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Published: August 9th 2007
Crowds at Waikiki
Too close and personal for us!
As we had packed our bags before dinner last night we didn't have much to do before leaving this morning so we decided to go for a walk. We walked down the road toward the water and found a beautiful bay surrounded by trees with a fantastic view over the port of Hilo.
After dropping our hire car off we were driven to the aiport where we reported our damaged phone and broken bottle of Scotch. Of course we were told that the fine print said we were supposed to do this within 4 hours but a report was duly completed and we handed over our dead phone as evidence. (removing our sim card in the hope we'll be able to purchase a phone elsewhere.)
An uneventful flight found us once again in the huge Honolulu airport where we found our way to the bus stop and after a scenic trip past the piers and through Honolulu we arrived in Waikiki.
With a little help from a map we alighted and a short walk later we were at our hotel, the Waikiki Sand Villa Hotel. As our room wasn't ready we left our bags and proceeded
The Diamond Head climb
Judy lagged behind on the climb to Diamond Head
to explore Waikiki and find some food. After eating (at Burger King as we didn't find many food places) we found the beach. This was jam packed with lobsters broiling in the midday sun, it's saving grace was that there were some trees and indeed we found some shade and sat down to do some people watching. This was very interesting with Rags taking out his camera in the hope of getting some informal people shots.
Once we'd checked into our room on the 11th floor with lovely inland views we decided we should get to Diamond Head this afternoon as time here was limited. A short bus ride later we were ready to begin the hike. A jogger we saw earlier entered before us and the chap at the gate told us the jogger did this track twice a day. Well if that wasn't throwing down a challenge! We walked quickly to catch up to him and keep pace but he had a good head start on us. About half way up Rags caught up but Judy lagged about 30 meters behind. Rags kept pace and they yarned as they climbed and then the track became steeper Judy
Views of Waikiki from Diamond Head
The sun was in the wrong position but it does give some idea of the high rise in Waikiki!
lost sight of them for a while.The jogger was aged 72, and talked of an 84yo who also does the run. Rags, ever keen for a challenge, jogged ahead as they neared the top of this crater. The views from the top were stupendous, looking both north, south and inland.
Getting closer to the main road we saw a bus at the stop but were too far away and missed it. This meant a long wait for a bus but this was made more interesting when we struck up a conversation with a Scottish chap from Edinburgh, named Alistair who gave us a few tips for visiting Scotland.
Determined to make the most use of the hotel facilities we enjoyed a beer before sampling the pool and hot tub mmm, invigorating! Another change of clothes and we were heading out into the balmy Waikiki evening. The atmosphere was great with people everywhere and street artists entertaining them. There was a dearth of restaurants one would expect for a place like this. Instead on every street corner were ABC stores which sold everything from food, liquor, souvenirs to pharmacy lines. There are 83 in Waikiki someone later told us!
Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour
A trip here is a must for every visitor to Waikiki.
By the time we'd done a circuit of Waikiki, passing famous stores like Prada and Tiffany's it was late and we'd lost interest in food so we bought some Japanese takeaway food which we ate back at our hotel on the balcony overlooking the city lights.
We were awoken by an early wake up call at 5.30 so we could be ready for our tour to Pearl Harbour. The early 6.15 pickup was so that we would be near the front of the line when the gates opened at 7.30. We were group 4 of 150 people and by the time we enered the gate the line had tripled in length! Only 22 groups were allowed in every day as there was a 15 minute gap between each one. Today was expected to sell out early! The organisation was superb, with each lot moving from one point to the next in clockwork precision. After a moving film introduction we were taken by boat to a memorial set above the remains of the USS Arizona where 1177 crewman lost their lives on December 7, 1941 when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbour. Next we were taken to the USS
Missouri is the final battleship to be built by the US and is notable for being the site of the surrender of the Empire of Japan at the end of World War II.
Missouri. The USS Missouri is the ship on which the Japanese signed their surrender of WW2.
Judy expressed a desire to go snorkelling at Hanauma Bay Nature Park. This bay, a sunken volcanic crater, has been a nature reserve for many years. We purchased a mask & snorkel in town before we left and Judy had the first dive whilst Rags looked after the bags. She finally came our with a huge grin on her face and Rags then went in to see why. Even though the coral and general fish life is nowhere near as prolific and colourful as what we have experienced at Ningaloo or the Barrier Reef at home, because the area has been protected for so long the fish and green sea turtles were extremely tame, totally ignoring the swimmers and just continued with their feeding off the rocks.
The fresh air and exercise had given us a appetite so dinner was at a smorgasborg diner which was recommended by a NSW couple we met at the door. The food was filling but nothing to be too excited about.
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