The rugged North Shore of Hawai'i
Trip Start Nov 15, 2006
19Trip End Sep 01, 2007
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Where I stayed
We stayed on Oahu, the main island where the international airport is situated. Honolulu is a busy city with sky scarpers lining the horizon and waves lapping up to shore and airstrip.
As we are not city dwellers we hired a car from the airport and took a scenic drive around the island via winding roads, long tunnels and spectacular views until we reached our final destination. We stayed at a backpacker hostel on the north shore, close to Sunset beach and Banzai Pipeline (surfers will know exactly where this is!).
Our hostel, named the 'Brown House', is a funky house on 3 stories, made from chunky dark wood with balconies and steps at different levels
We kite surfed at two main places. The first was Kailua Bay, a large sheltered bay with turquoise waters and a long sandy beach. The other spot we spent time at was Mokuleia, on the north shore. This area is marked on the map as shark infested!! and also a hammerhead breeding ground, but received much stronger winds than Kailua Bay (on the east coast). Luckily we didn't see any sharks at this spot, however last sunday a tiger shark attacked a surfer at the same spot in Mokuleia. Luckily the surfer had quick reactions and shoved his surfboard towards the shark, which could only take a large bite of fibreglass, and then swam off disgusted. A lucky escape and real-life enough for us not to kitesurf there again.
Hawaii is now lodged in my mind as the place where we jumped out of a perfectly good airplane at 14,000ft to gain the ultimate adrenalin rush of skydiving. The skydiving centre and runway was next to the kiting spot in Mokuleia so we saw many people's brightly coloured chutes filling the sky day after day
The north shore is also a breeding and feeding zone was green turtles who lodge themselves on the beaches for several hours to lap up the sunlight before they leave to find more food to eat. We saw heaps of them in the water and when snorkeling one evening one came up behind me and swiped me with one of its huge flippers.
We had a thoroughly enjoyable time in Hawaii and think it is a destination we will visit again in the future, but perhaps to the windsurf mecca Maui to experience the strong kona winds. Leaving Hawaii has marked an end to a large part of our travels, as in Dominica Republic we will both we working so will not be quite as free as a bird as we have been over the past 8 months (lucky us)