And now for the last leg of our adventure! We had decided that since we were flying through Hawaii on the way home then we should make the most of it and spend a few days in the tropics before heading home to face our kiwi winter. It has been a pretty hectic schedule thus far and the six days here would be a chance to do not very much.
The Sunday flight was uneventful and we arrived early afternoon to a lovely (if not windy) sunny and warm tropical day. It is a half hour taxi ride to Waikiki and the Ilikai Tower apartment where we are based aat the northern end of Waikiki. We have a stunning view from the apartment 12 floors up and looking out to the sea with the lagoon and swimming pools in the foreground. The girls head down to the pool for a swim and Clare and Nige go for a wander along Waikiki. We were here 28 years ago and it was nice to refresh our memories. The Hilton across from us has an evening luau on it's roof top so we enjoy the music and dancing from our balcony. Nige and Clare have found a supermarket so it's pizza and salad for dinner. We discover that a gigantic supermarket pizza with all the toppings is not much more expensive than a loaf of bread - no wonder Americans eat out a lot - basic food items such as bread, jams, peanut butter, cereals, etc seem very expensive to us. Pineapples here in Waikiki though are very cheap and delicious.
Monday we just hung out around Waikiki swimming and lazing - we could get used to this. Clare and Nige check out Alamoana Shopping mall down the road and decide Amani, Gucci, Prada, and the likes are not really our cup of tea (!!) and instead rummage around in one of the 60 local ABC tourist corner shops looking for a tee shirt or two.
Tueday we decide to hire a car and explore a bit of Ohau. We cross the island to Kailua Bay and then hug the coast heading north to Waimea Bay, Sunset Bay etc. The beaches are beautiful up here and having had a couple of tips from the Hewitts who we just missed we went looking for a bay where the green ocean turtles come ashore. After a bit of instruction from the locals we find the bay and really enjoy this unique spot. There are lots of turtles bobbing in the sea and while we are there we watch one big old fella swim to the shore and struggle up the beach just to lie in the sun. Apparently this is the only place in the world where they do this just to bask. They breed several hundred miles away but return to this beach each year. Each turlte has it's own home beach. We return to Waikiki via the outlet mall and chill out for the evening.
Wednesday we catch a tour van to Hanaumu Bay to enjoy some snorkling at the Marine Reserve. It is a beautiful hot and sunny day. We find the only remaining shady patch on the beach, don our fins and masks, and snorkle around the bay. The colourful fish life is amazing - so many varieties. The girls even spot a couple of Moray eels. It is a popular spot with more than a million visitors a year but we don't find it too busy today. More swims in pool this afternoon.
Thursday we don't have anything planned and the girls head down to the mall to do some final shopping. They spend up large in Bath and Body Works - a kind of Body Shop on steriods! Again we spend some time swimming in the hotel pool and dinner is takeaways from Charlies Grilled Subs. We eat them out on our balcony in front of a spectacular fireworks display which is held every week in the lagoon. We finish our holiday in spectacular fashion!