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The Departure: Hawaii II

By Lotuff Leather

Still in Oahu? Find some inner peace at the Byodo-In Temple, surrounded by the majestic Ko’olau mountain range. It’s modeled after the original temple of the same name in Japan, which has a good 900 years on Hawaii’s smaller but no less wondrous version. Thanks to the peacocks that roam the grounds, the softly rushing waterfalls, and the extraordinary artwork that adorns its walls, Byodo-In is an idyllic retreat if ever there was one. 

After the temple, head back to the hills for the Makapu’u Point Lighthouse trail. A much less physically strenuous hike than the former, it’s easy to stop along the way and marvel at the beauty of the Pacific and of the lighthouse itself that gives the trail its name. On the way down, be sure to trek down to the tide pools. Good walking shoes are non-negotiable, as the path to the pools is unmarked and steep, but the descent is worth it for the up-close views of the crashing waves. 

Finally, see the sunset at Ala Moana. This beach is amazing at any time of year, and as it’s quite  expansive and more of a “local” spot than Waikiki, it tends to be less crowded at any given point in the day. For something truly special, however, visit Ala Moana on Memorial Day. Each year, a lantern-floating tribute is performed to honor the lives of family and friends who have passed away through a breathtaking and visually stunning ceremony. Names and memories are written on hundreds of paper lanterns, and at sundown, traditional Hawaiian songs and blessings serve as the backdrop for the lighting and release of those lanterns onto the water. It’s an unforgettable experience, and the perfect reminder to appreciate the little things in life. 


For hours of culture and climbing, you’ll need a bag that can go everywhere and look good doing it- take along the hands-free Tripp II to make your day easier and brighter. 

-Liz Silvia

All photos © David Silvia.