Aloha from Waikiki again!!
The last couple of days seem to have passed in a blur….no, not from any wine or cocktails I may have drunk but from activities!!
We hired a car from Alamo Car Rentals, just wandered in to make the booking for the next day and not booking on the internet as we usually do so we know our exact charges. Walk in to book probably wasn’t the smartest option. The associate (customer service person) quoted us $74 on a compact car which was all we needed for the little drive. However when we arrived to pick up the car the price then became $130 with insurance added. Oh well, a lesson learned, doesn’t pay to be lazy…. We generally use Hertz, who include all basic costs into their rental and give the option to add extra insurance if you want, but they weren’t nearby and we didn’t want to organise a taxi to take us to Hertz rentals. So as they say and as I’ve been told on occasion “suck it up princess”.
We drove out of the rental yard around 7.30 am heading towards Hanauma Bay and a brief stint of snorkelling with the fish for Ty. I’m not a swimmer so I wadded into the freezing cold water very, very gingerly until it covered my waist. That was enough the fish were swimming around me, granted I didn’t see any amazing coloured or huge fish but the ones around me were a decent size, grey with yellow stripes and the occasional yellow tailed. The Bay is very beautiful, shaped by a crater millions of years old. Ty enjoyed the snorkel, swimming out to the edge of the crater, exploring in and around its ledges, spying all sorts of species of fish and fabulous colours. Did he take any underwater photos you ask? No, we weren’t that sensible, we had thought about it but that’s as far as it got, disappointing I know!!!! Ahhh well we’ll have to come back another day.
By the time Ty had finished snorkelling the beach was really filling up with people and all sorts of beach sitting items such as blankets, plastic tarpaulins; picnic baskets and plastic containers of oriental food for lunch, everything you need to settle in for the day. These families are amaze me as a picnic and all the organisation that goes with it leaves me cold, I wasn’t handed the picnic or camping gene. Poor husband you lucked out there!!! One group of people had ignored our towels, shoes and bag sitting under a palm tree setting up their very large plastic tarp, picnic baskets and all other manner of goodies on top of us. Not very polite of them and they seemed a little put out when I strode up from the beach to put my camera away!!
As we left the beautiful beach area of Hanauma Bay we stopped at the top to take photos and have a cold drink before moving on to our next activity…..walking the Diamond Head trail. Before heading to the car we sat at an outdoor table to finish our drinks and had just sat down when some strange-looking creatures rushed out of the bushes and headed for a large rock. They looked like a ferret but fatter and a their tail was more bushy. One stood on its hind legs, like a Meerkat, to survey the area and check us out. “Excuse me, what type of animal are they” asked Ty to the 2 American men sitting nearby “Mongoose” replied one of the men ” they had been imported to eat the rats”. I tried to get a couple of photos but the Mongoose wouldn’t let me get too close, they looked like mum, dad and baby. Very cute!!!
We drove out of Hanauma Bay car park just before 10am and the parking area was full so if you’re contemplating a visit go early!!! It’s well worth it.
Now to Diamond Head, we had tried this walk on an earlier visit but we started our trek from the bus stop below, way below, not realising the entrance to the park was a couple of miles up a very steep hill and through a mountain tunnel. By the time we got to the park entrance there was no way we could continue climbing for another 2 hours and trek back down the hill for another hour. We aren’t Trekkers I’m afraid so we had an icy cold water and rested for a bit before heading back down the hill. This time we had prepared in advance, the car had been hired so we would drive into the park, we had purchased 2 bananas and 2 muffins to sustain us on the trail and 2 bottles of water for rehydration, all set to go!! Until we reached the park entrance and the woman in the booking office said “Sorry but the car park is full, you’ll have to go back to the bottom and park”. Oh no we aren’t, I am not trekking back up again…my knees won’t survive we’ll have to come back later. Hmmm, we had planned the last activity of the day would be the Waikele Outlets centre, that is if our legs held up after the multitude of stairs to the top of Diamond Head. So Ty set the GPS to the Waikele Outlets and our day was reset. We’d head back to Diamond Head around 3 pm. The bananas and muffins would now become afternoon tea on the trail instead of morning tea on the trail.
Arriving at Waikele we found a great parking space, it was still early and the shops had only just opened. It was surprising to see so many people already in and around the shops, some wandering around looking in shop windows with just as many others striding through the retail stores with purpose. It didn’t help that the centre has renovations happening in the centre quadrangle but this would not deter us from shopping. I had a small list of purchases I might like and Ty had a couple of stores he wanted to visit. “This shouldn’t take too long” I said remembering my last visit to this centre, “There wasn’t much that caught my eye last time”. Those words were uttered at 11.15 am – we broke for lunch at 1.45 and as part of the discussion over lunch the possibility of getting back to Diamond Head before last access at 4.30 was a little remote. We still had Walmart to visit as well, it’s where I pick up all my lipsticks, toiletries etc….so much cheaper than home!! Why is it that our goods are almost 3 times the cost, such as my Revlon lipsticks cost $5 plus tax in US but between $20 and $25 at home. That’s an awful lot of taxes and tariffs applied to one small lipstick.
Anyway, I could go on but I won’t probably because I’ve already ranted in an earlier blog written whilst in US.
We finally dragged ourselves away from the Waikele outlet stores around 4pm and headed to the nearest Walmart. The trip had been successful with both of us purchasing new shoes and several items of clothing. Once we’d picked up the necessities of life from Walmart it was back to the hotel, dinner and bed.
The 2 bananas and 2 muffins joined us back in the room…..they wouldn’t be eaten tomorrow either as we have an early flight to Maui.
Oh, before I sign off I must mention something that happened whilst we were at the Ala Moana shopping centre (not a DFO just a huge shopping mall). On my shopping list was underwear….I knew exactly what I wanted but it was hard to find in Honolulu this time. Could find the brand but not the particular design. There was one store left – as we entered the store a top caught my eye, checking the price tag for this very plain garment and seeing a woman with her Maltese terrier dressed in a glittering pink and white tutu made me realise I was unlikely to find the items. As I headed for the door Ty met me with an incredulous look on his face, not because I hadn’t spent any money more that he had been to the menswear and spied a polo shirt he liked with a very hefty price tag. What was the price? $175.00.