Hiking Hawaii (on acompressed schedule); Makapu'u Lighthouse, Manoa Falls, Waimea Falls, Dole Plantation


With only one weekend for fun stuff and exploring while in Hawaii on a business trip, I knew that I had to make the most of my very limited time. There was no doubt that hiking would be a major part of those plans! I had intended on waking up around 4:30 am and heading to Koko Crater to kick the day off, but a week full of battling jet lag finally caught me and sleep won in the end.

Hike 1: Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail
Starting a little later than planned (6:30am) I headed off to a my first destination, Makapu'u Lighthouse Trail. The drive from Waikiki to the light house was beautiful, along the coast, with several scenic stop offs that I took full advantage of, putting me even further behind schedule but with some added in Hawaii experiences too!
This park opens at 7am (something I hadn't previously known)
Makapu'u Trail is completely paved the entire way up. I wore my hiking shoes but would have been very happy doing it in my Chacos. It's a pretty steep incline…

Hiking Diamond Head (the day of a flight out of Hawaii!)


I'm hoping that this post helps people wanting info about the Diamond Head hike because when I was looking for info online (including climb time) I found very little that provided the information that I needed.

I was in Hawaii on a time crunch, there for 2 days for a training for work then flying out. I wanted to get in some of the beauty before leaving the island. When considering Koko Head and Diamond Head, Diamond Head won because of the close proximity to where I was staying (Waikiki) and the time crunch of needing to catch a flight that day.

I took a Lyft to Diamond Head, they stop you at the tunnel until the park opens. Some people park there (very limited spots) and tour buses drop people off there as well. There is a park ranger who lines people up to try to make sure it's a smooth process and flow getting people into the ticket booth. From the tunnel you go down a small hill and around the corner and the ticket booth will be in front of you (it's along the r…

Day 10: Last full day in Nepal, Backstreet Academy Khukuri Making

Up pretty early, wanting to get every ounce of life out of the day seeing as it's my last full day here in Nepal. I don't even know how it happened so fast, but it did and I fully intend to make the most of it! Tomorrow (and part of Sunday) will be filled with traveling back to Japan and before I know it I'll be hit with the reality of the work week schedule.

Something that has always been important to me when traveling is making sure to positively contribute or support the local people. When I traveled in Thailand and Cambodia a few years ago I was fortunate enough to find Backstreet Academy. It's a program (that is in many countries) that provides meaningful travel experiences by connecting you with local trades and experiences, and helping to support and boost local economies in the process. Impact travel. I've blogged about the importance of human connections, and did an entire podcast episode over on my podcast A Glittery Affair about it as well, the Backstree…

Day 9: Shopping in KTM, Playing with the Kiddos, and Learning to Make Momo's

There were a few things that I absolutely didn't want to leave KTM without. The tea that I've become addicted to (that I can only describe as similar to chai tea, but that description is doing it a huge injustice), spices to attempt to replicate the delicious meals I've had here (or better yet to convince someone else to cook for me!), some candies that you can only get in Nepal, and lastly some super soft cotton (don't cringe at that word this is like the most soft fabric ever) jammies for my nephew. Once I touched the fabric I also bought my self a blanket. Once you wash it, it becomes even softer! Because I was taken by Resha and her mother, we went directly to the factory where everything is hand sewn, so I had the ability to pick the fabric, my nephew will have custom made jammies finished by tomorrow. I had a choice of so many fabrics, it was nearly impossible to choose, so I went with a very "traditional Nepali" fabric in a beautiful blue, instead of t…

Day 8: Rupakot to Kathmandu...the adventures of flying domestic in Nepal!

Because it wasn't an early flight it was a slower start, no rush to get up, pack and head out. Unfortunately there wasn't enough rain to burn off the smog and reveal the Himalayas for that picturesque view that Rupakot offers with the 3 lakes. You will just have to google that to see what others have been fortunate to see. Rupakot is stunning, and even with smog you can see the 3 lakes, but when the Himalayas are visible you can imagine how breathtaking that view is. Next time. Because yes there will be a return visit to Nepal, I have no doubt.

Breakfast. This was the first breakfast without porridge, not by choice, but because they didn't offer it. A taste of what life without porridge will be like I suppose. I wasn't quite ready to get used to that.

Then it was off on the crazy dirt road to venture to the airport. On the way down we saw monkeys on the side of the road. Super cool. The way down seemed a little easier than the way up, perhaps because we could use air c…

Day 7: Pokhara to Rupakot, and how driving up a mountain absolutely does feel like you might die!

A bit of a slower start today, it was appreciated since it was the first one since getting to Nepal, first day without jam packed activities. Only real thing on the schedule was the 11:30 pick up to head to Rupakot (approximately an hour drive on a bumpy dirt road, up a mountain...oh what an adventure!)

The driver showed up about an hour earlier than planned so we headed to Rupakot earlier than planned, which was fine. The ride there was definitely an adventure. The normal; cows in the road, tractors driving down the road, having to stop and wait for various things to cross (humans, machinery, animals, you get the point). Once we hit the dirt ascending part I knew we were in for it. Oh I forgot to mention, when we started this point the driver also had to kill the AC (and it was sweltering) because he couldn't run the AC while also climbing the mountain. The road was, uhhh, thrilling. And questionably safe. For even one car, but turn that into a two way road and you have a true ad…

Day 6: Heli Ride to Annapurna Base Camp, Devi's Falls, Peace Pagoda, and Patches

Up nice and early to adventure by heli to Annapurna base camp! A quick google search looks like it's over 1000m higher than Fuji (yikes! Here's to hoping I don't get altitude sickness!! I did on Fuji!)
Pick up from the hotel was said to be between 6:15 and 6:30am, it ended up being around 7:15am, I'm told this is common for Nepali time. I think Nepali time is teaching me to relax and not be so uptight about timing and a schedule!

Thankfully things went off without a hitch and we were able to go off without an issue. I'm happy to report that I'm no longer a heli or Himalayas virgin! Super happy to be able to have experienced both of those things

I can't recommend this experience enough to people. I will say that preparing for this trip I didn't think it would be possible because researching it on the net produced some very expensive options. So my best advice is to wait until you get to Nepal to book it. Go to Pokhara, and book it from there. It was the …