Aloha Hawaii

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I have this mantra of never going back to the same place. This is because I have a dream of visiting all places, or countries, in my lifetime. Of course there are exceptions to any rule, and Hawaii is certainly one of those places that qualifies as an exception.
Hawaii is amazing. As simple as that! We fell in love with Hawaii at first sight, and this love just kept growing as we saw different parts of the islands and their amazing diversity (I have never used that word [diverse] so much as I have the last two weeks. Behind every corner something new and different turned up.

Our trip to Hawaii was very much anticipated. Not so much because of what we knew about the place, but because it was a new chapter in our journey. After mountains and big cities in North America it was now island life in the Pacific Ocean. And also because we were meeting up with our good friend Rasmus.
Actually my knowledge of Hawaii was very limited. I thought of it as a place with big waves and surfers, white sand beaches, and of course pineapple… We found a place that was so much more. A place which we are definitely coming back to! I think the best about Hawaii was the fact that it was not as I thought it would be. It was much more rural and much less developed outside the tourist resorts than I had thought.

Our first stop was Waikiki. It was the perfect starting place. Exactly like it was supposed to be. Waikiki was full of tourists, restaurants, Starbucks, and shopping. But the best thing was a beautiful beach with good swimming. We stayed in an apartment one minute away from the beach and had a good share of beach time during our two days there.

We visited 3 islands in Hawaii – Oahu (where Waikiki and Honolulu are), Moloka’i, and Maui. This means we still have some amazing islands waiting to be explored on our next trip. We chose not to go to Hawaii’s Big Island and Kaua’i, since they seem better suited for more adventurous exploring than what would be comfortable with a six months old baby.

On leaving Waikiki and going to Moloka’i, we flew with the smallest commercial flight any of us had ever tried. There was only room for 8-10 people on there. It was a pretty amazing experience with great views!

Moloka’i is one of those places that we sometimes think doesn’t exist anymore. One of those places that I feel so lucky to discover. It happens every once in a while that we come across places that are just lost in time. Places where tourism hasn’t really set its mark. We knew that we had found a place like this when we arrived in the airport, -well probably already when boarding that mini plane to get there. With such a small plane, not many people can visit. I absolutely love that feeling of finding these places. Moloka’i was remote, extremely local, beautiful, adventurous, diverse, and plain simple living – no luxury here 🙂

On the western side of the island it was extremely dry and the landscape seemed more like the savannah in Africa than a Pacific island. It was very desolate. There used to be fruit plantations and cattle ranches here which were now shut down, and at some point someone tried to build a tourism resort but failed. The result is that the only village on this side of the island was like a ghost town. A bit creepy! On the other hand, the desolation gave room for a beautiful (yet very windy) beach.

The rest of the island was much more green and lush. With our rental car and a bit of courage we went on an adventurous dirt road drive up a mountain through humid rainforest.
It was such an amazing drive that Søren and Rasmus did it two days in a row. But since the rental car was not allowed off road we had to do a thorough wash afterwards 🙂

Moloka’i has the worlds highest sea cliffs, and we didn’t get to see them from the seaside, but when we flew to Maui we saw them from the air, and it was awesome…!
Actually we thought we were sailing from Moloka’i to Maui, but when we arrived on Moloka’i the lady at the rental car company told us that the ferry service had ended last year. Thus, it was not possible to leave the car at the ferry terminal as was our original plan 😉 So we got another trip with the mini plane.

Maui felt a world away from Moloka’i, but it was just as beautiful and diverse. Maui is a major tourist destination, so it was like coming back to civilization. We stayed in Kihei, which turned out to be a very central location from where we explored the whole island.

There were some really nice beaches, though the waves made it difficult for Carla to swim (thank you swimming pool!).
We even experienced a bit of old time ‘backpacker style’ one of the beaches during a Sunday night drum circle. For a moment there we went back in time 🙂

Since diversity has been such a buzzword during our Hawaii stay, the view inside the Haleakalā volcanic crater shouldn’t be a surprise, but it was. Driving up the mountain, nothing indicated this dramatic sight:

Probably the most famous thing to do on Maui (besides swimming) is driving ‘the road to Hana’. This is a small road going to a small village. It goes next to the sea passing by rainforest and waterfalls. The road to Hana was extremely lush and defined by many hairpin turns. However, it was actually the road from (and not to) Hana that made the trip amazing. This part of the trip was much more diverse. It started out with an amazing tropical garden feel, and ended with a dry and lava covered road. Most people turn around in Hana and go the same way back, but we stayed a night in Hana and took the ‘back way’ back to civilisation. What an amazing drive! The few people we met there all agreed that the road from Hana is the best – but best when kept a secret 😉

We left Moloka’i and Maui behind feeling that there is still much more exploration to do for another trip. The same goes for Oahu. We came back to the island of our starting point, but this time we went to the North Shore. In winter it’s a surfers paradise with high waves. Now it was just paradise for us. We didn’t do much besides hanging out on the beach for a couple of days. And cooking fish. All around the islands we got fresh fish and cooked most nights. Just what we needed to finish off an amazing couple of weeks on Hawaii.

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How amazing it is to have life long friendships and travel on the other side of the world together. Thank you for some great weeks Rasmus!

Next stop is Samoa – one of the first places in the world to see the sunrise!

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