Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Sorry for the lack of posts......

We've been really busy these past couple of weeks traveling across to the North Shore where we didn't have proper internet, just my ipod with wifi. Here is a quick update from us....


Last Sunday we took TheBus to our campsite, Friends of Malaekahana, on the Windward Coast. It was an hour and a half away from Waikiki which doesn't seem like very far, but when you're stuck on a fully air-conditioned bus, wearing summery clothes, with all your worldly possessions stuffed under the seat, it gets cold and annoying!

We had a fun time staying in your Li'l Grass Shack:

which consisted of a carpeted platform big enough for us both to sleep on and keep our stuff on at the same time. We began enjoying the quiet privacy of our own place after a week sharing a room with 6 other people, but soon got uncomfortable with no pillows and no comfy bed to sleep on! We had a beautiful view of the ocean right outside our door which was amazing for a few nights, but the wind picked up and blew through our bamboo door until we couldn't sleep and going outside became a chore, battling against a gail force wind every morning. We explored our beach, Malaekahana, which had good waves to learn to body board on. We contemplated renting boards of around $20 a day each, but George found some broken ones by the main office which we 'borrowed' (and accidentally lost in the jungle!!). They were broken enough for no-one to care about them, but perfect for us to mess about on. I was pretty proud at how quickly I picked it up and even caught some air while riding a quite fierce wave! George later borrowed a longboard and practiced real surfing.

The week on the North Shore proved to be tougher than we anticipated. We were told over and over again, that the mentality of the people on the North Shore was really laid back and chilled out as it's a big surfing community. We found this to be the mentality of the bus drivers too who turned up whenever the hell they wanted to! This wouldn't have been too much of a problem, if there wasn't a bus every hour! We began to feel slightly isolated in our grass shack which provided us with little shelter from the elements, so couldn't be a comfort when we came back from long days on buses. We did find some really cool stuff though! Like, a little town called Kahuhu which was an old Sugar Mill and was home to the most amazing Grill! I had coconut-macadamea shrimp which was incredible, and I even managed to convert George into a shrimp lover (he HATES seafood!). We took trips to Waimea Bay which has a nice rock to jump off into the sea. George had a great time flipping off that and wowing the crowd. I enjoyed filming him and swimming in the cool water! We also went to Waimea Valley which is a botanical garden and has a waterfall you can swim in. But, instead of paying the $13 each to get in, we snuck around the back and got in for free! I hope none of the grandparents are horrified by this, remember.... we are backpackers who cannot afford such luxuries, but shouldn't be denied the pleasure of seeing such amazing tropical beauty! 
We also visited the Dole Plantation which harvests pineapples and is home to the largest maze in the world! It is over 2 miles long and the quickest time anyone has completed it was in 7 minutes. We completed it in....... 45 minutes! haha! Still, not as bad as some people! 

  I can't think of anything else significant we did on the North Shore now...... I think that was about it. Oh! We also found a little village called Laie (pronounce all the vowels separately, like L-A-AY-EE) which had a cinema and a supermarket. So every morning, we bought tinned pineapple chunks and a cinnamon roll each for breakfast! We also saw a film called Limitless which stared Robert Di Nero and Bradley Cooper from The Hangover. It was quite a good indie film, which turned into a typical Hollywood film at the end with shoot-outs and thuggish violence. It was a story about a drug which enhances your brain power and Bradley Cooper, a failed writter, uses it and becomes really good at judging the stock market and makes lots of money. But everyone wants their hands on the drug and there is deadly side-effects. It wasn't great! Had potential though! 

Thats about it for our North Shore adventure! We're now back in Waikiki, staying at a budget hotel which is lovely! We get to have a proper shower every morning and have a comfy bed to ourselves! With pillows! We've had a lot of adventures this week, but we will write about them in another post, another time. We're off for dinner! 

Sunday, 13 March 2011


So I guess you'd all like to hear the story of our first encounter of a natural disaster? Me and George had just had a nice evening updating the blog and going freerunning and were ready to go to bed at about 10pm. We got ourseleves settled and snugged up in bed when our Peruvian friends ran into our dorm shouting and panicing. This woke me up, so I popped my head around the corner and Luis shouted "Tsunami! Japan had earthquake and a tsunami is coming!" At first, I thought he was drunk or something and George was still sleepy so we weren't sure what was going on. But my organized head kicked in and I thought "If they're right, then we need to get our stuff and go." So George woke up and we started to pack our things away. The Peruvians were already packing their many suitcases in a panic and I could feel myself getting more and more worried as more people started rushing around outside and word started to spread. But we kept a level head and knew we had to get to higher ground. Once we were packed, we picked up a room mate called Aurial who was flustered and scared and we went down to reception where the hostel owners told us that yes, there was a tsunami coming and they were evacuating the hostel. George asked where we would be safe, and they said we needed to head about 10 minutes north. So we decided to call our new friends Ernesto and Fred and see if they knew about the warnings and if they knew what we could do. They said they would come pick us up and we could stay with them for as long as we needed. We were so relieved! So we helped Aurial get her stuff together and showed her the way to the local elementery school which was letting people in and we waited for our friends to get us.
They were going to meet us by Starbucks which was right by the beach and I felt quite scared standing so close to the sea. But this was at 11pm and people were still having drinks in the bars down the street. The tsunami wasn't scheduled for another 4 hours.
When Ernesto and Fred showed up, they were so chilled it was hilarious! We cruised through Waikiki, Ernesto rolling down his window to flirt with passing women, Fred just sitting there in his chilled out state. We stopped off at Safeway to get beers as Ernesto said you always need beers in a crisis! We stocked up on water too incase they turned off the mains and food incase the tsunami hit us hard. It was strange seeing everyone panic buying water and food. Especially as I was still in my pjamas, wearing a rain coat and flip flops! We eventually turned up at their flat which was high up on a hill in Punchbowl. I felt safe being so high, and we couldn't see the ocean so that calmed me down a bit too. Me and George got into our sleeping bags while Ernesto opened some beers and we drank while we watched the news.
I don't think I have ever been so scared in my life. Those first few minutes when the Peruvians told us the news were some of the most horrible minutes ever. But I'm glad we kept our heads on straight and formulated a plan. Ernesto and Fred were so kind to us, giving us their food and letting us sleep on their bed when we couldn't stay awake any longer. We are so greatful and so lucky in the people we've met. And we're so greatful and lucky the tsunami didn't cause any damage on our island. The Big Island (where Ernesto and Fred are originally from) got hit quite hard so they were worried for their home.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

