Now we are in Hawai and have an opportunity to experience the joy all over again. Though I have flown all night, I have not been able to sleep on the plane. So when I get to the airport, I tell myself that I will not get into the driver’s seat. I am too tired and I feel it is not safe driving in this state. I have once heard that there is a way you can always condition your body to adapt to the current time in the country you visit. As a result, instead of getting some nap, I decide to go for some action.
We are staying out of Honolulu, and I was wrongly told you can drive around the whole island in just two hours. If this is the case, then it can only be in a private vehicle since it takes too long for a public transport vehicle to get to the bus station. As I come to learn, they only come hourly. It is so hard to understand why buses marked with the same numbers operate both ways.
I also discover that it is so rare to find a taxi in the suburbs. In fact, the suburban shopping centres near us do not have any cab ranks. Since our cell phones are still not yet set up with local lines, we feel stuck here as we waite for the next bus. To make matters worse, there is no shade. It is a very long waite.
Finally , a bus arrives. So we head for downtown Honolulu, where we will change buses to Waikiki Beach.
I cannot believe the number of people at the beach. This is a bit of a shock after leaving Fiji.
We need a swim – it is as hot and dry as an Adelaide Summer’s day. It is a different heat from Fiji, which is more humid.
My son is invited onto the water slide at the Hilton and is given an armband to allow him on any of the slides. He is in heaven!
There are numerous, different slides and he really doesn’t want to leave. He is on a quest to find every water slide in Hawaii – well so he tells me!
We find the Duke Kahanamoku Beach and Lagoon. Here you can hire a paddle boat for $50 US or a stand-up surf paddle – which is the current rage in Hawaii. Alas, my budget won’t stretch, so we head off to explore.
Under the trees, we find musicians jamming – the park is packed with people flame grilling chicken and enjoying a drink and a jam session. There is music everywhere.
We find ice-cream whip, and they are BIG. And we have BIG smiles – we are starting to adjust to Hawaii – nicely.
Next day we head for Ala Moana Shopping Mall in the Centre of town. Everything is big, and so this big thong/flip-flop has to be in our photo.
We decide to take a bus – but the driver gives us the wrong information. For anyone heading to Hawaii – do NOT take the 55 bus and think it is a tour around the coast. It took us 4 hours (along with many other misguided tourists) to get to the Dole Plantation.
We had two driver changers. The first driver (after one hour and a lot of begging) stopped the bus for us to quickly use the Porto-loo (portable washroom) at a park.
The next driver took himself off to a public bathroom and never said anything, but we all sat. This was about 2.5 hours into the ride. A lady from South Dakota was nearly purple in the face at the moment. So we dashed off too. He told the lady’s husband he was not going to wait for us! But he obviously persuaded him to waite.
We arrive at the dole plantation with 1 hour to go, so hungry we down a huge pineapple whip – yum.
We find the maze and have a 2 for one coupon and so we head in – still trying to get through the massive whip.
We are given a maze map with eight stations to find and mark off on cards. We have less than 45 minutes left.
My son finds the first station – yeah!
We end up cutting through small paths in the bushes – not sure these are even on the map!
Checking off the last symbol at the final station.
We head out and find the maze already closed. We didn’t know it was a public holiday! The buses are not running and we are in the middle of Oahu. We finally get a taxi just before dark. We find out if we head to the bus interchange there is an hour wait to get to town. Then another hour wait until we get a bus to our area – but the buses can’t be see from 6.30pm.
So we sit as the meter ticks over – the taxi ride was nearly $100! He gives us some discount – down to $83! It is early days – Hawaii is burning a hole in my pocket money-wise already and I have to do more research on things.
Lesson learned – stay central – the $$ you save staying out of town can prove to be no saving in time wasted on buses and on waiting for buses.
The taxi drops us at the local shopping centre so we can buy supplies for dinner. We race home through the dark lane – this is not Fiji and it is not safe at night and people do not give rides. Subtle culture changes we have a hard time getting used to. There
There are two people yelling at each other in the car park – I have not heard an angry person in the streets of Fiji in 2 months – it is a sign of weakness to lose your temper there – it feels strange.
So back to our snug accommodation for spaghetti and crusty bread. I am still pleased because after all – we have been driven around the whole island and managed to race in the biggest maze in the world (2008). The maze is great – anyone coming to Hawaii should try it (It is not expensive).
Hoping to explore more pof Hawaii in the coming days. However, for tommorow, I think we will stay indoors as I do some home-schooling, washing and resting.