March 8th, 2022
Yesterday had been a real mad-one we had crammed so much in it was really exhausting. We don’t really recommend traveling like this, there is so much to see and do in Oahu, you need to take your time. But this is a Whirlwind trip to get us back up to speed on what’s happening in the States right now as far as travel goes. So there is no rest for the wicked.
The North Shore is a really wonderful place and feels a million miles from any hustle and bustle. We were literally staying in a hut in the Jungle, along with all the uninvited guests that go along with that. Today we are heading back to a more civilized part of the Island. To be honest, while we have loved this tropical escape, the ramshackle nature has been a little much. The thought of cleaner accommodations and more upmarket appointments really is quite appealing right now!
Our first stop in Hawaii this time was breakfast at Breakers in Haleiwa, and it was so good, that we had to head back for another round! So after being woken up again by the goddam Cockerel we packed everything up, loaded up the Jeep, and headed to Haleiwa. This time we had Moco-Loco’s and Pineapple juice as we relaxed in the morning sun before the long drive back to Honolulu.
If we had gone direct we could have been in Waikiki before lunch, but where is the fun in that! So instead we took the long way round heading slowly down the east coast and the Pali-Highway. Still only a 2-hour drive, but we had a lot of stops planned!
The first stop was in Laie, where we headed out to Laie Point, the location for the Cliff Jump/Fall scene from Forgetting Sarah Marshall. Unfortunately eh sun was not shining this morning and the ocean had a real rough and steely grey look about it. It is still a beautiful location and has a more rugged and wintery feel to it.
Next along was Ahupua’a ‘O Kahana State Park one of the Island’s most picturesque beaches. It has a really remote feel and is backed by large jagged green peaks. The skies were still overcast but a little bit of sun was peeking through and turning the water turquoise.
We continued along the Kamehameha Highway along the coast until we got to Kualoa and pulled off at the Kualoa Beach Park. We were going back to the Ranch later in the week just wanted to Visit the Beach and the Chinamans Hat or Mokoliʻi as it is known in Hawaiian. Again the Sun was not playing ball but it was begging to peek through the cloud
Back on the road we just had one more stop on this leg and that was the famous Kailua/Kalama Beach. Miles of soft golden-white sand lapped by azure turquoise waters. A real beach bum vibe reminiscent of California.
There are three routes that transect the Ko’olau Mountains, without which a long drive around the peaks would be required, the fasted is the H3 a large highway that literally carves through the mountains. There is also the Likelike Highway. Both of these are really interesting and scenic routes that possess vista’s not really found elsewhere. But neither match the wonderful Route 61, commonly called the Pali Highway.
This striking road winds high up into the Ko’olau Mountains and just briefly tunnels through the very tops. This means there are sumptuous views of both coasts from either side of the mountain tops. There are several pull-outs along the way offering stunning views. At the Nu‘uanu Pali Lookout, you can park up and hike the Old Pali Highway which was even more scenic but quite dangerous and is now considered a very spiritual place. Hiking is not recommended due to falling rocks but there is nothing stopping you.
We headed down into Honolulu and ran headlong into Honolulu’s (In)Famous Traffic. Suddenly all the annoyances of the simple life up on the North Shore seemed inconsequential and the reality of Cty Life came flooding back! We will happily take a few Roaches, Mossies, Cockrels, and Spiders over miles of gridlock!
Anyway, we eventually found our way through town to a large Walmart where we stocked up on Goodies and Souvenirs. Then ack on the road to the ar side of Waikiki to our Hotel.
Park Shore Waikiki
We were really looking forward to our Hotel in Waikiki. It was oceanfront and right on the outskirts of town so not too built up. We had the Honolulu Zoo on one side, Diamond Head Beyond, and the stunning Blue ocean in front. We were also a short stroll from the center of Waikiki for the restaurants and shops when we tired of nature.
We had booked one of the best rooms in the hotel to ensure a great view but unfortunately, we really drew the Short Straw. At Check-in, after handing over $48 a night for Valet!, which we were not happy about, the Check-in clerk made a point of saying we had a corner suite, with Diamond Head and Oceanfront View, however when he mentioned the room number, and it started with a 03, we were worried.
The very short ride up to floor 3 confirmed our fears. The room was very nice but there was virtually no view at all. Being on the 3rd Floor meant we overlooked the pool and were nearly at pool level, there was a bird-poo-covered parasol right by our Lania and the treeline completely obscured the ocean and the mountains. Worse Still when a bus pulled up alongside the Hotel, the exhaust was nearly at room height and we could hardly hear ourselves talk. This was not the relaxing Oceanside Retreat we had booked.
For the first time I can ever remember, we simply couldn’t accept this room allocation. As said we had booked a top-end room and we had just not received this at all. We hate complaining and we hate having to stand our ground, to be honest, we are usually really lucky with room allocations and get ace rooms, but this one was a turd. Back down at reception, there was not much the clerk said he could do. All other rooms of this level were occupied and our only choice was this room or a spatial Sea View up on a much higher floor. We took the high floor even though the room was smaller and had a view far off what we had booked. At least we were away from the road and pool noise!
Tbh this did not sell the Hotel very well for us and it won’t be making our Best Waikiki Hotel List any time soon!
Despite us not really planning anything for today, it had still felt a slog so we simply resorted to an easy afternoon, settling in and having a few drinks. As the sun started dipping, we headed down to the beach to take in the wonderful Sunset. The gloomy Skies of the morning has completely cleared up and now the sky turned a wonderful pinky purple and the few high-altitude fluffy clouds shone bright pink behind the Palm TRees.
We then wandered along Kalakaua Ave and into the heart of Waikiki looking for some food. Nothing really grabbed our attention and we ended up back at the hotel after a nice stroll in the evening air. There was a Hula Bar right behind the hotel so we stopped in there for some Mai Tais and a Bite to eat. Duck Quesadilla’s and some pretty awesome Nacho’s
Then it was back to the hotel to relax and get ready for another epic day tomorrow where we would continue our Go Oahu Pass usage!