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Published: September 14th 2007
Lots and lots and lots of people...but it was still nice
I guess transiting isn't so bad when you get to spend a whole day at Waikiki beach, as I did on my recent trip to the Marshall Islands. I arrived very very early in the morning and discovered that Honolulu airport isn't the most user friendly as far as finding the nearest bus stop into town goes. After a little wandering around dazed and confused because of lack of sleep and rude awakening, I decided that maybe a hotel close to the airport would be a good option, to settle down, have a quick nap and then head into town for some exploring.
I managed to find a listing of hotels and a phone, which was actually free if you were calling hotels. I chose the imaginatively named "Honolulu Airport Hotel" because I vaguely remembered someone recommending it to me as very close and not outrageously expensive. Still it was 100 USD a night, so it was just as well that this trip was funded by work because if I was on my own cash I would have been looking for somewhere a bit cheaper. As with most of the hotels close to the airport, they had a pick up
service, so after a little searching for the right stop and a 10 minute wait I was on the little shuttle to the hotel. The journey took about 3 minutes, so when they said the hotel was nearby they were not kidding! The hotel itself was nothing exciting, pretty standard, but comfortable, stuff. They were even nice enough to let me into my room at 9 am even though check-in is usually from 11 onwards. Thank God for that because by this stage I was very very tired and dying to be horizontal and fast asleep.
I had a lovely nap on my double bed and woke up around 12.30 feeling much much better and ready to go exploring. I found out where the nearest bus stop was from the front desk and set off down the huge, typically American, road to find it. No problems there and a bus even turned up just as I was arriving at the bus stop. A miracle. It was a good 30 minute drive into town but it only cost me 2 bucks. Bargain.
I really did not know what to expect from the town centre. For some reason it had
not dawned on me that Honolulu was a famous tourist destination, or even that Waikiki beach was a big surf spot. D'oh! I was really shocked by the number of hotels and shops. And when I got to the beach, well, it was spectacular. Because of its beauty on the one hand, with the sun glinting off every wave and dazzling me but also its size and the sheer number of people on the beach. It was packed. But somehow that didn't ruin the effect. I really liked it and it was perfect for people watching. So after a brief wander round some of the shops, I settled down for some serious observation of the beach lifestyle.
Finding a bite to eat was easy and of course, ice cream was also on the menu. After a while I got up and went for a long walk, almost from one end of the beach to the other, which was a long way. But it was so pleasant in the sun, with a nice breeze keeping me cool. I also came across a beach volleyball game and stopped to watch. The girls playing were seriously fit. After a whole lot of
aimless wandering and a lot of lazying around, it was time to get back to the hotel, pick up my stuff and head back to the airport. It had been a nice day at the beach - if only I had come prepared to go for a surf - it would have been so easy to hire a long board. Definitely an opportunity missed. Oh well, there is always next time.
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