If you're reading the title of this post and thinking, what? There's polo in Hawaii? Don't worry you aren't alone. It took me several months of living on Oahu to become aware of its existence. It also took me over a year to finally go watch a match. It was a very different experience from my more active hiking adventures. But let me tell you, it was a blast!
I'd been hitting the hikes hard over the past few weeks and my body was definitely feeling it. Simply walking around was a struggle so a challenging Sunday hike was out of the question. Conveniently, I got a text from my friend Phillip asking me if I wanted to go to a polo match on the North Shore. I knew almost nothing about polo, except that there were horses involved and probably drinking. I decided that today was as good as any to experience it for the first time. With that, we were off to the #delgadocup2017!
Here we are at the Hawaii Polo Club on the North Shore. It took all of 2 seconds to learn what Polo truly is, a big day party (spoken Darty)! People park their cars, open the trunks, put up some tents and put down some beer. For me, it felt like one of the most mainland things I'd done since moving here. However, we aren't on the mainland. For one, we have the beautiful Waianae Mountain Range in front of us.
And immediately behind us is the ocean. That's right, this polo field is right on the water! There's a very small beach just beyond the grass. The ocean is a great way to cool off in between chukkas (the word for period in Polo. FYI there are six 7 minute chukkas in a polo match... more info on Polo here). Bring a swimsuit! Most of us learned our lesson on that one. But I assure you, we will be prepared next time!
Here come the teams. Here we have the blue team... I apologize I totally missed the team names.
And here's the green team. Let the match begin!
This looks crazy hard. Trying to hit that tiny ball with the mallet all while riding a living, breathing animal. Talk about talent!
But I'll be honest, watching the match was somewhat of an afterthought. We were just enjoying being outside surrounded by amazing views, playing games, drinking beer, and really just hanging out. I think this shot of Phillip rocking his dad hat, cornhole sack in one hand, beer in the other, really sums up what the polo experience is all about.
We even got the treat of a little Volkswagen car show in between one of the chukkas. We saw this car driving alongside us on the way up to the north shore and thought it was quite... unique. Little did we know they were part of the half time show for the Delgado Cup.
Since it was such a nice day we also saw a steady stream of skydivers coming in for their landing There's several skydiving companies up here for those looking for a little adrenaline fix. Skydiving is still something I need to knock off my bucket list. Can't think of a more beautiful place to do it.
As the match came to a close, the afternoon began to fade. It was time to pack up our car and make our way back to the Windward Side.
One last shot of the beautiful Waianae backdrop. In case you were wondering, that flat peak up there is Mount Ka'ala, the highest peak on Oahu (had to relate this to hiking somehow).
And a final shot of the scoreboard immediately in front of the Pacific Ocean. I honestly don't know who won the polo match. But I think my crew will agree with me when I say that simply attending the #DelgadoCup2017 was a definite win.
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