I know all man made things have an expiry date; I just never thought that a natural thing would cause the end of my ultimate favorite man made thing. It died because I was so in tune with the way the honu was gliding under the water that I completely forgot that I am in a place of ultimate unpredictability. The wave washed over my old friend sitting high on a rock, and when I noticed it being swept into a gully, it was as if all the images that my trusty travel companion captured flashed away in front of my eyes. If I think about the times I claim to have traveled on my own, then I am wrong. My camera saw all these places too.
Our last picture together in Kona
It is our last day in Hawaii. For the past five days I have been debating in my head about the location of my reincarnation. On all of the Hawaiian Islands I felt the spirit of Aloha vibrate through me, hit hard with the fever of never wanting to leave. I felt it when I surfed for hours with the Hawaiian green honu at Honoli’i beach. I saw it when we experienced a special sunset over Lahaina in Maui. It still moves me when I think about those lush green volcanic mountains meeting the beautiful blue pacific. I have made it to Surfers Mecca. We are fortunate, I am grateful.
Honolulu is a big place. It is busy and there are more Japanese trolley busses than there are Japanese tourists queuing outside one of the Sushi restaurants. There is a mellow laid-back atmosphere in the air though and if you keep following the scent of tropical coconut sunscreen you will find your way onto Waikiki beach. The surf is flat but there’s an abundance of hot bodies for both sexes to admire.
If only you were there to see his warm up regime…
Anything goes here. It is too busy for me with way too many ABC stores. Commercialism rule and most things you can buy were made in China. I am in search of authentic Hawaii, so I join a group of people and make a mission up to the famous North Shore of Oahu.
East Coast Mountains, Oahu
The drive up the east coast of Oahu is breathtaking. The jagged formations of the volcanic mountain ranges are overgrown with lush trees and jungle. The mist adds a mysterious drama to the scenery while the palms remind you you’re on an island. People are talking to me on the bus, but I can’t hear them. They tell me things about themselves but I don’t listen. It is not on purpose, my mind is just elsewhere. I am an amphibian pilgrim and I have made it to where it all started, I’m stoked. When we pull into the parking lot at Sunset Beach I cant get to the water faster, my body in need of saltwater therapy. Although it is flat
Sunset Beach North Shore
I spend the entire time allocated to this stop in the water. I float around imagining how the legends surf this break, what it must look like in winter season. I don’t shake out the sand that got into my bag from lying on the beach, I am happy for it to live in there now. We drive past Pipeline and even though I only got a five second look at it from the road, I saw it. Although I can now claim that I have merely only glanced at the beach of the worlds most famous surf break, I feel slightly disappointed that we are not stopping there. According to the driver it’s an all-exclusive area and that she can’t go in with a bus. I am glad it is flat on this occasion.
The ultimate proving ground. Pipeline on a very flat day
It is so beautiful here. When I see how calm and alluring Waimea bay is I almost don’t believe the scenes of gigantic waves in some surf flicks I’ve seen.
On both visits to Kauai we spent the days on the beach at Nawiliwili bay. I managed to surf a right-hander that breaks along the wall, it definitely has some potential in bigger swell. Kauai has some amazing sights to behold. It is impossible to see all the attractions. We have very limited time, so for us even just to get to walk on a beach here is something heaven sent.
Having a small but fun surf in Kona
I step into a surf shop in Nawiliwili and admire some of Andy Irons’ surfboards mounted to a wall, his feet being the last to have stood on the wax. The owner and I exchange stories of our home surf breaks and when I tell him I have surfed J-Bay in perfect conditions he doesn’t charge me for the four surf magazines I am buying. I say Mahalo and he acknowledges by throwing a shaka (not Shaka as in Shaka Zulu, but the island vibing ahoy my brother style hand sign)
Of all the places we have been to so far, I like the car number plates from Hawaii the best. I just get irie vibes when I look at it. The Aloha state really does have rainbows all over.
The rainbow state
On some of the days on the Islands I miss my car, mostly because I want to get to a surf break that is too far and expensive to get to by taxi. But in both Kona and in Hilo on the Big Island it is different. I walk. I have new Rainbow sandals on my feet and they help me get to some unbelievably secluded and pristine natural tidal pools formed by lava, and beaches with white sand and palms. I feel the sun on my back and the cool Hawaiian breeze on my face as I stroll along the coastal road in Hilo. The gracious green turtle swimming next to me in Kona mesmerizes me. It knows I am there, but my presence does not seem to faze the gentle creature. We swim together in water that is clearer than the latest HD TV. Perhaps I will come back as a Honu, just gliding my way around the turquoise waters of Hawaii.
Rainbow and Honu together in one shot
Heavenly wave at Sunset Beach
Here, in Hawaii, I come to the realization that perhaps there is no such thing as the most beautiful place on Earth. There are simply too many places that could top that list. There are too many categories and you can measure and one would not be able to make an unbiased decision if you have not been, for that matter, everywhere on Earth.
The natural scenery is otherworldly, truly spectacular and as in many other places, the culture and the warmth of the people draw me in. I walk pass a hippy guy selling Ukuleles in his rustic shop and the engraving on one particular one enchants me. I notice it is a six string Ukulele. The more I look at the engraved art the more I want to play it, but seeing that it has a price tag of $700 I am reluctant to just pick it up and play. “Why don’t you pick it up and play man?” I didn’t even need to ask the guy. His mellow islander style is well matched by his floral shirt. I sit down and play the instrument. The way it sounds and feels make me smile. In my minds eye I am transformed into a ukulele playing- drifting surfer- chilling under a palm tree- no shoes no shirt no problem guy. Come to think of it, it’s not just a nice daydream this time. I am lucky to have experienced one of my wildest dreams -to have Hawaiian sand between my toes and that heavenly water on my back. Mahalo.
Sunset over Nawiliwili Kauai
Waikiki Beach sunset
Lava Rock Pool
China-mans hat Island North Shore
Kona and its unbelievable water
Cinderella glass shoe