Memory is a funny thing. With the passing of time you can practically rewrite history with the power of your mind. You can simply remove the boring or painful parts and choose to recall only the most exciting and enjoyable memories from the past. Of course, the opposite is also possible.
To those of you who know me well, it’s no secret that hiking has not always been my favourite pastime. However, while I was traveling in South America last year I had a complete, 180 degree change of heart. Now my new travel wish list includes trekking in Nepal near the very top. I attribute this transformation to the power of positive thinking and mental preparation. Don’t pretend that you’re going on a nature walk; be prepared for the worst but take the time to appreciate the astounding beauty of your surroundings. Hiking is a privilege and the most amazing vistas in the world often come at a price.
So, in a roundabout way, this leads me to my most recent “hike” at Diamond Head State Park in Oahu. The last time that I climbed to the top of the Diamond Head Crater was in 2004. I remembered being exhausted afterwards so this time I was prepared for a tough workout. Well, a short 30 minutes after starting our ascent we were at the lookout point on the top. We even passed ladies in high heeled shoes on the path, although they didn’t seem to think the hike was too easy. But, nevertheless, I was completely shocked and couldn’t understand how my memory had gotten it so wrong. The hike seemed more like a nature walk to me but fortunately it still had the payoff with some absolutely stunning views of Waikiki beach and the crater below. It’s definitely a must-do if you’re in Oahu, but for the avid hikers, I hear that Mariner’s Ridge in nearby Hawaii Kai is the real deal.