Hawaii five-Oh!

Trip Start Apr 08, 2013
1
25
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Trip End Sep 25, 2013


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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Saturday, May 25, 2013

An overnighter in san diego with a ticket to honolulu in our pockets and great excitement to not only be visiting Hawaii but also to have friends there as well. Hawaii, the stuff dreams are made of, paradise! With great anticipation we boarded our plane to Honolulu for the five and a half hour journey.

We arrived in Honolulu and headed straight for the famous Waikiki beach where we saw our first turtles swimming in the water off the boardwalk! We sat and had a drink and watched the surfers ride the huge waves which this beach is famous for. Over the next few days we discovered some of the beautiful island of Oahu, including a trip to pearl harbour. We enjoyed the home and hospitality of alan and Barbara who were great company and helped us discover some of the off the beaten track Oahu. One day, after driving round the north of the island, we stopped at a beach and found turtles coming out of the water to bask on the beach. The turtles are protected and the beach rangers are highly protective of them. You can get close but not too close and as soon as a turtle comes out of the water a cordon is swiftly erected around it so as to give it peace and space. Like a VIP! Apparently there are only three places in the world where turtles leave the water just to sunbathe, as opposed to lay their eggs, this is one of them and the others are Australia and The Galapagos. What graceful creatures they are in the water but the houses they carry on their backs are cumbersome on land and their every move seems like an effort as they haul themselves up the sand. The green turtles in the pictures actually don't retract their necks so the home they carry serves as their protection. Turtles are an endangered species and these gentle reptiles have been around for over 100 MILLION years and pre-date the dinosaurs. They are one of the few remaining species so ancient that they watched the dinosaurs evolve and become extinct. And so the turtle is used as a symbol of longevity and wisdom.

What a great privilege to experience these wonderful creatures close up.

It was a difficult choice to leave Oahu and make our way to the island of Maui but we have become so used to only spending a few days at a time in one place. We start to get itchy feet if we stay any longer and feel the need to move on, however beautiful and seductive a place is, there is always more to discover!

Maui was chill out time, we relaxed in a hotel on the beach and spent days doing nothing but enjoying the sea and the sun and we LOVED it. I actually plucked up courage and snorkelled for only the second time in my life and saw beautiful brightly coloured blue and yellow fish swimming by the reef and turtles in the distance. Our room overlooked the turquoise waters of the Lahaina Bay which was calm and peaceful most of the time, but the waves when they got going were the biggest I've ever seen! Children rode the waves like toboggans sliding them along the white surf. Dudes body surfed and paddle boarded and the locals surfed the waves like gymnasts, the inner tubes appearing to swallow them up but a moment later they bob up unscathed and poised! The locals have grown up with this sea, they know how to read it, but for the uninitiated these 4-6 foot waves can drill a man's body into the sand, dislocating shoulders and disorientating those who are unaccustomed to its strength. Respect to the guys out there riding those monster waves!

We only ventured away from our slice of heaven for two days. Once to drive to the volcano on Maui and the other to drive The Road to Hana. On the drive up to the top of the volcano we looked DOWN on the clouds as we spiralled round and round the ascent, 10,000 feet above sea level. And when you get to the top, the freezing wind almost blows you off your feet. Still there were people climbing on top of walls with sheer drops behind them to pose for their must have photo. Crazy. Pretty cool though to be in a world above the clouds, with an erupted underworld at your feet.

And The Road to Hana .... Ah we had read a lot about this beautiful drive, the reality is a roller coaster twisty turny uphill downhill day long journey through stunning scenery with stops at waterfalls and rock pools. At the waterfall a young guy suddenly appeared on top of the 60 foot high cliff overlooking the pool. Everyone gasped and pointed as he stood there on the edge looking down. Surely he can't be going to dive in? The pool is no more than 5 or 6 feet deep! After a suitably long attention drawing few minutes, he dived off the rocks, did a somersault and disappeared beneath the water. Staring in disbelief at the spot where he landed, there was sheer relief from the crowd when he bobbed up a moment later and his two dogs swam up to greet and lick him. These guys are professionals!!!!

When we stopped to eat the soggy sandwiches we had bought in the morning, a troop of cats joined us from nowhere, along with a ferret-looking thing which definitely took second place in the pecking order! The cats looked like they were well fed and cared for but lived as wild cats in the mountains.  They joined us for lunch of soggy sandwiches then disappeared back into the bushes.

Hawaii wasn't the paradise I had imagined but we had a fantastic chilled out time and I was sad to leave the relaxation and sea and sand. It took a while to get my head around being back on the mainland and to having to think on our feet again. Being back in a city felt weird and alien and we had to readjust to planning, booking, driving and the relative fast pace of being on the road again. But it all came back after a while and we started off in San Diego for the start of our journey through California.
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Comments

tim on

just another few days in paradise then. Pleased Alan and Barbara are well.

moira reardon on

Hi there! ..wonderful...reminds me of Turkey..wild cats and turtles..stunning scenery xxx

chrisculley
chrisculley on

Hi moira, such a big beautiful world out there and so little time to see it all! You are so lucky to live in beautiful turkey, much love xxxx

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