130831 Surfing and Airport

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130831 Saturday

130831 Saturday and last day
Time for the last activities in Honolulu. I woke up at six so I have already taken a walk at the beach and parks and are waiting for breakfast. Then I will finish packing so we can go when my family pick me up at eleven. Hopefully for a surfing activity at Waikiki.
At 7 a´clock this woman is already heading for the waves.
My family arrived at appointed time and we were allowed to park the car at the Hostel. We put my stuff in the car and left for Waikiki beach. We waited a while for a friend to my granddaughter as they thought they needed instructions and he knew how to surf. To bad I´m already set for departure so I did not try the surfboards. Did not want to be in the plane with salt on me. But, I finally got to see them surfing. Well, at least trying to.The waves was much lower now then it was in the morning. A pirate ship was also in the area.
After surfing we went to an ice cream store to cool off a little. And then we headed for the market to try to find the dress I liked the first day. And we did so I bought one. 

Then we picked up the car and went to the house. And as usual everyone is busy but me.

Before it was time for the airport we grabbed a pizza at Pizza hut. Had to eat something as food was not served on the plane. And the plane was going straight to Chicago. They drove me to the Airport and with passport and "ticket" in hand we said good-bye for now. And I went into the building.

At midday the sun are right up and don´t cast that much shadows. Only the lifted board cast a shadow. 

And this is the end of Honolulu trip report.
Thanks everyone that have enjoyed the trip with me.
And, as usual, now the trouble begins.
The first thing that happened was that the luggage had to be scanned for plants and animals. That turned out ok and my luggage got a yellow tag on it.

Then I went to the line for check in. I was assigned a station and headed for it. But when I was closing in the person staying there was leaving. Eh.... and did not come back. What the f....  Looking around the station I located a computer. Seemed like I was about to have to do it on my own. I did not like that. I was going two planes and having the luggage. I did not want to take any chances of getting it wrong.  Or be without a seat. So, I stayed put until somebody came and did it for me. And....she could not appoint any seats for me due to software problems. :(  So, I had to go in to the gate without having seats in any of the planes.
In the gate I finished the pizza I had brought with me and then I lined up at the empty desk to see if I could get the seats. Somebody came after a while and started to work at a computer but did not care about us people waiting. Then another one came and we could start talking to him. It turned out the first one was fixing the in-checking for all of us that was not finished. So at the time we were to board the plane I got my tickets and the note for my luggage. Turned out they gave me a seat in the middle of both planes so I could not move around as I usually do. First plane was  night time flight so it was dark most of the time. Landed in Chicago at 8.30 and spent 8 boring hours there. Next flight was also mostly dark and we landed in Arlanda at 8 o'clock Monday morning September the 2:nd.
Then I had to find bus and train to get home. With an open suitcase as it turned out they opened and destroyed it in Honolulu. Leaving notes they had checked it for security reasons, again!,  but did not take responsibility for it. What can I say, bastards! My lock would have been easy for them to destroy. But they had to destroy the suitcase. Bad ending of a great trip. The same thing happened to me when I was on Big Island 10 years ago. Hawaii don´t seem to think I shall leave!


130830 Honolulu ZOO

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130830 Friday

130830 Friday and Honolulu ZOO


Today I woke up early and took a morning walk. Then I got back to the Hostel and slept again until breakfast.  Later on I met with my family to spend the day at Honolulu Zoo. This is a place we have dismissed as being a small zoo for kids but then I looked it up on their homepage and it turned out to be much bigger then we expected so we thought we go there. I have been passing by the ZOO every day but never realized how big it is.
There were gardens, mammals, birds, turtles and lizards and lots more. The layout of the zoo was very good and I was surprisingly pleased. The areas for the different might not be that big but it was well planned. And now I have finally seen the Hawaii goose. The Nene! The Zoo also have animals from different parts of the world and programs for education, environments and research! It was lots of fun walking around looking at everything. But I think my grandchildren mostly run all over the place despite their adult age. And, me, well camera in hand I was a bit more slow. It was fun. It took 4h before we thought we had enough and then we realized they were about to close for the day anyway, so we hardly had time to look in the souvenir shop. A fun thing happened in the shop. The lady working in it thought we were 2 generations instead of three. :) That´s nice, isn´t it?

