The last two days can be summed up together, as we road tripped the island, not in a mustang convertible as some do, but in an “upgraded” ford focus that sounded kinda like a weak failing turbo engine that couldn’t. That’s ok, it was trusty, and not touristy. We did lots of lens switching on the camera and practiced our new photography techniques which are starting to stick.
We started day one by driving up to the North Shore first, stopping on the way at the Dole Pineapple Plantation (nothing too special here except the largest maze in the world which we didn’t want to pay to go through). The little town of Haleiwa was cute, with little shops of surfing, swim suits, nick-nacks and lots of food choices, although many things were closed at 10 AM on a Tuesday. The bakery we found tucked in a corner of the food store parking lot has superb cinnamon buns and tasty fruit smoothies. We stopped at the closest break to the town and watched the surfers ride for a while. The waves were about 5-6 feet high and there was some talent there to watch.
Unfortunately, we missed Wailea Falls. We didn’t see any signs and forgot to watch for it until we were way past the general location. We gawked at the real estate the rest of the way around the North Shore, and stopped for photo ops when available.
In the Valley of Temples, we found the Japanese Byodo-In Temple and stopped there for a wander, after breaking down for a snack at McDonalds, and before heading back to Waikiki area to snag a hard-to-find parking spot.
This morning we considered going snorkeling at Hanauma Bay (a nature reserve) but figured it would be rather busy (although it wasn’t too bad early in the morning) and opted to only stop for photos, before continuing on. The windward coast (east side) was short, hilly, and windy, but offered more stops for photos that the drive up to the North Shore. The weather was overcast, cool and windy. There wasn’t anywhere to watch surfing, except a brief stop at the top of Diamond Head road. Also a good location for real estate creeping.
Kailua (the town) was a bit disappointing, with not much to see, so we stopped for a warm starbucks and a snack there before finishing up the jourey back in Waikiki. After turning in the rental car just after noon, we made three walking trips into the centre of the action today; the first was a couple hours spent at the beach, browning and debating the waves and their worth for a ride. The second time the surfboards were hauled out for the 5 block jaunt before dinner. The third time was for a last ditch shopping trip for surf leashed and T-shirts.
Tomorrow, we fly to Maui!!!