Our flight into Honolulu went very smoothly, especially since we took a direct flight from Portland: only 5 ½ hours. Tara and I sat together on the plane, next to a very old woman who was next to the window and slept most of the way. We were off the plane rather quickly, and walking through the open-air airport in no time! Really! The moist tropical air just blows through. We found V at baggage claim, and our own bag was about the third one to show up on the carousel.
After dropping our bag at his condo, we went directly to Waikiki beach. My intent with that infamous beach was merely to see it, to look with my own eyes upon Diamond Head, but not to spend a large part of our vacation there. In general, I find that places that attract the most tourists will repel me, and it was the case with Waikiki. Tara and I laid our beach towels out in a free piece of sand between lounging tourists, beneath one of the dozen lifeguard shacks, and soaked up some equatorial rays. We took turns playing in the water so the other person could watch our stuff.
The waves were amazing! Really great! The colour of the water is aqua and the sand is pale gold. The waves were averaging about 8 feet. Smooth, consistent. Having never been there, I didn’t have a sense of whether that is what Waikiki waves are always like, or if something special was going on. If there were waves like this in Humboldt County, where I learned to surf, it would have been a stellar day! Tara and I both wanted to rent a board and head out there, but there were SO MANY surfers. The water was obnoxiously crowded. Not appealing.
I felt the sun on my legs and began to worry about my girl (even paler than myself), so I got her up out of the sun, and we lugged our heavy bag through the crowds of tourists, getting a sense of the area. We found a place to buy sunscreen, some flip-flops (which I am told are called “rubba slippas” here), sunglasses, an extra bag to share the load. We stopped for Haagen-dazs ice cream and water.
We walked along the beach, staring at tourists, watching the surfers, trying to stay awake. Travel makes one sleepy, and the three-hour time difference was not in our favor. The sun shone brightly, but our bodies felt like sunset.
When V picked us up, he explained that the southern swell responsible for the awesome waves was actually the first big swell in some time, and the locals were as excited about the waves as the tourists. We could see the locals at that point, since the workday was wrapping up, and people were spilling out of pickups and cars with their boards and heading excitedly to the beach. Though we had been out of the sun for hours, our sunburns began to heat up, and I was glad we had decided not to surf. I know it would have been so fun we would have stayed out there and got crispy-fried before we knew it.
All in all, a good first day. Now that we have Waikiki out of the way, we can move on to other places.