Then the others took off as they had some shopping to do and I went to the beach for a last evening swim. And watching the last sunset and fireworks.

There are now new people in the room and I have to start checking all my stuff as this will be my last night here. I uploaded todays shots and started packing. This was quite a great goodbye sunset. :)

130829 North shore and La´ie Point

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130829 Thursday

Today I have to put all my stuff on the balcony as they are going to check the room out and clean it from top to bottom. Everyone has moved out except me as I don´t want to change room. I´m checking out on Saturday to go back home. It there are bugs in my suitcase they will not disappear because I change rooms. So far I have not seen any. It was also a great time to throw away all the stuff people "forgotten" or did not bather to throw away when they left. Like old milk.
After breakfast I took the bus to the house. And after a while we left to go north on the windward side.. One of the girls skipped homework and games to come along with us.
We went straight to La´ie Point, the place where "the angry ocean smashed a hole in the rock". It was hot as usual and the lava was the kind that was sharp and hard to move around in. That particular lava seem to be everywhere on the island. I think it is called A´a lava. My daughter got a  cut but not that big. It was fun to move around in the area and to try not to get cut. I wanted to take a lot of shots but it was hard to do that. The hole in the rock was a bit out on the water and it was not windy enough to be truly spectacular. But everybody seemed to like the sharp lava and the salty sprays from the water.

Done with the  La´ie Point we left for our next stop. Waimea Bay Beach Park. A beach for swimming. Another very hot and popular beach with fine sand. And rocky cliffs. Waimea Bay Beach Park seen from the bridge, below.

Leaving this place we headed for the Turtle Bay. We visited the place last time but everybody wanted to go there again.

After that it was time for Shaved Ice place and then Dole Plantation on our way south again. And then I was full so when we reached the house I took the next bus to Waikiki instead of staying for dinner.
I am alone in the room tonight but had to fix everything back into place. And to get new bedsheets.
Had a Subway at the beach again.

Our World Tuesday   Travel Photo Monday


130828 Lanikai Beach and Starry Night

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130828 Wednesday
Went to the beach before breakfast as usual. There was a fisherman on the pier and quite a lot of fish. Today I was not about to meet with family until after lunch. Took a walk long the shore and in the parks. And then I had a cup of coffee and something to eat before family picked me up.
 We had some plans for surfing but as they were late we skipped that.

We headed north on the windward side looking for Halona Blowhole. (on wiki). We found it but as not lucky enough to see much.  It needed high tide and a windy day to really "show off". And this day wasn´t any of that. We only saw a little spray. The little beach to the right is Halona Beach Cove famous for a lovescene between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in the movie, From Here to Eternity (1953).  Se image below.

Halona Beach Cove
 Realizing it would not be more excitement on the location we continued to Lanikai Beach. One of the most beautiful beaches in the world it is said. Or was as I read somewhere. And beautiful it is even if I´ve seen beter ones, and hot!  The sand was nice but you had to run quickly to the water not to get burned. There was a little corals here and there but not too much. It was rather easy to swim. As it was too hot for tanning I walked along the beach trying to capture nice waves. That´s quite fun. The sand was wonderful and looked great on my daughters feet.

Done with the beach we got to Kailua,  a nearby town, and had some shaved ice and then dinner while the world was darkening.
There was one more thing to do on our list and we needed a dark clear sky for that. Stargazing! Away from any municipality there should be great opportunities to see the stars. But there was clouds coming and going so it was not that good.

Back at the hostel around 9 PM there was some newcomers but I have my routine now. Shower, uploading images and drinking coffee and a little whisky and writing and sleeping. And talking, if somebody is talkative.

Travel Photo Thursday     Skywatch Friday


130827 Dolphin Tour

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130827 Wednesday

130827 Tuesday
Dolphin day! I woke up as planed and went to the meeting place at 5.50, My granddaughter just came around the corner worried I overslept. Impossible to oversleep a day like this. :) We were the only ones picked up at this location And the last ones so the bus headed to the Leeward coast. Most of the others was Japanese so my granddaughter was pleased. She could practice the language. Great opportunity as she will soon move to Japan.
At seven we were at the location, close to where we were yesterday, and ready to embark the boat that will take us out. We were welcomed by the staff of Dolphin and You as the boat headed out. To begin with we had a small ceremony where everyone was given a flower that we throw out to the water for good luck.  Those of us that did not have the equipment for snorkeling was given one from the staff. With instructions if needed. And we did. But I soon found out I remembered how to do it since I was in Kenya.

