I could have gone somewhere local, yes, but I wasn’t thinking straight, and a $250 round trip to Hawai’i via Vegas was too much of a good opportunity to miss! I guess this is what happens when you come up with ‘good ideas’ without thinking them through first or checking various reports like ‘Jellyfish Reports’…jellyfish reports, seriously? Yes, and yes you should check them, as I learnt the hard way!
After a layover in Vegas, where I managed to leave my English bank card in a cash machine, we are finally in Hawai’i and my god is it muggy! We got the shuttle from the airport to Waikiki Beachside Hostel on Lemon Road, a short walk away from Waikiki Beach, perfect! We dumped our stuff and hit the beach, I’ve missed this! We skimmed through the guidebook to find out what adventures we could do on the cheap, since I only had $400 on my US card and $200 in cash to last me the week after the bank card incident in Vegas!
After deciding on our adventures for the day we decided we should stock up on supplies…or at least fill our bellies with them before we set off. I’d heard of a chocolate shop Padovani’s Chocolates in Downtown Honolulu that I’d read about and was dying to visit! A little out of our way, the promise of chocolate was too much to resist. A collaboration between two French-born Australian brother’s, this idyllic chocolate shop wooed us with their fine selection of chocolate based treats. After chatting to the assistant, we learned that both brothers trained as pastry chefs in Europe and frequently chair various food tasting panels.
Now well fuelled by amazing French chocolate, in Hawai’i, it was now time to hit the first location that tickled our fancy, the stunning Manoa Falls in the mountain ridge that flanks Honolulu and Waikiki to the East, we could even take a bus here and hike the trails marked out on our maps saving us having to shell out on guide and cab fees! Winner!
Slight problem…we got the wrong bus (right bus number but it was going in the wrong direction) and didn’t realise this until half an hour in to a journey that should only have taken us 15 minutes! Fail! After getting the right bus all the way back we got off at a little residential street that took us all the way up to the entrance to Manoa Falls and hike. It’s so humid and rainforest-y here you can even smell the lush green of the leaves!
We heard parrots and various other unusual noises of things I had no idea what they were. Eventually we were at the falls, which used to have a much bigger and deeper lagoon-like pool, but since a land slide a couple of years previously it was more of a shallow rock pool. The falls themselves were still marvellous tho and the hike up was populated with (what I think were) Eucalyptus trees, a bamboo forest and lots of gnarled knotty unrecognisable trees that creaked like old doors in the gentle breeze! Closer up near the falls are an array of beautiful flowers including wild orchids and vines. Unfortunately you can’t swim in the pool, not just because of the danger of falling rocks, but because it’s home to a nasty bacterial infection- leptospirosis- yuck!!
In the rainforest it gets dark quickly and then you start to hear even more noises of unrecognisable wild things so we began making tracks to get to the entrance and hop on the last bus back to Honolulu just in time to catch the sunset.