My name is Philip Kirkbride. I’m a college graduate from Ontario studying at AU. I’ve always wanted to do an exchange program or study abroad but never found the right time to do so. This is the story of how Athabasca University has allowed me to create my own study abroad program. In the last issue Matt and I rented mopeds to get around the island.
I used to own a motorcycle in high school, so I felt right at home on the rental mopped. Matt took a few minutes to get used to it but after that we were speeding along Waikiki Beach. It seems like everyone in Waikiki was having a good time, I couldn’t help but grin as I passed Matt, taking the lead.
Only minutes from Waikiki beach we passed Diamond Head, a state park inside a volcanic tuff cone formation. Still having too much fun on the bikes we passed by and drove along the beach. It didn’t take long to get out of the city. Soon we were driving beach on one side, grassy mountains, palm trees, and wide open fields of grass on the other. Using a GoPro I managed to get some footage of the ride.
After an hour or so of driving around we stopped at Waimanalo Beach. Compared to Waikiki beach Waimanalo was empty. Running into the water, I wasn’t expecting to be knocked off my feet but the first wave hit me so hard that I did a full flip underwater. Apparently the waves are always pretty strong, which is great for surfing.
We continued from Waimanalo Beach to Maunawili Falls where we were told that part of the show Lost was filmed. It didn’t take us long to figure out why they chose the location. Within minutes we met people walking back to the entrance telling us that further up a sign says you’ve gone too far. According to the sign we had to go back 500 meters and turn right, but we didn’t remember passing any paths. Walking back we ran into a couple to whom we explained the sign, they, like us, ignored the warning and wanted to see it for themselves.
It seemed a lot of people had given up on ever finding the falls and just turned back and left. We considered doing the same but spotted a lightly tread path leading up a steep hill. We still weren’t sure it was the right path until we saw someone heading back who confirmed. As we went a bit further in we started seeing discarded shoes and clothing that was completely covered in mud.
Getting to the falls requires an hour long trek through small rivers and paths where You’re up to your knees in mud. That’s assuming you don’t get lost. After trying to race Matt I ended up going off the path and getting lost. I only met up with Matt again once I’d finally made it to the falls. By the time we made it I had lost my shirt and sandals to the mud. Maunawili Falls is definitely not a trek for the faint at heart. So, exhausted, we drove back to the hostel.