The boat was slowly moving around to try to locate the dolphins and it did not take long. Around 8 o´clock we were in the water. Lol, a bit tricky to get into the water with those BIG FEET! But  I manage and the breathing was OK too. And waterproof camera tied to the wrist. Ready to find some dolphins. And I did despite the fact I was not used to snorkeling I got shots of both dolphins and family. Happy me! Soo much fun! I was not able to come close to the dolphins as I could not go deeper into the water. But I am pleased with the experience. I think I saw at least 15-20 of them.

After about 30 min we went up on the boat again to change location. We headed slowly up north a bit to a coral reef and to dive for corals, fish and turtles. And with my granddaughter at the steering wheel. :) o, almost forgot, we spotted some flying fish during the ride too. Shimmering during the flight.
The next dive was as fun as the dolphins but more to look at. Some Green Turtles swimming or lying on the ocean floor. Colorful fish, corals and people. And of course my cameras battery run out. But luckily that was at the end of the dive. My granddaughter also takes shots with her cellphone  camera. She was given a waterproof casing for it as a gift from her brother. The camera with casing worked quite well.

Finished diving and up on the boat again I noted somebody trying out the paddle board. I think that is what it is called. So I asked if I could try it too. And I could. And I managed to stand up for a moment without falling into the water. And my grandson tried it too.
On the way back we were given breakfast and purple bread! I don´t remember what gave the bread that color. But it was rather good. But strange. And we were entertained. The staff guys danced hula hula and played music for us. Not too serious though but having fun with it.

 That´s me trying to master the paddleboard.
Back on land we were given a first lesson in Hula dancing and a brief history lesson. Dressed in beautiful hula clothing. And then it was time to go back to Honolulu. I was at the Hostel around one and went to sleep for two hours. That was great as I realised the diving had taken it´s toll, I was tired.

When I woke up I went out and checked out the shops. No more swimming today. I found myself a blue dress that I liked. And a pair of cotton shorts with palms on them. The first dress I bought for several decades. I never use it. But this one I might.
Then I went down for a short swim after all. And watching a beautiful sunset. Having my "dinner" sitting at the beach I was surprised by a short firework starting at the Hilton. They don´t have it on Tuesdays so it must have been some special reason.
 Now we are only three people in the room. Me and the "cooking" couple. I took a shower and uploaded all images. And wrote a little. Then hit the sack!

This day will be hard to beat. Almost perfect. :)


130826 Oahu Leeward coast

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130826

130826 Monday
I spent the morning, before breakfast, trying to catch some White Terns "on film". They are quite fast so it is not easy. I think there was 6 birds souring the sky. After that show a Great Fregatebird arrived on the scene. Cant be easy to be a Fregatebird. It was harassed by parrots in the same way our raptors are by gulls.
White Tern to the right. Fregatebird below.
Leeward side were on the agenda today. So after breakfast I took the bus to the house. We were late as usual. We did not get on our way until time was past one.
I´m a little disappointed on Oahu for it's highways everywhere. Only urban areas and highways. How fun is that? Not much left of the island's original appearance. Johanna drove us to a small lagoon where we took a swim and walked around a bit. It was beautiful of course even if the lagoon seemed to be artificial. It was too hot for tanning. After swimming I walked around the cliffs. It was volcanic of course and quite interesting to watch. I chatted with a few people from Vietnam too. It turned out to be 4 Lagoons at Ko Olina. We were at no 4, Ulua. I think that if I go to Oahu again I might stay at that place.
On the way back to the main road we slowed down so I could take pictures of some black swans at a small waterfall. Park version of course, but that´s OK. 

