Hawaii is a weird and wonderful place – It has a few different islands, but the one I am on and the one that most people send their time at is Oahu. It is only about 20 miles long and the same wide but there is a vast amount of things to see and so while you are here, so with that in mind I grabbed a rental car today and went exploring.
I jumped on a bus to the airport where I was really happy to be given a lovely red VW Golf for the next couple of days. Then I started due north along the H2 highway until I reached the North Coast. This is a completely different feel from the busier touristy south coast. There are endless golden beaches dwarfed by the vast, steep rocky hills that soar upwards from right behind the sands. At some points there is the blue sea, 20 feet of golden sand, a road and then the rock climbs away towards the blue sky. It’s awesome. The wind blows straight in off the sea and creates great huge breaking waves that are ridden by the craziest surfers you are likely to see. Today supposedly was an average day, but some of the waves must still have beet 15 feet high. I drove as far west as I could and spent a while watching gliders landing at a remote airstrip as I sat on the beach......the very same beach which was used for the plane crash and other scenes from TV’s , ‘LOST’. The whole series was filmed in and around Oahu and you can’t help but stumble onto a beach or a valley that was used in the show.
|Yeah, its one of the LOST beaches!!|
|Crash!! It didnt.|
|Car, beach and Hills.|
I spent the day driving and stopping every few minutes to see another beautiful beach or bunch of surfers as well as taking a walk through the Waimea valley, to a waterfall and small lake where you can jump in and go for a swim. It was a lovely walk in a valley that resembles somewhere that you could imagine dinosaurs and monsters living.....yep you guessed it..... This is where Jurassic Park and the modern day King Kong were filmed (as well as more LOST) as well as many of the other hidden valleys that I drove past on my way back down south.
|Waimea waterfall and pond|
|Hmm, have you seen my surfboard?|
The East coast was even better than the north as the road at times, is only a few feet from the waves as they crash against the rocks. It’s a bit like a mini version of the Great Ocean Road in Australia.
I continued south past places like Kahuka, Kaawa and Kahaluu (A lot of K’s!) before heading inland on the Pali Highway to Pali lookout, where you can see most of the way back up the coast. It was very very windy though and so I drove back down to sea level and to ‘Magic Island’ – a park on the south coast by Honolulu, where I sat in the park on the edge of the bay and watch the Sunset.
|Sunset by Honolulu|
|Nice little bay|
|Yoga near the beach|
The reason a lot of people go away is to relax and do nothing. I like a bit of that too, but I need to earn that relaxation. So with a lazy few hours on the beach in mind for later in the day, I was up at 5.30am again and set off in the dark towards the east coast of Oahu again.
I reached one of the outcrops overlooking the ocean and sat there on a low wall watching as the sun rose from its journey around the earth. There were a few clouds about, but it was a nice view over the crashing ocean below.
|Sunrise the next day|
A few miles north I turned off the road again and took a short hike up towards a remote lighthouse that overlooks the coast and the small island that lie just off shore. This is supposed to be a great place for whale watching too at this time of year, but try as I might I didn’t spot anything moving in the sea below. I should have been keeping my eyes open on land instead as I saw a bloke running down the train being followed by his dog...only it wasn’t a dog – It was a piglet, running along behind his owner and loving every minute. I did get a quick picture as they disappeared down the hill.
|Look carefully...its a Piglet!|
The final stop of this mornings strenuous activities, was the famous ‘Diamond Head’, crater and a climb up the hundreds of steps and through the tunnels that lead to the peak. It didn’t take long for me to climb up there and the views down into the extinct crater itself, over the ocean and up the cost towards Honolulu were well worth the effort in getting up there. Once again I stayed up there for a while, but didn’t spot any whales in the ocean or pigs on the path this time!
It was getting on for lunchtime, so I headed back down the steep path and drove back to the hostel where I quickly got changed, grabbed my towel and spent the next couple of hours relaxing on Waikiki beach, swimming in the clear bay and generally being a typical lazy tourist, safe in the knowledge I had earned every bit of my reward. Just to make sure I felt good I got changed again just before 6pm and went back to the park where I watched the sunset last night, for a run in the cooling evening air. Having a run was the first thing I did in Hawaii and it will also be one of the last as I am now sat back on my bed with my bag packed and just a few short hours before I rise again before dawn and make my way to the airport to leave. Hawaii and in particular Oahu, is only a small place but it is big on stuff to do and also reasonably cheap. Its not as mad or tacky as Miami and certainly beats it in the way of location and weather. Its another to add to the list of places I want to come back to again some time.
|Honolulu and Waikiki .....|
|..from the Diamond Head crater|
Before I go, I thought I would let you know that I actually spent longer here than I planned!! I'm at the airport at the moment, waiting for my flight out of here - But I was supposed to have taken off 2 hours ago - My flight was cancelled and so I have been placed on a later one - which leaves me with just a few minutes to get through San Francisco and onto Seattle - We shall see what happens there!! At least I got more time in Paradise and have spent the morning so far wandering around and taking photos of weird stuff - such as the cool toilet signs, complete with Hawaiian dress and the ATM that tells you the most commonly used words in the Hawaiian language - I wished I had have known POO-POO before!!
|Women in dresses and ......|
|Blokes with no trousers!!|
|Thats my flight!!|
|Poo poo please!!|
|My free poo-poo voucher!! haahaa!!|
Laugh - laugh goddamit!! What are you wearing on your feet woman!? My god these massage chairs are really uncomfortable!! Its boiling outside, but I have my coat on because the aircon in the airport is bloody freezing. Have you noticed that its the same in the cinema - I wear more clothes watching movie than I do walking around in minus 40 in Winnipeg. Piffle - bloody modern life is hell - take me bak to living in a cave with a bone for a comb and eating Barney for dinner. Byee... go away now..... but do come back soon!!