USA Day 9 - Hanauma Bay


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North America » United States » Hawaii » Oahu » Waikiki
December 4th 2021
Published: December 5th 2021
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Today we’re going to Hanauma Bay – basically a drowned crater full of coral reef and exotic fish. It’s not easy (or cheap – at $25 a head) to obtain tickets; there’s a strict quota with tickets going on sale at 7 am each morning and selling out in minutes. We have managed to score some tickets for this morning. To reduce pollution, they have withdrawn the bus route which used to service the reserve, so the only access is by private vehicle. Only in America would the banning of public transport be considered a pollution preventing measure. So, after breakfast (there’s some leftover bagel which I tear up and leave on the balcony for the birds) we book an Uber and ride the 12 miles up the coast to Hanauma.

We spend the morning swimming around amongst the coral, watching the fish. It’s a bit like swimming in a huge tropical fish tank, surrounded by fish of all shapes and sizes and colours. We buy lunch from the beach snack bar. The picnic tables are surrounded by really tame herons on the lookout for snacks. We have ordered the garlic fries - basically chips covered in huge amounts of crushed garlic. Just the thing when you’re about to spend the next hour in a mask breathing in the fumes.

I met a man on the beach who said Lyft paid the government a huge bung to cancel the bus, so determine to make it back to Waikiki by public transport. Google Maps says the nearest bus stop is in a mall just over a mile away. Google Maps neglects to mention that this means walking down a freeway with no pedestrian provision. In addition, daughter no 1 has suffered a wardrobe malfunction so I have to lend her my shorts. So I basically spend 30 minutes walking along the motorway in my (bikini) pants.

We reach the mall without being run over or sectioned and stop at Leonards bakery truck for doughnuts, because Lonely Planet says we should. I have to admit, Lonely Planet has a point. I get a Li Hing coated one (Chinese plum dried in a combination of sugar, salt and spices) - it’s so fresh it’s still hot and tastes amazing, even if it’s eaten at a bus stop on the freeway in the rain.

We catch the two buses necessary to return to Waikiki. Back at the hotel, the balcony is empty of bagel but covered in poo and lined with birds waiting for supper to be served. I may be becoming the mad bird lady of Waikiki. We spend the remainder of the evening planning tomorrow’s trip – we are going to be adventurous and hire a car and drive round the island.


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