Aloha from Hawaii! I left Hollywood and got my stuff together for my flight to Hawaii, the flight was easy enough and I actually made it to the hostel without getting lost which is a first of this trip - good times! By the time I had got myself settled in it was about half 4 and a couple of the guys in my dorm were going for a few drinks and invited me along. I wanted to spend a quick hour at the beach first (as I hadn't really seen it yet) and got myself down to Waikiki Beach which was only two blocks away. The beach was beautiful, in all of the adverts for Hawaii they say that it is paradise and they are not far off whatsoever. I met up with the guys from the hostel in the bar that Rachel, one of the girls in the dorm, worked in and met some pretty cool people who are in the process or are currently living the dream and living in Hawaii. I stayed there for most of the night and had a few drinks and a bite to eat before heading to the beach for a couple of late drinks, Tony played the guitar so it was nice and chilled out. I was still on Pacific time (3 hours ahead) so I was pretty beat and went to bed about half 1.
The next day I was up pretty early and after having some breakfast I headed to the beach for a bit. I bought American Psycho after some guys in San Fran recommended it and was really into it and didn't realise how long I'd been in the sun and burnt my back like a complete idiot - I do need a bit of colour on my body though as I am still sporting a ghastly t-shirt touristy tan. I came back for some lunch and realised that I'd burnt and needed to stay out of the sun so I caught up on my e-mails and sorted some stuff out for Fiji. When I got back to the hostel I found out they were arranging a skydive over the north shore for the following day and it was only going to cost $150 which is very cheap considering the last one I did in Oz cost a lot more than that, so I signed myself up. There were two Irish girls, Aimee and Niamh (pronounced Neve), who had just moved in and they were very friendly and were doing the skydive tomorrow as well so got chatting to them for a while. They mentioned that they had heard there was a shooting range in Waikiki and really fancied doing it, I thought it would be a good crack so I went down as well. It was, worryingly, a lot of fun we fired a rifle a semi automatic pistol and a magnum six shooter. I wasn't that great at the hand guns but I was pretty awesome with the rifle (I had to take a photo of my target as I scored full marks on it). It was great fun and you do get a strange buzz from it too. As we were all doing the skydive the following day wew had a couple of beers in the lounge and got ourselves to bed.
I didn't sleep to well due to the excitement I had about the skydive, there were about 20 of us that did it and a lot of people had never been before so you really get excited feeding off their anxiety. We had a really long wait to actually do the jump when we did it and typically I was in the last group. Even though I had done it before I was still pretty nervous and this time I was sitting right by the hatch which freaked me right out as I'm no good with heights. The jump itself was unbelievable you really cannot describe the rush you get from doing it and it was from 14,000 feet (my previous jump was from 12,000) so we got a longer free fall and could do some tricks and stuff. The parachute ride was better as well as the tandem diver let me 'play' with oit and spin round and you get an amazing view of the north shore of Oahu. We were all on a big buzz after the dive and met some really cool people doing it, so we thought we would all go out and celebrate the fact that we did it and survived! We got some pizza and had some beers at the hostel playing some funny drinking games before heading into Waikiki. Mark, an English guy, had been out in Waikiki the night before and knew some places to go so we all headed down there. I had a good bit of banter with some American lads that joined us as I spent most of the night playing the 'do you know how I know your gay game' (please refer to '40 year old virgin' for details). We all got pretty smashed up and headed back towards the hostel at about half 4, Niamh mentioned that the Marriott Hotel had a really nice pool and hot tub that we should try and crash so we thought why not? We managed to blag our way up there and sweet talked the security guard into letting us into the pool and even got us some towels as well (we gave it the whole 'we're here on vacation and we're paying enough for this hotel as it is!) so that was pretty funny and we headed back about half 5ish absolutely shattered.
