Aug
25

Our First Anniversary - Hawai’i!

So we departed Fiji in search of further Polynesian paradise, in Hawaii. Flew from Nadi to Honolulu (Ohau), which was an entire 7 hours on a plane (the longest yet). Arrived early morning after gaining an entire day. So we had spent the whole of August 5th in Fiji had dinner and left at about 10 at night and we had arrived in Hawaii at about 7am on August 5th - so we had ot do the whole day to do again. Didn’t know if we were coming or going, Groundhog day!

Anyway managed to get checked in to a dodgy little hostel 2 blocks from Waikiki beach and had our first semi-private room, which meant we had to walk through a dorm to get to it and share facilities with the dorm. Had to wait a couple of hours before check in so went to Lu Lu’s for some brekkie. Well have we arrived back in the USA or what? How would you like your eggs? How many? Would you like rye, wheat or wholemeal? Orange juice, with or without ice? What kind of sauce? JUST GIVE ME BREAKFAST!! Needless to say vast quantities of food arrived, which even Al couldn’t eat. Once room was clean (around 11ish) we got straight into bed for a quick doze.

Awoke later on and got up and got some washing done as we had no clean clothes, then walked the length and breadth of Waikiki strip tryng to locate a book store to buy a book on Hawaii to decide what to do. Needless to say no book shops existed. So then had to catch a bus to a loal department store out of town. Successfully purchased Hawaii and USA LP’s and felt a little better about planning our week here.

After looking through the books we decided we would head off onto Hawai’i The Big Island in the next couple of days to check out the volcanos!That evening we searched for hours for a restaurant without a queue and ended up back in Lu Lu’s for mighty portions of fajitas. After that it was back to the hostel with  couple of beers and a chat with a mental Irish girl and Ben from Brighton (not Ben Raynor). Off to bed and plans of getting up early to go and see Pearl Harbour (apparently you need to be there before 7 to get tickets).Finally we had completed August 5th and hoped to wake up tomorrow on the 6th!

Needless to say our body clocks did not wake us at 6 - was more like 7 and when I suggested to Al getting up to go see Pearl harbour he reveled that he wasnt very interested in seeing some sunken yank ships and would rather remian in bed (such great tourists aren’t we?). So we finally got up at 11 ish and booked flights to The Big Island for tomorow. We then set off for the Diamond Head Crater. A huge volcanic crater just outside Waikiki, that apparently has the best views of the beach from the top. So off we went and climbed it. The ticket office suggested it would take 2 hours to climb but being the avid mountaineers that we are we got up it in about 40 mins (was only 0.8 miles) and me thinks it was a lazy yankee who suggested 2 hours. So indeed the views were fantastic and we both got a little burnt en route!

 Views over Waikiki1 Views from Daimond Head1 Views over Waikiki3 Us on Diamond Head Crater

From there we headed back down and off to Waikiki beach to catch some rays and jump in that beautiful turquoise water. Beach was full of poseurs but weather lovely and sea fantastic, like a bath!

Waikiki Surf Dude Waikiki Esplanade  Waikiki Beach

That night more dinner, more beers and too late to bed for a flight the next day (will we ever learn?) Awoke grumbled, groaned got packed and went off to the airport.

Arrived in Hilo early afternoon and had decided to go straight to Mauna Kea, the largest mountain in the world, for the afternoon, where you could drive to the summit, in a 4WD. Headed straight off to the car rentals and ended up getting shafted ($180) for a jeep for the day. When we had paid the woman then told us depsite the fact that it was a 4WD we couldnt take it off road or up the summit road. We listened closely to her advice. Checked into a hostel, which was in an old hotel with a grand stair case leadng up to it, had lunch and set off.

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En route we ended up having to go on unsealed roads, so had already broke the car hire agreement so thought there was no harm breaking it further (how would they know)?

Drove through the intriguing lunar landscapes towards the mountain and then climbed in the car) the 9000 ft to the reception and visitors centre. The place was desserted and some ranger dude started chatting to us about the views at sunset and the fact that they get the telescopes out later and we can view the stars, so we decided to hang around till dark.

