The (Canadian) Mississippi River near Galetta, Ontario, Canada.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta, Ontario, Canada.

Where are they going next? Ecuador on October 13th.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Exploring the island of Oahu, Hawaii

Slept like a rock last night!

Whenever we do time zone travel, we always try to put ourselves right into the time zone of our destination as soon as possible. So other than the nap we had when we arrived yesterday, we stayed up until 10:00pm last night which would have been extra late. For the most part, jet lag does not have too much of an impact on us.

Because we were extra tired, we slept right through until 6:30am.

We relaxed for a couple of hours in the morning, and finally set off around 9:30am.

9:30am heading north out of Mililani.

Our accommodation is in the bedroom community of Mililani. It's just a 3 bedroom townhouse occupied by a young military couple. The husband is training on the mainland just now, so it's only the wife here and I think she's happy to have some company. And, the extra income from Airbnb! A simple row house like this rents for about $2,500 USD ($3,300 CAD) per month, so a few days of Airbnb income helps.

Just north of Mililani is the Dole Pineapple Plantation. I knew it would be a tourist thing so we almost didn't stop in, but I'm glad we did. They do have a few paid activities, but there is quite a bit you can see for free as well. Worth a stop for an hour or so.

The front of the Dole Pineapple Plantation.

There were actually quite a few people around.
Not sure why nobody is in this photo!

Pineapples.

Everybody on the right is lined up to buy tickets for either the garden walk or the train ride.

Ruth, in the free section of the gardens.

Ruth, doing the hula.

How far are you from...?

How to grow your own pineapple.

There are many different varieties of pineapple.

In the 1930's, Hawaii supplied 2/3 of the world's pineapples. Now, Hawaii doesn't even rank in the top ten. My guess is that they simply can't compete on price. Real estate is too expensive here, and so is labor.

The view opposite the plantation.

We continued on to the north coast.

At the Kaʻena Point Trail. 

We actually went for a hike!

Shame there wasn't a trail leading into this gorge.

It was hot!


We ended up hiking for about an hour. Could have done more if it wasn't so hot, but we didn't want to overdo it.

We continued on in the car, and stopped at a couple of beaches. These two were fairly deserted, but that would change as the day progressed!



We stopped and had a small picnic lunch at this beach.

Black-crowned night heron.

Just east of Haleiwa, the traffic started.

At first, we thought there must have been an accident. But no, this was just traffic slowdowns because of a string of popular beaches. And everybody is trying to find a parking spot and it just slows things down. Typically, the speed limit is only 35 mph (60 km/h), but many times we were just crawling.

Also, our host Maria told us that it is here that the sea turtles often come right up close to the shore, so a lot of people stop to look at them.

Line ups of traffic.

Ahead, and behind.

I had found a spot that listed a waterfall, with a trail that was about 1 km (just over half a mile) long to get to the falls. It turned out that this was the private Waimea Valley, and they charge $18 USD ($24 CAD) to walk to the falls. Which I'm sure are magnificent, but there are a lot of waterfalls in the world that we have hiked to for free. But, we are the oddballs, because the parking lot was packed full of people paying the money!

A red-crested cardinal.

Hau'ula Beach.



Hawaii palm trees!

Scenery along the way.

At Laniloa Point.

Scenery along the way.

We pulled into the Kualoa Ranch. We had no idea what it was even, but there were a few cars and tour buses in the big parking lot so we figured we would check it out.

It turns out that the ranch is a scenic valley property that has been in the same family since the 1860's or so. It's also where many famous movies have been filmed, including Jurassic Park.

But, the beautiful valley is private property, and they are milking it for all it's worth. As an example, $88 USD ($117 CAD) for a one hour horse back ride.

The valley is on the other side of that mountain.


It was getting close to 4:00pm by this point, so time to move on otherwise we would get stuck with Honolulu rush hour traffic.

One last photo stop to get a shot of Mokolii Island.

We had thought about stopping at the Polynesian Cultural Center, but it's an all day (or evening) event, and we simply don't have time. Yes, it would have been nice to do a Luau and see a show, and if we had more time we probably would have spent the money.

We took the fantastic H3 Interstate Highway that includes a 1 mile long tunnel going through the mountains. Great drive, and less busy than I thought it might be. The highway opened in 1997 after a ten year construction period. It is the most expensive Interstate Highway ever built on a "cost per mile" basis. Its final cost was $1.3 billion, or approximately $80 million per mile.


View looking back at the coast.

But as soon as that highway met up with the other one?

That was when thing changed!

Hawaii?? It looks like Los Angeles!

I cannot believe the traffic on this little island. Seriously? Seven lanes of traffic in each direction for a little city of 350,000 people. Amazing.

It took us an hour to do the 28 mile (45 km) drive home from our last photo stop.

Near where we are staying.

Other than the gasoline we used, we did not spend any money today!

Here was the route we took...

95 miles (152 kms).
We started in Mililani, then went to the Dole Plantation, then out to Kaʻena Point Trail, then a clockwise route and back to Mililani.

