All that travelling and driving around in a motorhome is quite exhausting and made us really tired. I’m just kidding, it was awesome! But still, we were looking forward to stick around the same place for some time. The first two nights we spent in Waikiki, a generous wedding gift of our fellow travelers Marco and Olesya. As we were still travelling together, the four of us rented a small flat up on Northshore, O’ahu for one month.
We had everything we needed; a lovely beach just a few meters from the house, the very laid back surfer town Haleiwa a seven minutes drive away, waves to surf and a very nice Brazilian neighbour who lent us some candles during a two hour blackout.
My days generally looked like this: getting up at 6.30am, putting on boardshorts, grab something to eat and off to some surf.
About three hours later I would come back home finding wife and friends getting up and preparing breakfast. The rest of the day we usually spent exploring the island or hanging out on different beaches. Sounds relaxed? You bet’cha!
Let me show you some of the island’s highlights. In order not to risk losing your attention along the way (as if that didn’t happen yet…), I am going to split those into several posts, each dedicated to a different topic or activity.
If you have never been to Hawai’i before, visiting the Polynesian Cultural Center in La’ie including a Luau (Hawaiian buffet dinner with a traditionally earth-oven cooked pig and a Hula show) is a must. The park features villages for each of the polynesian islands with presentations and activities to learn more about the different cultures.
On O’ahu there is no way around Honolulu. The biggest city on Hawai’i has to offer more than just Waikiki Beach. Downtown is full with shopping opportunities ranging from Ross to Gucci and eateries and bars in the same variety. If you are interested in a decent breakfast buffet in Waikiki right at the beach for a moderate price, we recommend Duke’s ($ 17).
Around 20-30 minutes of dense traffic on an idyllic-island-imagination shattering six lane (!) highway takes you to the historical site of Pearl Harbor with its museums and memorials (incl. the sunken USS Arizona) of the Japanese attack that led to the US involvement in WWII. Definitely worth a visit, even if you don’t take all the submarine, battleship and what have y0u tours.
Another place which we visited was the Dole pineapple plantation. Besides a little train tour that takes you around part of the actual pinaleapple fields, the plantation attracts visitors with a large shop where you can buy pineapple in every imaginable form (ice cream, jewelry, cotton candy, normal candy, plush toys, mobile covers etc.), a maze and a guided plantation tour. We did the narrated train ride, which was not worth the ticket price, and largely resisted all the other commercial temptations except the ice cream. If pineapple is your favourite fruit in the world or you just have time to kill, why not, otherwise don’t bother.
For some stories on hiking trails please check out post #12 and #13 if you want to see some pictures of a few of the beaches we explored on the island.