Thursday, December 23, 2010

Punchbowl Cemetery, Tantalus, and Roundtop

 The Hawaiian name for this crater is Pu'u-o-waina (Hill of Human Sacrifices) hinting at one of the uses in ancient times.  Along with human sacrifices, they buried their royalty here.
 Since 1949 Punchbowl Cemetery has been known as the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific.  There are over 45,000 graves here marked by slabs of granite, many of whom lost their lives in the Pacific Theater.
 After leaving the Punchbowl, we headed up Tantalus and Roundtop, roads looping up the mountain range above Waikiki.  It is about a 10 mile loop, with very severe hairpin curves.  The vegetation is very lush, encroaching on the road and forming canopies overhead.  This a drive to be taken slowly and savored, with the top down on the rental and taking advantage of the pull-outs to admire the city below.
 In some places the roots and vines hung into the roadway.
 There were houses built here and there, but you could never see the actual houses because of the vegetation.  Goldfish and I debated back and forth on whether the houses were old and inexpensive, sort of a hippie retreat in the hills, or whether they were hugely expensive, like everything else in the Honolulu / Waikiki area.  Fueling the debate was the rundown appearance of some of the sheds or garages we could see from the road.  A quick Google of Tantalus real estate when we got back to our rental settled the debate, with prices ranging from 5 to 10 million.
 The payoff for the ride is the view from Pu'u Ualaka'a State Wayside Park where you can see Diamond Head with the ocean in the background and everything in between.
 This is a random beach shot on the way home.  For full disclosure, I am actually in Palmer, Alaska right now, sitting at Goldfish's parents' kitchen table, having arrived from Hawaii this morning.  I am very far behind on blogging, but that is the sign of a successful vacation, right?  Too busy relaxing to blog . . . . I'm getting caught up now though, with just occasional duty as "The Bumble" hanging the high ornaments as they decorate the tree . . . . 

2 comments:

bre said...

Bumble, I hope you still have all your teeth. Tried to call, but alas, cant find cell #. Merry Christmas! love big sis.

Nebraska Outback said...

Thank you so much for your blog - I enjoy the Unalaska posts, but your Hawaii posts have been fantastic (as have all of your travel posts). If I ever make it to Hawaii, I'm going to pull up this blog series to decide where to go and what to do. Keep having fun!