Tuesday, May 4

The Westside

Farrington Highway, or the 93, runs along the entire west coast, aka. Westside, Waianae Coast, Leeward Coast, and is the only way to get to the Westside, which for this post begins just after the Ko Olina Resort, which for most tourists, is about as far as they go.

The coasts seem to broken up by “points” on the island, with the west coast starting south at Kahe Point and ending north at Kaena Point. Below is from Kahe Point, looking north.                                                           Electric Beach

Still at Kahe Point with a view of Hawaiian Electric Plant, which directly in front is home to a popular surfing spot, and an even more popular dive spot. There’s warm water released into the ocean through underwater pipes from the electric plant, which makes it’s a nice cozy spot spot for sea turtles, dolphins and many reef fish and coral. We’re waiting for the winter waves and visitors to calm down before we experience it ourselves, but I AM really looking forward to it.                                                                                             Electric Beach (8)

We drive along this rocky coast for few miles before we hit the towns of Nanakuli, Maili and then finally Makaha. There are beaches along the way, but not really any great sandy beaches, mostly rocky and up until recently they were infested with homeless people. Only they don’t call them homeless, they’re referred to as “living on the beach”, “living in the bushes” or “living under the trees”. When we got here we couldn’t even go to the beaches in Maili because they had been completely taken over by tents and junk cars and old couches but since the clean up last month it’s nice to be able to see the ocean again, instead of just junk.

They let the homeless stay around the smelly water treatment plant, but other than that there’s no more living out of cars until we get past Makaha, then it’s like small tent cities again.                                           westside 013 Kaena Beach 085Kaena Beach 086

Kaena Beach 097

This is the best one, the homeless resort. Five years ago it was a simple pull out, without a tree in sight.westside 030

Now it’s lush, with cemented in borders around the trees and plants, and there’s even a picnic table with a patio cover. There is always someone there (someone is living in that van) but I wonder what would happen if we pulled up and attempted to sit at the picnic table! I won’t be trying it, but I’d love to witness the person that does……….. then again, I probably wouldn’t want to see it.

The many people living on the beaches, along with the old worn down towns along the highway, is what detracts most people from coming down this way. The people are known to be very territorial, too, but we haven’t had any real problems ourselves, and we will gladly take a little bit of the ugly to experience the incomparable beauty and wide open spaces of the beaches on the Westside: From Pokai Bay, to Makaha, to Makua, to Kaena Point……… and all the hidden pools in between.

When we first got here though it seemed like everyone we met wanted to deter us. We were told we may want to move off the Westside once our kids hit high school age because they’ll most likely get beat up every day. One woman told me about her kid always getting jumped, another told me about the little old lady that was jumped for her prescription pills, who eventually died from the crowbar beating. Numerous people told us how the cops turn their backs on a lot of things, or try to arrest the wrong person. One friend’s kids bikes were stolen and the cop told him, “oh well…they needed them. You can afford to buy new ones.”….I could go on and on, and at first after hearing all these stories we did get a little discouraged, but now we’ve all but forgotten about them. Personally, we have had good experiences.                                                            surf & sea 139

The lifeguard at Makaha Beach rides his four wheeler over to us every time he sees us, just to chat and say hello. Joey never fails to chat it up with the lifeguard at Rest Camp over the day’s surf. The cashier’s are starting to say hello to me, and everyone seems to be getting used to seeing us. I still would never put my kid in school here, but at least I feel safe again.


jody said...

Yep, it is a rough place at times, and the people are very territorial. You guys will be fine, though. Life there looks really amazing, and navigating thorugh some of the icky stuff is probably worth it for the amazing beaches and scenery. Just don't try and surf any of the local secret spots. That they will not tolerate.

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