We made it!

So, after an intense two days of flying, we're finally in Hawaii!

We left on Monday the 7th March and took a plane to Minneapolis which took about 9 hours. That wasn't the longest part.... we then had a 4 hour wait at Minneapolis airport before getting on another plane to LA. That was really cool though because as we came into LA, it was about 11pm so you could see all the street lights and it looked pretty magical! After that though, we had an 8 hour stop over in LAX so we found some comfy seats (in McDonalds actually) and tried to sleep! Airports really aren't the best plane to sleep. They never rest! Anway, at about 6am we worked our way to our gate for the final leg to Hawaii. That was amazing! Flying across the Pacific Ocean was strange because you couldn't sea land anywhere and you knew that the only piece of land you will see again would be Hawaii itself. As you flew into Honolulu, you could see other islands emerging from the heavy cloud like big, black sea monsters. It was pretty spectacular!

The past two days we have been chilling on the beach, having a little swim and just exploring our new home. Waikiki itself is quite touristy with lots of Japanese tourists snapping away at street entertainers and traditional hulu dancers. It's a fun place to be though and on our first night, we had dinner at a revolving reasturant! Yesterday, we walked all the way up to Diamond Head Crater, me in my flip flops, which took us about 35/40 minutes through beaches and up country roads. But it started to rain and my feet got sore so we took the bus back! We still need to go to the top of Diamond Head as it's a dorment volcano and it will cross off one of the things on my 'Gap Year to-do list'! That evening, we bought some snorkles and had a look at the fish at Waikiki Beach. Oh my, we saw some amazing fish! I saw a flat fish which looked like a rock, lots of blue and yellow skinny fish and I think I saw a sea horse but I'm not sure if it was just sea weed!But apparently there isn't much to see at Waikiki Beach, so I'm excited to explore Hanuma Bay which is where giant turtles, dolphins, whales and seals swim! Everyone we've met so far has been really helpful and friendly. So much so, that we met two guys, Ernesto and Fred, on Waikiki Beach last night and today, they took us hiking! Ernesto is originally from LA and is Mexican so he had a lot of interesting things to say about that. But he was more interested in us and the differences between American and English cultures. He was fascinated by the idea of a cup of tea and was desperate to try some apple cider!! Fred is a born and bred Hawaiian from Big Island who is so chilled, he doesn't speak much! But Ernesto talked enough to fill any silences! He is insane at surfboarding and taught me and George how to boogie board a bit! Him and Ernesto took us hiking today in the middle of the island down to a waterfall. It was quite a hard trek as we had to walk down steep slopes, but the big tree roots were good to use as steps.

It took us about half an hour to climb further down the forest, getting more muddy (it rained on and off all day) and more sweaty with every step. When we finally reached the waterfall, it was amazing! Here is a photo:
We immediately stripped down to our swimming costumes and the guys dived into the pool while I tried to syke myself up for doing the same! I've never jumped into open water before and not being able to see into it was quite daunting. But Fred swam into the pool first to check its depth and gave it the all clear. I managed to jump in and it felt amazing! The water was so cold but I was so hot that it was perfect!

Then, we had to walk back UP the steep slopes to the car! That was really hard! I learnt a lot about how unfit I am from that trip! But it was still fun. We then drove North to Waimea Bay where the big surf competitions happen in November and December. It's a really iconic beach in the surfing community and we were excited to go. We were not disapointed! The beach was soft, golden sand and the sea was such a light blue. It was beautiful! The sun was shining and we were in heaven! The waves were huuuuuuge too. We weren't allowed to swim in the sea unless we knew the beach and the sea really well (which of course, Fred did). So we stayed on the sand and George climbed the rocks and did some flips and I took photos and videos of the waves and Fred surfing and George flipping. It was great! We're exhusted now but don't sleep well in our 8 person dorm as it gets very noisey and people aren't very respectful of your personal space. We only have twoo nights left so we're going to see how it goes tonight and then think about our situation.

if you want to email either of us our email addresses are:

Sunday, 6 March 2011


Today is officially the last day in England for three whole months. I have mixed feelings! I'm so glad to be going away with the boy I love to some of the most incredible places on earth, but I still feel sad to be leaving my friends and family at home!

Last night, some of my best friends came round and it was nice to hang out and say goodbye for the last time. It made me realise how much I'm going to miss them. But it's nice that Luke and Grace are going on adventures too, kind of takes the novelty away from our trip and I prefer that.

I'm rubbish and sentimental about going away. Every single time! I keep worrying that I'll regret not saying goodbye properly to my family and they'll get in to an accident and I'll never see them again! My brain hates me sometimes.

Can't wait for the plane journey though :) I <3 PLANES!