Finally, Aloha from Hawaii!
I’m backtracking a bit but here is a breakdown of my first part of Hawaii!
After an 11 hr layover in Auckland, where I hung out with my buddy James (who taught me frisbee, in which I’m terrible at but LOVE!), I set off for Hawaii. Now, I realized shortly before I departed Fiji that I mixed up my flights going from Oah’u to The Big Island, Hawai’i. This is all due to a time difference mix up but ANYHOO… with no place to stay in Hawaii organized (I had no Wifi for my last 4 days of Fiji) I set off in blind faith that everything would work out.
The flight over was very comfortable and I flew with Hawaiian Airlines, their customer service was amazing and the journey took about 8.5 hrs. Once I landed and got my bag, I tried to figure out what my next step would be. With no Wifi, or direction I found out where a public bus could take me to Waikiki (the only place I knew in Oah’u). I hopped on the bus (exact change only, $2.50) and asked the bus driver if he could drop me someplace near a hostel. After staring at me like I had 10 heads, he gave a quick nod and told me to sit down.
After an hour, he pulled over and gave me a general gist of where I was to go. I circled the place for a while and found out that an average enough hotel was about $150 a night. Yikes! It was here that I spotted someone across the road unlocking a gate. I walked over and asked if it was a hostel by any chance and begod it was! Steven, my kind stranger, brought me upstairs to the lounge area, hooked me up with WiFi and helped me look up different places. As it turned out, everywhere online was booked up. The reception in this particular hostel was going to be closed for another 3 hrs (they were booked up as well but I was going to chance begging) so I threw my bags into Stevens and we headed off for some lunch.
We found a great vegetarian place close by called Ruffage Natural Foods and chilled out there for a while. This place was delicious and a real find. Throughout my time in Waikiki this was always a go to for breakfast, lunch and dinner. After devouring our food, we set off for Hostelling International Waikiki. Where I met a cranky worker. Who I begged to let me stay. Who eventually squeezed me in and gave me a key. With strict instructions not to drink on site. Hmm.
So after sourcing an AT&T store, sorting out a sim card and taking a nap I was ready to see the city. Myself, Steven and my roomie Javiera made shapes to hit the Waikiki strip. After being on islands for the last 2 months pretty much, this was a bit of a shock to the system. It was just so clean and big and shiny, it’s the only way I can describe it! There were huge malls, hotels and people everywhere. The retail stores stayed open until late and restaurants and coffee places are dotted along. It’s for sure a very active spot! We ended up in a bar called Mooses McGillycuddy’s where drinks were flowing for a dollar. This was the beginning of the end… but that’s a whole different story!
Fast forward to the next day… I wake up at the 7am, talk to the family for a while, go for a walk, get breakfast at Ruffage and go back to the hostel for a half an hour nap before I check out at the strict time of 10am. At 12:30pm I wake up to Steven ringing my phone, I flash pack my bags and run out of the place just about managing to check out. Once on the bus (1:15pm, cutting things very tight), I double check to see that my flight is actually at 3pm and that I haven’t made it up in my head. As it turns out, I had made it up in my head and my flight to the Big Island was at 2. Balls. I ring Steven who let me know that I can change inter-island flight details for $30 as long as it’s before my departure time. With 5 mins to spare I booked myself on to the next available flight (8pm), phew!
I chilled at the airport for the next couple of hours and wondered what I’d do when I got to my next destination. I had no car organised or accommodation and was feeling a little worse for wear. My couch surfing requests where being declined and hostels were hard to get to with out some wheels. Again, I left things to blind faith and hopped on the 45 minute flight to Hawai’i, fell asleep and didn’t wake up until my ears popped in Kona.
Once landing in Kona, I turned on my phone to find that a CS host had pulled through and said I could stay a couple of days, brilliant! Also, another CS host who was unavailable to take me in organised a rental for me for the week (all inclusive $300 through Alamo) and I didn’t have to lay out a $600 deposit! So I picked out my little Nissan Note 2016 and sat in. At this point I remembered that the yanks drive on the opposite side of the road and it was an automatic. Shite. Once again, I rang Steven who talked me through take off and away I was! It’s just like driving a go-kart 🙂
It took about 30 minutes to get to Mike’s house where he warmly welcomed me in and showed me how to turn off the car (safety procedures apparently!) After sitting and chatting for a while we left for bed.
Hawaii has been on my bucket list since I was 13 years old and was meant to be the highlight of my trip. Yet, for one reason or another it’s the one place I didn’t have anything organised at all. This all added to the whole adventure though and I wouldn’t have changed a thing. It was a lesson learned that as long as you don’t panic (and pardon if this comes out a little hippy) and really believe that everything will work out, even if odds are against you, they will!
Next post is coming really soon, catching up on everything now! 🙂