Trying to escape the tourists on Hawaii

Tuesday, May 10 was literally the longest day of my life: I boarded a plane in Auckland that evening, and landed in Honolulu in the morning – of the same day! Crossing the pacific I gained 22 hours and went from being at the very beginning of the global day to living way at the end.

When I exited the terminal I was greeted by sunshine and a pleasant breeze. I took the bus to Waikiki without a concrete plan or even an idea of what I had to expect.


Waikiki beach in the evening

Wandering around the jungle of skyscrapers and along the crowded beach I realized pretty quickly that this was not the place for me. Everything was trying just a little too hard to be glamorous and extravagant, the people in the streets were mainly young couples or wealthy families on their luxury all-inclusive trip from the mainland. Or homeless people. In none of the other countries on my trip I had seen such an obvious wealth gap, so many poor people relative to the average population; I was shocked!

Wakiki beach after sunset

Waikiki from Diamond Head

I made up my mind and spent most of my time on Oahu hiking and busing around the island. The buses were affordable and connected all the places, and the landscape was simply gorgeous, and surprisingly untouched – sometimes even deserted, once out of the city! I found a nice cliff right on the rough sea shore, and stayed there for two days, exploring the peninsula.

Rocky shore

Sunrise on Oahu

Eventually I rejoined the tourist trail and went on a tour at Kualoa Ranch; through the valley where parts of “Jurassic Park” and many other movies were shot. It was not as entertaining as advertised (go figure!) but interesting to watch the other (excited) participants.

Kualoa Valley

Being tourist at the "Jurassic Park Tree"

Also I spent the better part of my last day on Oahu at Pearl Harbor, which was much more memorable and substantial, although just as crowded.

On USS Missouri

USS Arizona Memorial

When it was time, I was not at all sad to leave Hawaii, but eager to get to the mainland where I would finally meet my uncle (and later my aunt), and where many more adventures were waiting…

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