 We stopped at a place by the shore and took some photos of nice green algae. There were a lot of people fishing so there was no reason to stay. Next stop was a boiling hot beach, Makaha Beach Park,  and I stayed in the shade of some bushes. And fell asleep to my families amusement. But it was nice . Then we were looking for an ancient temple that should be in the neighborhood. But the road was closed so we could not get there. So we made a stop for an early dinner instead. My family seem to be hungry at all times. And then back to Honolulu and the house. A bus was going down to Waikiki just a few minutes after we arrived so I took it. No need to drive me then.  But I missed the sunset as I was on the bus.
Leeward side was very dry and orange-brown in color. Big difference from what we've seen before. But beautiful in its own way . " Dinner" at the beach o late shower and sleep .

Dolphin tour will be tomorrow as the organizers changed our tour. We will be picked up at the Marriott at 5:45.

Ulua on Oahu
Sky Watch Friday     Travel Photo Thursday 


130825 Hanauma Bay

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130825  Sunday

130825 Hanauma Bay
Woke up early, the newly wed couple (Danish/Portuguese) and others still sleeping so I left on tiptoe. Went to the beach and to my surprise a lot of actions going on. The last of Dukes festival I assume. Back at the Hostel one guy is cooking, and cooking a whole lot of food. For breakfast? On that poor piece of machinery called a stove? Amazing! He too has a girlfriend staying here. Her heritage seem to be some of the natives of America.

Waikiki Beach

Today we are going to Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve. Acc to my granddaughter I have to join the group on bus 22. Same as yesterday it turned out but not that much people. I found them straight away. This is the remains of a crater and there was lots of coral reeves in there. A bit difficult to take a swim as you were not allowed to touch the corals. We had to attend a lecture before we were allowed to go down to the beach. It was interesting. And it was hot. So swimming was necessary. Tried to take some pics but it did not work really. I was a bit disappointed of the beach. The corals was not the colorful ones and not much fish. The place was very nice from the rim though. But I´m glad they take care of it. As a photographer I was most pleased of a woman taking a shower. 
I was given a towel for the beach. Very beautiful and to my surprise the sand don´t get caught in it. 

At five we took the bus back to Waikiki where we had dinner in a restaurant and then watched the setting sun before the gang headed back to the house. I stayed for a while listening to the music. 

Hanauma Bay to teh left.
Waikiki to the right

130824 Hiking Koko Head Point and dolphins

Honolulu 130811-130902
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© NF Photos 130824 Saturday

I was asked if I wanted to join the gang at Ala Moana again. New girl needed shopping and my grandson and one of the girls wanted to dig into new computer games. As everyone knows by now that is not my idea of spending a day in a short visit in Honolulu.

I decided to hike to Koko head Point instead, trying to find the Spitting Cave. Bus 22 and a walk for 1.6km sounded like a great thing so I got started. The bus was crowded with people going to Koko Head Beach for swimming so the lady driver was a bit confused when I said I wanted to go off earlier. But she was nice and noted me when I was due. The bus did not take the closest way of course so I, kind off, got a sightseeing too.  I was going out there, to the far point of land.

The walk went well through Portlock's nice residential neighborhood . I ended up in their beach area, Koko Kai Mini Beach Park. I did not find Spitting Cave that I was looking for.  I did not go far enough I think as the edge of the rocks were slippery from seawater. The cliffs was very beautiful and wild also. Spent a few hours there and found a wader and a few Ruddy Turnstones. I also met some Swedish girls that joined a group of American guys. There were quite a few people swimming and surfing on the rocks.

Then I walked back. I was pretty tired when I came back to the Hostel, so I took a nap but was woken by the phone. Johanna and the gang was coming to pick me up to see a dolphins show. It would be a free of charge show it
was said, but when we got there it was already over. Nothing to do about that but  we could at least walk around and watch the dolphins, turtles and rays that was in the hotels garden.But then we had to sit down and order something to eat or drink for $ 25 instead of paying $ 35 for parking . As all girls except one was there there were two cars. So it took some time before we could take the cars out of the garage and get going. How about that, dolphins right outside your window. Must be an expensive room.

Anyway , I came home to the Hostel eventually. The room was nearly full , among others there was  of a newlywed couple from Denmark who slept in the same bed. The man told me they got married the same day and wanted to go to North Shore the next day. How on earth can you spend your first night as a married couple in a Hostel? With lots of other people? I don´t get it!

Here is a video of The Spitting Cave of Portlock from haolejuice

Travel Photo Thursday      Sky Watch Friday