More exploring coming up tomorrow!

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Camco's 28 Gallon Portable Waste Holding Tank continues to slowly drop in price. Now down to a record low.

And in Canada...



24 comments:

  1. Good to see Hawaii has built a freeway of seven lanes to cope with traffic. Maybe a parallel train line could take away so many cars.

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    1. They are actually building a a rapid transit rail system now. They started back on 2011 and it still isn't completed and is way over budget. We have no idea when completion of the project is supposed to be though.

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  2. Sounds like quick visit with so much to see, thanks for the great photos.

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    1. Yep, we are enjoying our quick stopover here but we are finding it pretty expensive here.

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  3. I find it funny that expressways in Hawaii are called interSTATES hehe. That would really be something!

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    1. Kevin said that the first time he saw the sign stating that it was an interstate highway and tried to figure how that worked, lol. He thinks it probably has something to doing with getting federal funding to built part of the highway system, who knows?!

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  4. Oh gosh, we loathed the Polynesian Cultural Center, which is run by the Mormon Church, and not culturally authentic in any way in our not-so-humble opinion. I think you dodged a bullet there!

    We leave soon for the Maritime Provinces of your native country. Can't wait!



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    1. Well, now we are really glad that we didn't go! The only reason we considered it was that they had a special going that you buy one general admission pass and get the second free if you show them your rental car papers and keys.

      Why would the Mormon Church be owning and running a Polynesian culture center to begin with, don't quite get the correlation to that, other than for the
      money!

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    2. The church does a lot of mission work, so I guess they think they are experts?

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    3. They may do mission work but I don't think that would qualify them in anyway to open up a culture centre. Anyways, I think we are glad that we didn't do it after all, especially after seeing Tamara's comment.

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  5. Most people are probably there on vacation and willing to spend the money while on holiday!

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  6. You did not miss much and would have been disappointed had you spent the money at the cultural center. While in Maui we met a nice surfer boy who told us where to go for the local beaches and attractions..Not only was he a cute as heck (love surfer boys)but took us on a few trips to the locals beaches and showed us some amazing things..Even took the girls snorkeling in a private cove and dove down for them and brought up all kinds of critters..Go take a nice float in the ocean. $4.99 for a floaty, we had a blast..

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    1. Yep, we are now really happy that we didn't go. We considered it only because they had a special, where if you show them your rental car agreement and the car keys you got on general admission pass for free if you bought a second one.

      Definitely, the best way is just by exploring around on your own and talking to the locals like you did. Sounds like you found just the person to help you out. :-)

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  7. I went to Honolulu 20 years ago...felt the same way and couldn't get over the crowds. I haven't gone back to Hawaii as there are less crowded paradises for sure. If I do go back it will be to one of the other Islands.

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    1. We totally agree with you on being able to find less crowded and cheaper paradises out there. We have also said that if we came back it would only be for a stopover to break up a long flight and we would pick one of the other islands as well.

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  8. Great shot of the cardinal - what a striking bird!

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    1. Thanks! Yep, we were lucky that it was close by and that my little camera was able to zoom in on it. Kevin is certainly missing the use of the big camera.

      It was a beautiful bird. :-)

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  9. Awesome photos even of seven lane traffic LOL. Every person of age must own a car on that island!

    Good to know the Polynesian Cultural Center is run by Mormons...yuk!! I think most attractions are on each island. Maui had the Dole tours too with zip line. We went to local swap meet to see artist and craftsmen/women at work. We cut car rental cost by making reservations through Costco ahead of time & everything was more reasonable at Costco i.e. drinks, food, attire, hats, etc. I bought pineapple juice there for mix drinks. We did the Road to Hana and saw water fall after water fall then hiked around Haleakala National Park. Going there for the third time next year.

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    1. Thanks Rita! I wouldn't be surprised if everyone that can drive has a car to drive and then of course you have to add in all the rental cars out on the road.

      Sounds like you have had some nice visits to Hawaii. I think the only time we come back again will be like this time, just to break up a long flight for a few days. We will certainly go to one of the other islands if that comes up. We definitely won't be planning a holiday just in Hawaii though, although it is nice here it is too expensive for us and we know that there are other locations that can give us a similar experience with less crowds and money.

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  10. We've been to Maui three times. That was years ago. It was cheap to fly there, not anymore. I've never been to Honolulu but they say it is a much different animal than the rest of Hawaii. Enjoy the weather and the beautiful beaches.

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    1. You really aren't missing anything by not coming to Honolulu. It would be nice to compare it to one of the other islands, I am sure we would enjoy them much better but the only way that will happen is if we use Hawaii for a short stopover again to break up a long flight.

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  11. Our hiking club spent a few weeks camping on the big island (bought some gear there then donated it) rented a car, super cheap campsites and mixed it up with airbnb / hostels. Great hiking in Nov.

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    1. Sounds like you had a fabulous time. I think we might have enjoyed that a little more, especially with the cooler November temperatures.

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