Not surprisingly we were all up pretty late and felt a little worse for wears! I headed down to the beach with the irish girls and chilled out there for a while before getting some epic ice cream and heading back to the hostel for some food. Now by this point I had found out about a food joint called blazing steaks which sells an 8oz steak rice and salad for $6 (around 4 quid) which was really cheap absolutely gorgeous. I saw mark on the way back and we sorted out about going to pearl harbour the following day as we both had wanted to go. That night we had a couple of drinks in the common area until they kicked us out for quiet time about 11ish and headed to bed. It takes a while to get to pearl harbour and you need to get there early-ish to get in so it was going to be an early start.
Well the people at the hostel weren't lying when they said it would take a long time to get to Pearl Harbour! We were on a bus for about an hour and a half but it was well worth it. You pay an admission fee which gets you into a moored up submarine, the USS Missouri Battleship, the USS Arizona memorial and the pacific air museum so there was a lot to fill the day with. The submarine was really interesting, albeit tiny and a bit claustrophobic but the audio tour was very good. We headed over to the USS Arizona memorial which is a tribute to the Arizona which was sunk at pearl harbour and which suffered the biggest loss of life. As part of this you learn all about why the Japanese attacked and what happened on the day and the immediate aftermath which all was very interesting. We then headed over to the Battleship which was absolutely huge and you can have a look inside and stuff like that, it really does just feed the bg kid in you wanting to be the captain of a ship. Our final stop was the pacific air museum which was not that great as it is still being put together really. It was a long old day but a very interesting one. We got back and had a bite to eat before meeting up with the irish girls (it was there last night) an Irish guy, Niall and two other irish girls for a few drinks and headed into town where it was $3 for a pitcher of beer which was very cheap for Waikiki. We all got pretty wasted but was a really good night and last thing I remember was ordering a sausage and egg mcmuffin at about half 4 in the morning - good times.
Aimee and Niamh were of at 6 in the afternoon and we were all really hungover so we ordered ina pizza and watched Superbad in the common area feeling sorry for ourselves. After saying goodbye to the girls I thought i better do something with myself and went to the beach to watch the sunest which was really beautiful and definitely made me feel a lot better which would prove useful as it was Mark's last night and he wanted to go out as well! Two of the German girls we met at the skydive, Yvonne and Rebecca wanted to come out too so we had some beers at the hostel and then headed to a bar where it was $1 drinks for a couple of hours - goode! We had a cracking night and talk a walk along the beach front on the way back before getting kicked off it as it was 'closed' (how do you close a beach????).
With only two days left in Hawaii I wanted to get around and see a bit more of the island, if I had known I would have planned it to go out to the other islands as they are meant to be very pretty and a lot less touristy and built up than Waikiki. So I got up early (yes hungover and yes tired) and headed over to Haunama Bay which is nature preserve on the west side of Oahu, I met up with Jules a kiwi girl that also did the sky dive and headed down with her. The bay itself was really beautiful and a great spot for some snorkling, I saw loads of different fishes (not a clue what the hell they were!) and a sea turtle which are apparently pretty rare. In between snorkling we just kicked back and sunbathed which was exactly what I needed. We spent about 4 hours there and unsurprisingly I came back a tad burnt, but had a great day getting a fair bit of exercise as well. I was pretty beat when I got back and spent the rest of the evening chilling out probably a good idea to save off the beers for a bit before Fiji.
For my final day in Hawaii I had to pick some bits for Fiji and then headed over to Diamond Head Crater which is a huge crater that was turned into a military complex back in the early 1900s and is now a good touristy spot where you can get a great view of Waikiki and the surrounding area. It was about a 20minute walk there and a 40 minute walk up to the top and it was absolutely sweltering but well worth it for the view from the top. I headed back down and grabbed a quick dip in the sea before grabbing some food. My flight to Fiji was really early in the morning and I was getting picked up at 5am o I just did washing that night and caught up on my journal. Hawaii is an absolutely beautiful place and I'm pretty gutted to be leaving as it also closes the chapter on my little US trip. Its been an amazing couple of months and time has absolutely flown by!! I have two weeks in Fiji which will be really good as I'm going to try and get round to each of the islands and get out of civilisation for a while so I don't know how much I will be able to keep in contact but I will when I can. I hope your all doing well, take care. Fiji here we come!