Tropical Forest, Extinct Crater and Coral Bay
Trip Start Feb 19, 2010
257Trip End Jan 31, 2012
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
Two days in transit between Jaimaca and Hawaii. After catching a taxi to the airport ended up getting my flight to Dallas where I arrived late at night. since i had no desire to head into town for just a night I decided to kill my time at the airport. Unfortunately I didnt have my baggage checked all the way through so had to take it out with me so that I could check it in the next day. As a result ended up in the lobby of the airport rather than inside the terminal so not much to do and not many option for beds.
Thankfully managed to find a soft couch next to a TV screen where I could crash out. Took out my sleeping bag so as not to freeze and went to sleep. Before falling asleep was wandering if I was going to get woken up and asked why I was sleeping in the airport. Thankfully got some sleep and checked in for my flight as soon as the checkin became open.
Ended up spending the whole day on a plane but at least with JAL you get fed for free and each seat had its own TV screen that you could choose movies on and play games with (once again free of charge). Ended up Arriving in Hawaii late in the afternoon and caught the shuttle to the hostel which looks more like a hotel. Basically rooms have 8 people in them as well as a bathroom and kitchen. definately the only cheap way of staying in a resort town like Waikiki.
Ended up going for a bit of a wander by the beach before bed. Must say lots of hotels, shops and restuarants. Also pretty equals numbers of American and Japanese tourists around the place.
Day 1 - Wandering the town for a Computer
Hostel included a free breakfast which was basically coffee and toast with peanut butter and jelly. Was until I ate breakfast and had a slice of fresh bread with butter that I realised just how much I enjoyed just that, fresh sliced bread with butter. Have had bread recently and while some of it has been fresh its always been coming in the form of rolls.
Once again internet is expensive ($6/hr) and not so easy to find while Wifi is abundant and free
Found a few possible stores through an internet search and basically spent a lot of time walking between stores looking at what was available before deciding on a laptop rather than a notebook. The laptop has a bit more memory and grunt as well as a DVD drive. On the downside, the size is bigger (just barely fits into my daypack) and the battery life is just over half what I had with the netbook.
Must say that Waikiki is basically one restort after the next with shops and restuarants mixed in between. Lots and lots of tall building everywhere. also appears to be a shopping meca for Americans and Japanese on vacation given the number of free trams that take people around to the different shopping complexes.
Spent rest of day setting up the laptop and playing around with it. Should probably have been spending more time planning what to do in Hawaii but could be bothered. Guess I want a bit of a break. I the end decided I didnt really feel like planning to much for Hawaii and that the only real thing I wanted to do was the see some lava and hike in Volcano NP.
Day 2 - Upper Manoa Valley - Manoa Cliffs Circuit Hike
Decided to do something touristy
Started out by wandering up a side road in order to get a bit of a view of Waikiki from the hill top. Looks like lots of rich people houses around the area.
After getting to the start of the trail had a nice walk through the forest of trees with lots of interesting trees around the place. Also wandered through a part of the forest that was actually a bamboo forest with bamboo thickly lining both sides of the trail.
Guess that the main thing I noticed on this walk was the amount of bird life. Could hear lots and lots of birds chirping along the whole walk. Definately different from the jungles in central america where I barely heard a peep. Dont know whether this is normal for both places or whether the amount of bird life is a season thing (due to migrations) but hawaii definately has a lot of bird life around
In the end had a nice walk with some nice views from the cliff tops and some nice views back towards the city. Unfortunately along the way dropped my camera and it seems that the lens and image capture screen have become misaligned. As a result got a black strip along one side of the picture as well as having trouble focusing a shot. While the camera is shock proff to 1m I guess Im not really surprised. Its 6 years old now and has corrosion along one side due to interactions with the sea water. also have seen water inside the camera so Im guessing that something inside was corroding and the drop was just the last straw that broke the camels back. so to say.
Day 3 - Buying Camera
Basically spent the day wandering around looking for a new camera.
Given my camera was basically dead had no choice but to buy a new one. Had a number of possible cameras that looked good (based on online reviews) but it was going to be a question of whether I was going to be able to find any of them. Had come across one decent camera store when I had been looking for a computer and had found a few other possible stores via google maps to go and check out
Ended up catching the bus to a number of different places in the suburbs but the places I visited were either sold out of one of the cameras I wanted (ie canon) or didnt stock them. Ended up having to settle for my fourth preference and got it from the camera store I had found by accident the day I looked for a computer. This was also the only place that had at least semi decent price since I had seen teh same camera in a Waikiki store for about $40 more. Hawaii definately not the place for buying cameras but unfortunately had no choice.
Day 4 - China Town, Aloha TowerDowntown Honolulu and Waikiki Beach
Had originally planned to head out to Hanauma Bay but when the bus reached my stop it was full and didnt stop. Given it was so late in the day I ended up deciding to visit china town and downtown Honolulu.
After catching a bus into china town decided to cross the nearby river and have a short wander along the other side. ALong the way I unexpectedly found a small shanty town where some homeless people had set up tents and cardboard box home along the footpath of the road
Wandered around the streets of china town a bit and came across a number of asian buildings and businesses and with the exception of what looked like a japanese temple cant say that there was a lot of interesting stuff around.
While wandering found a vietnamies beef noodle shop and bought myself some for lunch. Prices in this part of town (as would be expected) are certainly a lot cheaper than Waikiki.
From hear decided to head to the Aloha Tower in the hopes of some nice views. This tower basically stuck out a bit into the bay and gave a nice views along the shoreline and back towards the skyscrapers that made up downtown Honolulu. Along the way saw what looked like huge garfish but I'm pretty sure they must have been some other type of fish given their size.
Next wandered back into the downtown area and managed to find a few old and interesting buildings. By one of these building was a park where the roots where hanging down from the trees and I decided to try using the vines to swing like tarzan
After wandering around for a bit caught a bus back into Waikiki and decided that given the place was popular for beaches I should probably go down to the beach for a look. Lots of nice white sand and a bit of a swell you could surf on. Guess it was a nice enough beach but with all the highrise resorts lining the foreshore it kind of detracted from the atmosphere for me.
Day 5 - Hanauma Bay, Koko Crater
Decided on having an early start for once (not something I'd been doing lately) and headed out to catch teh bus to the bay. Once again the bus passed me by so decided to catch a bus further up the road so that I would be able to get onto the bus before the crowds from teh hotels further up teh road got on. In the end found a lot of the people getting on werent doing particularly far (diamond head park which had a number of buses going to it) but as a result of cramming on the bus meant that people could always get out to the bay.
Once getting to the bay I took a few photos from up on the cliff tops but decided not to head since I first wanted to climb up Kok crater and check out the few
At the top had a nice view of the overgrown craters as well as views of the bay, southern part of the island and back towards Waikiki beach. Spent a bit of time wandering around the rim of the crater and had lunch before heading back down. Also managed to find a few funky looking flowers around the place.
After the crater headed back to Hanauma Bay which had lots of people snorkling. On the way to the entrance stopped off in a small park and saw what I thought were weasles running around. Later on I found out that these were actually mongoose that had at some point in the past been brought to the island. Definately seemed to be a lot of them around.
Paid the entrance fee and after watching the manadatory park visitor video wandered down to the beach
Found that the coral was mostly white (guess due to all the people, sand and low tides) so not much life or colour there. On the otherhand also found that there were quite a lot of fish around the place to watch. Also knew that this was a good spot for spotting turtles. Especially early in the morning or later in the evenings though given it was mid day didnt see any.
Only had a short swim after which I headed back to the beach to sun and dry myself off a bit before heading back to the bus stop and catching the bus back to Waikiki.