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around the world in 333 days

REPORT 24 - May 2001

Hawaii - Oahu Island

Take one tropical island and mix with a generous measure of hotels. Add four parts American culture to one part native and a splash of wealth to taste. Garnish with a large slice of beach and serve at an inflated price...sit back and sup the Hawaii cocktail. Whether or not you like the taste, there's something in the name that oozes extravagance. Hawaii, home of big waves and floral shirts, would make it on to most peoples list of dream destinations.

Maybe we were being a little naive, but we had definitely underestimated how much a part of America this remote island has become. Honolulu is a monster of a city and as we headed south to Waikiki, the soaring hotels and office blocks told us that Uncle Sam had beaten us to it. Backpackers should invest in some duty free whisky to help ease the pain that the prices will inflict. With its Prada and Armani stores setting the tone, we struggled to get by on $30 a day; in this place, even the hookers that work the beachfront look classy!

Hawaii's big concession to the budget traveller is the buses. You can travel anywhere on the island for a dollar. Hopping aboard we headed down to Hanauma Bay for a spot of snorkelling. The bay is as beautiful and picturesque as they come and is in fact a nature reserve. Paying the entrance fee, (you have to pay for everything) we headed down from the cliff tops to the beach and spent the afternoon chasing fish. Seemingly, every inch of towel space was taken, the hoards trampling their way over the coral making a mockery of the bays reserve status.

Hanauma Bay's crowds spoil its beauty, but back in Waikiki, the crowds gathered outside the cinema only added to the atmosphere. Opening day of any movie is likely to draw a crowd but when it's the latest blockbuster, 'Pearl Harbour', and the real thing is just around the corner then a little more excitement than normal fills the air. The film, a 3-hour epic, tells the tale of the events surrounding the Japanese attack on the Pacific fleet and apart from some soppy girly stuff and a good spoonful of feel good American medicine, it ain't too bad. The real Pearl Harbour is easily accessible and we headed off to take a look.

The USS Arizona was sunk on 7 December 1941 and is the final resting place for the majority of the 1177 ships crew who lost their lives. Over the sunken ships hull now stands a memorial to which visitors are whisked out by boat. With the murky water, you can't see much of the actual ship but the oil that still leaks from its bowels is a vivid reminder of the tragedy. The attack on Pearl Harbour is at the end of the day a historic event and apart from a small museum, there is not a lot to actually see.

Needing to leave the concrete behind for a while, we headed out to the Moana valley to see some of the natural beauty of the rainforest interior that those who never leave the comfort of their air conditioned hotel rooms in Waikiki must find hard to believe exists. Waikiki (spouting water) is actually built on a swamp and from the Moana valley the waterfalls stream all the way out to the sea where the hoards of surfers try to catch a wave. The lush green mountains and sprawling vegetation was the backdrop for our short hike up to the waterfall and although it was more of a trickle, the breathtaking views and wild forest had made the walk a welcome relief from the beach.

Back in Waikiki we spent our days topping up the tans, snorkelling and body boarding. A statue of the 'Father of Surfing', the great Olympic swimmer Duke Kahanamoku, stands to welcome all to the beach but we never managed to follow in his footsteps and try surfing, we didn't even manage to conquer the body board! As the sunset and the hula dancers, well...danced we were enjoying what the 50th state had to offer, the Hawaii cocktail tasted sweet: another? Yes please.

Jon & liz
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Hanauma Bay



USS Arizona

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The Beginning 14 - THAILAND Bangkok
01 - INDIA Delhi 15 - THAILAND Bridge Over the River Kwai
02 - INDIA Agra Taj Mahal 16 - THAILAND Chang Mai - The Long Necks
03 - INDIA Jaipur 17 - AUSTRALIA Kakadu National Park
04 - INDIA Camel Safari 18 - AUSTRALIA Ayers Rock
05 - INDIA Mount Abu 19 - AUSTRALIA Great barrier Reef
06 - INDIA Goa 20 - AUSTRALIA Fraser Island
07 - INDIA Mumbai (Bombay) 21 - AUSTRALIA Sydney
08 - HONG KONG 22 - NEW ZEALAND South Island
09 - PHILIPPINES Boracay & Panglao Island 23 - NEW ZEALAND North Island
10 - PHILIPPINES Bohol Chocolate Hills 24 - USA Hawaii Oahu Island
11 - PHILIPPINES Banaue Rice Terraces 25 - USA San Francisco
12 - MALAYSIA Kuala Lumpur 26 - USA Washington DC
13 - MALAYSIA Penang, Georgetown 27 - USA New York
  28 - UK - THE END
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Produced by John Bentham - Copyright 2000/01 Jonathan Enoch & Elizabeth Wigg / John Bentham

an Outlaw23 initiative

USS Missouri

Manoa Waterfall

Duke Kahanamoku

surfers waiting for a wave!