The Island of Paradise??????

Trip Start Nov 01, 2012
Trip End Mar 06, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Having had a day or two in Hawaii, it is certainly not the paradise we expected. We acknowledge Fiji is an incredibly hard act to follow, and we accept that most of the other Hawaiian Islands knock spots off Oahu.  However, time and budget constraints did not allow us to visit all islands so we have to make best use of our time on Oahu.  Perhaps we have hit Hawaii at the wrong time because accommodation options are very few and far between. Most hotels are over 300 a night so we stayed in a pretty disgusting hostel for 75.  Part of the problem is that hotels are not allowed on the North Shore. Accommodation aside, Oahu has a worryingly high crime threat and large populous of drongos spread all over the island.  Yesterday was the worst night of our trip, in fact, make that the worst night ever, as M received over 100 bed bug bites. They spent the night feasting on M and K did not have a single bite.  What is worrying is that M was bitten by mozzies in Asia and Oz, Sandflys in NZ, some unknown creature in Fiji, bed bugs in Hawaii and the only thing likely to bite in Lake Tahoe are bears, so fingers crossed this trend does not continue

On a more positive note, we toured most of the southern part of the island and had a great day.  We started with a whale-watching cruise which is the best way to spot Hawaii's humpback whales.  The 2 hour trip took us out to the centre of the bay, where we were fortunate enough to see at least six separate sightings. On one of these sightings the whale actually leaped out of the water and crashed back into the sea about 50 metres away but unfortunately we didn’t get a photo of it. These magnificent marine mammals summer in cold Alaskan waters and migrate annually to the warm tropical waters of the Pacific for giving birth and mating. Marine mammal specialists estimate that up to 10,000 of these giants, that can weigh up to 45 tons, are found in Hawaiian waters during the winter months.  

Next stop was Diamond Head (Le'ahi) a saucer-shaped volcanic crater which was formed about 300,000 years ago during a single, explosive eruption. It sits prominently near the eastern edge of Waikiki's coastline and is Hawaii's most recognized landmark. It is known for its historic hiking trail, stunning coastal views, and military history.  Almost as spectacular as the crater itself was hiking attire of the Japanese school children walking the trail.  The kids that were under 15 stone and not wheezing for breath were dressed in some pretty bizarre outfits.  Many were protected from the
non-existent volcanic sulfur dioxide by the usual array of face masks.

After our hike we took a leisurely drive up the coastal road to Kailua and Lanikai Beaches. These are unbelievably gorgeous beaches with crystal clear water, stunning coral reef, and soft powdery sand.  The strong wind and big waves meant that we were unable to get in the sea, so we just spent a  few hours on the beach before driving back through the middle of the island to a new hostel on North Shore.
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