In a dive bar in Waikiki, a surfer with waist-length dreadlocks struck up a conversation. Interested to get the local perspective, I asked him about his favourite view in Oahu.
He told me that in one of the richest suburbs, there’s a jawdropping hike. You climb a mountain and at the summit is a concrete ‘catwalk’ of sorts, a footpath stretching barely ten feet before plummeting down the Kamehame Ridge. Panoramic views stretch from the mountain range behind, to the turquoise ocean ahead, and rows of suburbia in-between.
“There’s only one problem”, he said, “it’s illegal”.
I went the next day.
An hour after getting off the bus, I reached reach the top of the hill. A tall hurricane fence and barbed wire blocked my way.
As instructed, I followed the worn grass up and around the left corner of the fence, ducking under tree branches until I found the large hole. And climbed through it.
I felt like I was in a military base. Large satellite dishes and locked sheds, all humming. Apparently this area on the summit of the Kamehame Ridge has something to do with air traffic or radar.
I quickly crossed to the other side of the paved area, towards the ocean.
Walking back from Dead Man’s Catwalk, as the last wisps of sunlight began to disappear, I was so grateful I’d met that surfer.
It made me wonder how many other amazing secret places like this I’ve missed in the past.
I am now more determined than ever to pay attention, befriend locals, listen.
And most of all, to leave my comfort zone behind.
Trespassing experience: 10/10 would do again.