Scenery en route to Mauna Kea3 Scenery en route to Mauna Kea5 Ascending Mauna Kea3 Ascending Mauna Kea5 AL and the Jeep at Visitors Centre

Then decided to continue on to the sumit (sorry car rentals but this is what we think of you!). 

Up Yours Thrifty Car Rentals 

Al was like me with pandas as there were observatories up there.

Canada France Hawaii Telescope Space Station  

Summit Views8 Caltech Submillimeter Telescope

So we hung around up there for a bit taking in the sights and then headed back down to the reception which had sudddenly been over powered by about 10 Japanese tourist buses, who were all pushing and shoving and eating noodles. Kind of ruined the place. Anyway hung round till sunset and watched it up the summit which was fantastic.

Sun down over Mauna Kea2 Sun down over Mauna Kea4 Sun down over Mauna Kea15 Sun down over Mauna Kea18

After that we headed back down to the reception but all the Japs were pushing and shoving to look through the scopes so we decided to leave and headed back to the hostel and off to bed.

Next day we got up and got our new hire car at the bargain price of $29 a day and returned the jeep. Headed off to the Volcanoes National Park in search of lava, which we were promised. Arrived at the park and went straight to the reception to find out where the lava was, but apparently there was none. NO LAVA. Both very dissapointed, but decided there was some other stuff to look at. So drove round the crater rim, stopping to look at steaming vents,

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Craters,

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previous lava flows,

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Destruction paths,

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lava tubes

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We then left the crater rim and drove down the road to the ocean where the flow of lava flows. Where the lava met the ocean it created lava tubes and arches, which are amazing.

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The sheer volume of stuff that must have come out of this volcano was collosal. There was one point where the road had been completley cut off in the past from the lava flow

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However, no lava for us..

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Watched the sunset over the ocean and headed off towards the west side of the island and the Kona coast.

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Drove for what seemed like an eternity around the island and eventually arrived in Kona at about 10, starving.  Tried about 7 hotels and none had availability (oh how we like to plan), so we decided to go eat then try some more. Went to Aussie steak house and stuffed selves then continued the hotel search. Unable to find anywhere so resigned to sleeping in the car. Crap. Parked up on a hill and went off to sleep. Awoke, roasting with an entire building site looking down on us and headed to the beach to use the facilities.

Sat around White Sands beach and at 11 went off in search of hotel for tonight - not sleeping in the bloody car again.

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Checked ourselves into a condo, which was right in the town centre and was plush to our standards, but still cheapish. As our anniversary was looming we decided we would rather have 4 nights here than 3 nights somewhere crappy and one night in a posh joint. So checked in and admired the room.

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We spent the next few days just chilling and drove out to a fab beach where en route we saw the hawaiian grafitti by the side of the road (white stones on black).

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Arrived and relaxed on the gorgeous beach and fried ourselves in the sun.

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The next day we did some dives through lava tubes and through loads of tunnels which were amazing. We saw sharks, baracuda, crabs and an octupus which one of the dive guys wore on his head!!

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So we made it to our First year anniversary and thanks to eveyone who sent good wishes. We had a lazy day that day then went out for a lovely dinner, where Rachel had managed to find us and ordered Champagne for us. A few drinks and a lovely dinner and that was us - one year wed!

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After Kona we headed back to Hilo to fly back to Ohau and on to LA. On the way we stopped off at a turtle beach where we saw a few in the water,

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Then on to a beautiful waterfall and black beach. Walked down the 20% gadient for 1/2 hour and admired the beauty, however wished we weren’t in flip flops!

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Started heading back up the hill when the heavens opened and we got drenched. Back to the car and headed back to Hilo where on the radio they were speaking of the enimant arrival of hurricane Flossy and how everything would be closed the next day in preperation. At this point we wondered whether we would get to leave or not.

Anyway woke up the next day to relatively good weather - no sign of Flossy and headed to the airport. Checked our bags all the way through to LA and sat back and relaxed. Flight a little bumpy but not too bad and arrived in Honolulu on time and proceeded straight to our gate to check in for LAX. A wee spot of lunch and then we boarded the flight to LA and that will be another story!

 

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