide to help us explore on our last day in Hawaii.

Our guide, Ryan, asked my husband what we wanted to do. In consultation with the girls it was determined that swimming with sea turtles was at the top of our list. He drove us to the North Shore on a rainy, blustery morning. The surf was not at all calm, but throwing caution to the wind, we jumped right in with these massive turtles. We were warned not to touch the turtles because it is against the law. Someone forgot to tell the turtles because they were touching us. Everyone else was thrilled. I had water up my nose from the waves and am not a touchy-feely-huggy sort on a normal day, but especially not with amphibians. (My smarty-pants son informs me that sea turtles are reptiles. I looked it up. He is right. I never would have gotten in the water with them if I had known they were the same biological classification as snakes.)

My husband, our daughter and a friend are thrilled with the sea turtles. Me (in the background), not so much.

After swimming with the turtles we drove to Waimea Bay so the girls could jump off a cliff… because everyone should take someone else's child to jump off a cliff. Ryan also took the girls and my husband snorkeling in the bay on the ocean side of the rocks you can see in the picture. I was still recovering from my full-on sea turtle panic attack and I enjoyed the fun from the beach.

One of the most wonderful parts of the day was stopping at fruit stands and buying the local produce. I love pineapple. The pineapple that we bought at this stand was some of the best I have ever eaten. Ryan also made us a snack of mangos with granola and honey. Yum!

I can be adventurous… on a perfectly still river… even if stand up paddle boarding becomes lay down paddle boarding.

We capped off our day with a breathtakingly beautiful hike to the top of this mountain. There was almost no discernable trail and at times the brush was up to my waist. It is so unfair that some parts of the world are so majestic and are BUG FREE when we can hardly go out on our back patio in the summer without coming in covered in mosquito and chigger bites.

Ryan of Mahina Hawaii Tours is a fabulous guide. He will tailor a day to your interests and desires. In addition to our adventure activites he showed us places where movies and television shows have been shot – including the smoke trees from “Lost” and the beach from “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire.” My husband found him on Trip Advisor where he has all “excellent” reviews and one “very good.” If you plan a trip to Oahu, put Ryan on the top of your “can't miss” tours. Even scardy-cats like me can overcome sea turtle trauma and have an awesome time.

(We paid full price for the tour and I am not being compensated in any way for this review.)

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