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The weather is cold and mostly grey, I got the flu and winter is on its best behavior. As I'm working on the great connection between my hot-water bottle and I, pouring tea followed buy even more tea down my sore throat, my mind is drifting off into those memories of places I'd rather be right now – stunning beaches around the world.
As you can see, I'm already sounding kinda melodramatic ;) So enough of it, lets better get started with my top ten favorite beaches.
It's time for my final report about Hawaii and this time, we're talking money. How much does it really cost, taking a break in the Aloha State? Flights, accommodations, groceries, rental cars etcetera. It's no secret that Hawaii isn't a low budget destination but as Prince once said, you don't have to be rich to afford your Hawaiian adventure.
It's another manic Monday and yes, you're welcome for the Bangles being stuck in your head all day long. Despite my little wickedness, I'm here to brighten up your day with an escape opportunity to the best beaches around Oahu, especially the North Shore.
Hawaii is known for its beautiful, sometimes even deserted beaches and they're part of the everyday life on the islands. Families meet during the weekend at one of the dozens of beach parks, arranging a barbecue. People are just coming together to relax after work or – of course – for surfing themselves or just to simply watch the pros do their thing in the water and the sunsets are a spectacular way of ending your day. So embrace this beach life and the aloha way of living during your stay in Hawaii. Here are my top 10 beaches to visit
We've reached midweek and therefore it's time for my second Hawaii-report. This time, I'll present you my personal
food guide to my favorite places to eat and dine on Maui and O'ahu. Let's start with Maui.
Maui isn't the cheapest place on earth and you probably already knew that but I have to admit, that I was kinda shocked when I arrived on the island. Especially, after O'ahu, which hasn't been as expensive as I expected it to be. So, if you're ever on Maui, following one of my advices, getting the feeling that this one is kinda high-priced – everything is on Maui.
Short example: I bought some Kona coffee on O'ahu for $12,99 / 12,00€. The exact same coffee bag costs $30 / 27€ on Maui. So, you'll probably get what I'm talking about by now.
Anyway, Maui was the place where I had the best Thai-food ever.
Seriously. In Berlin, there are dozens of Thai-restaurants and a lot of them are really yummy but this place, it was really delicious.
I'm back in ice cold Germany, slowly adjusting and realizing that there are only three weeks left till Christmas. It's kinda hard to remember that it is Winter and pre-Christmas season while walking around in shorts and a top, with pleasant temperatures of 29°C/84°F. It's not that Hawaiians wouldn't decorate their homes or that Christmas wouldn't be celebrated on the island, located 4.000 km/2.500 mi off the United States coastline, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, but it's simply not as present as it is around Germany, especially if you're staying outside the Waikiki/Honolulu area as I did.
The Hawaiian islands are part of the Polynesian culture, counted as South Sea Islands and the locals take pride in it. This fact and probably the surfing lifestyle, the always fresh fruits and the incredible sunsets will also make you forget that it's actually November and not July.
Altogether, Hawaii was one of the greatest experiences I've ever made while traveling, so let's delve into my little adventure.
Today's blog entry will revolve around hiking on O'ahu, the third biggest of the eight Hawaiian main islands. I've done quite a few hikes in the last two weeks and most of them were really worth it.
We'll be starting on the western tip of O'ahu – Ka'ena Point - located roughly 30 km/18,8 mi from where I stayed at the North Shore. You can approach Ka'ena Point from two sides. Either you take the 93 or the 930 (as I did), drive till the very dead end of the road and hike through the Kaena Point State Park. The area is both deserted and gorgeous. On the left side, there are the impressive mountains and on the right side, the raw power of the ocean, with it's waves crashing against coast. The whole setting reminded me of the Lord of the Rings. The only noises, you'll experience during this hike will be the wind, the waves and the grunts of the local Hawaiian Monk Seals, which are crawling onshore in order to reheat, sleep, breed and pupping. The Hawaiian Monk Seals are an endangered species and Ka'ena Point is one of the places, where they can live in peace. There are several signs along the trail that tell you to keep your distance and let them be but you will still be able to watch them. They're probably one of the cutest things I've ever seen.
There was one tiny and sandy cove, where I took a break from all the hiking and sat down, just to listen to the ocean and suddenly I heard a weird noise to my righthand side. I got up and peeked around one of the shrubs when I saw the seal, happily asleep on it's side, only a few meters away. I got my friend, both of us watching it from a distance. At first, weren't sure if everything was alright with the seal but then it just looked up, acknowledged our presence, grunted again and turned around to fall back to sleep.
One day later, we saw another Hawaiian Monk Seal, on a beach right next to the road and two members of the Ocean defenders, who made sure that nobody would touch the seal, where watching it. One of them explained to us that they're loners and sleep a lot on the beach, especially when they're pregnant and so we knew, that the other one, we had seen at Ka'ena Point had been fine as well.
All in all, Ka'ena Point is definitely worth a try. The untamed waves crashing against the coast, the mountains and the solitude, free from the crowds, are both sweeping and liberating.
It's my third day at the beautiful North Shore of Oahu and the waves were finally solid enough for the final day of the Hawaiian Pro. So one of the most important surfing contest of the World Champion Chip tour got called on and it was my friends and my turn to grab our rental bikes and take on a 8,4 miles / 14 kilometers (one-way) ride to Haleiwa. The ride is both beautiful and kinda unnerving since you're not just cycling through the stunningly green nature along the coast but also along the highway. Together with a whole lot of huge SUV's but despite that, it was totally worth it.
The Hawaiian Pro itself was very relaxed. Both locals and travelers gather at the beach, watching the pro surfers do their thing. It's not too crowded but the atmosphere is pretty great.
And so I was able to watch Jordy Smith loosing lots of important time during his heat, when his leash ripped apart, after a heavy wipeout and he had to go all the way to the beach to exchange his board, I saw Kelly Slater doing his hacks and how current world champ John John Florence won the final with only 0.22 points in the lead. Altogether, I'm looking forward to the second round of the Vans Triple Crown. The Vans Worldcup of Surfing at Sunset Beach and not just because it's closer to us than Haleiwa.
I'm out, cooling my butt from all the cycling today ;) Tomorrow, it's time to fly to Maui.
Until then, happy traveling.