Honoulu, Oahu – Part I

I touched down in Honolulu shortly after 9 PM.  When I finally had my luggage I had to queue up for a cab for quite long and paid $36 to get to the hostel. There I basically only checked in and went to bed. I have been pretty tired. It´s quite a climate change, pretty humid and hot here. But it´s very nice, even at night you don´t need a sweater or closed shoes. I tried to sleep in but didn´t really managed since my body was still 3 hours ahead. Had a bit of an improvised breakfast since I hadn´t managed to go to a grocery store so far: Granola with hot water. Yam! The HI University Hostel is – as the name already tells – close to the university and thus about one hour walk from downtown and about 40 min walk from Waikiki. The next supermarket was about 2.5 km away, so it was a 5 km walk to get groceries and find an ATM.

But at least it´s only $25 per night as a HI member. I took it quite easy that day since I first had to get used to the humid heat. So I didn´t plan any big hikes or anything. I looked for some information online and then decided to walk down to Waikiki. I jumped into the ocean. The water there is so nice and warm, it´s almost like a bath tube but still a welcoming cool down. After swimming for a while I enjoyed reading my book while drying a little bit before I went to the Duke´s to get a little something to eat. They had live music there which was quite nice. It was pretty full and basically all tables were occupied to I first asked two girls if I could join them, but they were expecting some friends and had no free seats, then I asked two guys. They happened to be mainland US-Americans on a business trip and they had space for me. I ordered some food and water and they were quite surprised that I didn´t order any alcohol. I told them that I would need to eat something first, but would get something later. While I was eating we talked and I told Howard and Darrell about my world trip. They wanted to invite me for a drink, so I ordered a Coconut Mojito once I was finished eating. Looked a bit strange and was definitely an interesting combination, a bit like Pina Colada with mint or so. Was nice, but I would probably not order it again. I ended up having 3 cocktails and we sat there for quite a while having some good conversation. In the end they paid my whole bill and even ordered an Uber for me since it was already dark and they didn´t want to let me walk home alone. That was very nice and considerate of them!

image1Back to the hostel I watched Charlie´s movie about the 10 day Perth to Broome tour of last year and went to bed after. Next morning I took the bus to Manoa Falls. The bus system here is also this shitty system with numbers at the stops, but names in the bus or on google maps. No overview at any station and on most stations even not a sign which bus number would  go there. I had to change once and fucked it up by getting off too late and getting lost. Took me ages to finally find a station where the right bus line would go and this bus only goes every hour, so I had to wait for like 25 minutes. Since I don´t have an American SIM card, I can only use the internet when there is WiFi. I asked several people for the way or help with checking quickly on google maps for me, but no one would assist me in any way. I finally found a Starbucks and used the free WiFi to see where I have to go. Once in the right bus, I ran into a few people from the hostel. We hiked up to the falls. Since it had rained a lot lately it was super muddy and slippery, you really had to watch your steps. It looks like in Jurassic Park there, the nature is just amazing. The falls themselves are rather unspectacular, but still nice to go there. It was quite busy, so many people and most of them super slow. I was a bit annoyed by that and it also started to rain again so I headed back and didn´t stay with the others who also went up the other trail.

When I arrived at the bus station the bus had just left like 5 minutes ago and it only goes every hour. It would definitely help to get a bus plan beforehand and check the times to avoid something like that. Anyway I decided, if I have to wait for almost an hour I can also walk. So I did. I was holding out my thumb every now and then while walking. After about 20 min a car stopped and the two guys dropped me off very close to my hostel. I have been full of mud, super sweaty and also stank like cigarette since one of the guys in the car had been smoking, so I first had a shower then I tried to organize enough quarters to run the washing machine and did the overdue laundry. I was quite happy that I finally was able to air dry my stuff again. Had some freeze dried beef stronganoff since I was getting annoyed to carry that stuff around. Wasn´t too bad, but I still prefer fresh food. I worked about 2 hours on my blog, got the laundry in and then got ready for some Zouk dancing in Downtown. I took the bus and almost froze to death in there. I really don´t get why they always have to run the aircon full blast and so cold that every single person in the bus is freezing  and when you get off the bus you are hit by a wall of heat. This just can´t be healthy! This time I managed to get off at the right station, but I still had difficulties to find the Polearity Studio. It was pretty hidden inside a building, but I managed finally. There were basically beginners apart from the teacher, but I still enjoyed to zouk a bit again. Lauren and Kyle gave me a lift back to the hostel after the social. I was quite happy that I didn´t have to take the bus again in the middle of the night. Another quiet and lazy morning before I took off on foot to Downtown. It was about 1 hour walk. On the way it started to rain so heavy that I had to seek shelter under some roof on the side of the street and couldn´t leave that for about 15 minutes. I went to the Capitol building, Iolani Palace, the King Kamehameha Statue, the harbor,… At the Gordon Biersch I had a small lunch with a beautiful view before going to the Aloha tower.

I caught a bus back to Waikiki where I went into the Hard Rock Café and to a surf shop where I wanted to buy a long sleeved rash shirt. I found a nice one that was not that expensive and even 20% off, but they didn´t have it in my color. They have another store at the Ala Moana Mall and there they would have my size. So back in the bus, since my ticket was still valid and through the rush hour traffic back to the mall. Probably would have been faster walking. But anyway once there, I almost got lost in the mall, but I found a nice and even better rash shirt at the surf store. I went to the Ala Moana Beach for a quick evening swim and a bit of reading before walking about 40 minutes back to the hostel.

Shower, dinner, some organizational stuff and time for bed. I slept pretty bad this night since I always feared my alarm wouldn´t go off, but it did at 6:30. Getting ready, breakfast, packing and then it was time to get to the street and wait for my taxi to the airport. The plane wasn´t completely full and so they didn´t make a fuss about having almost one kilo too much. But security was quite annoying again with taking off the shoes and all this trara. At the domestic part of this airport there is just nothing, but the flight with Island Air to Kona on Big Island was quite nice. Unfortunately I have been sitting on the wrong side of the plane (on the right) and so couldn´t see any of the nice view of the volcanos.

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