Aloha from Waikiki!
We arrived safely in Honolulu on Friday after a pretty cruisy 9.5 hour flight and we spent the first couple of days getting our bearings and checking out Waikiki. The weather has been very kind to us, sunny and about 26-28C every day with a few brief patches of rain at night. We have been for a swim at Waikiki Beach which was very crowded and very flat and shallow, like a big sandy pool, and we found out today that its actually a manmade beach made with sand shipped over from Australia! It's really rocky on the bottom as you walk out further from lava rock, a reminder that the whole island used to be part of one big volcano. The water is beautiful and so clear however most people just spend hours baking in the sun and not many swim...seems to be the American way, everyone is so tanned!
The NFL Pro Bowl was on in Hawaii this weekend, we didn't manage to score tickets (very exxy) but we did check out the block party they had on Saturday night. They closed down the main street of Waikiki and had a big street party with auctions, player interviews, lots and lots of food, live music and cheerleaders - there were people everywhere!
We've also been to the outlet stores a bit further out of town in Wakele as they have a really good bus system here and it's so easy to get around - it was a bit disappointing, not as good or as cheap as we thought they'd be, but I did buy a jumper from Calvin Klein so wasn't a complete waste.
Today was our big tour day where we took a private tour around the whole island with a tour guide which was pretty awesome. We went to the North Shore part of Oahu first which, at this time of year, is where all the big surf is and it certainly didn't disappoint! The waves were incredible, some 30ft plus, sometimes breaking like thunder really close to the shore. We checked out most of the beaches on the North Shore and spent an hour or so at Banzai Pipeline which is where they do the Pipeline surfing comps and we saw some of the pro surfers out there surfing which was really cool. We also got to check out a "secret" local beach which we pretty much had to ourselves and found some cool Banyan trees on the hike in. For lunch we had shrimp plates from the famous Giovanni's shrimp truck and managed to score a few spots of us on a TV show signing the truck and eating our shrimp which was very delicious and very messy! Another great stop was Lanikai Beach (the beach in the photo) which is apparently rated the 3rd most beautiful beach in the world and where Obama goes on holiday and we could certainly see why. The water was gorgeous and clear, the sand was like powder and the setting was just idyllic. It was also way less crowded than Waikiki Beach and lots of people were kayaking out to some smaller islands off shore which looked like a lot of fun. We also stopped at Pali lookout on the way home which gave a gorgeous view of the eastern side of the island and the coastline and learnt about some Hawaiian history.
Over the 2.5 days we have left here we'll check out Pearl Harbour, do a couple of the good local hiking trails (Diamond Head Crater and Makapu'u Point Lighthouse) and maybe go back to one of the spots we really liked from our tour, Lanikai Beach, and hopefully do some kayaking out to the smaller islands offshore or maybe some parasailing or stand up paddle boarding.
We've had fun with our new camera today and will post up some photos later today or tomorrow so keep a look out for those!
Love to everyone
Caitlin and Tim x