Well our first stop is nearly at an end. Hawaii has proved a fantastic start to our OE. We have enjoyed beautiful hot days (approx 28 degrees) and balmy nights. The Waikiki Beach area is likened to the Gold Coast in Australia and is heavily tourist orientated. Shopping ranges from your run of the mill cheap markets to the top of the line stores like Cartier etc, Tane cringed every time I dragged him into one of those shops! Night time is a great time to get out and about - it is still warm, the shops are open until about 10pm, the place is lit up with gas torches and people are out in force.
The first few days we spent just walking around and getting used to the heat - we visisted the Honolulu Zoo which was nice and took a submarine ride through a man made coral reef out from Waikiki Beach from which you could see lots of tropical fish and turtles in their natural habitat without getting wet.
On Sunday we walked from our hotel up to Diamond Head Crater - approx a 12km round trip. We got started early to try and miss
the heat of the day. The climb was a steady incline culminating in two sets of stairs - the first set had 77 stairs and the second set 99 - but the view from the top was worth the effort. A stunning vista of Oahu greeted you at the summit.
Yesterday we took a round the island tour which has been the highlight of our stay. We stopped at turtle bay and watched turtles swimming in the surf close to shore, hiked up to a waterfall where we had a swim. We visited various beaches along the way, tried some local cuisine (including pickled mango, sugar cane and deep fried bananas). We stopped at a Japanese Buddhist Temple. This temple is an exact replica of one in Japan and is made entirely without nails. For lunch we collected our picnic lunch from a local ranch and then caught a small boat across a fish pond (which had six ft Barracuddas lurking in it) to a small island where we ate and enjoyed a swim in the crystal clear waters (or I did while everyone else watched). Apparantly us Kiwis were the only ones silly enough to bring our togs
on the tour where the main attraction was water. The backdrop to this island was the mountain ranges were the likes of Jurassic Park was filmed. Hawaii is used heavily in Hollywood film making - the jetty we caught the boat from was used in Fantasy Island and other various movies.
Today we visited Pearl Harbour and checked out the insides of a decommissioned submarine which was quite interesting and looked at the USS Missouri where the Japanese formally surrendered to the USA. Pearl Harbour didn't really live up to our expectations - it was very expensive and felt like a tourist money spinner more than anything.
Tomorrow we fly out to Vancouver for the next step in our adventure. Photos will be published when we can figure how to load them from the tablet.
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