Thursday, April 30, 2009

Kaua'i Day 2

Got up early. Local coffee and fresh tropical fruits for breakfast to get things rolling. Met up with our friends again then drove north to see the other side of the island. First stop was the twin falls of Wailua where Cheifs of the past would dive 80ft to prove their courage. Then it was on to Hanalei Bay. This place is just amazing. With a backdrop of Mt. Wai'ale'ale (the wettest spot on earth) you pass paddies of taro before reaching the golden sands and perfect waves, this place has got to be as close to perfect as possible. After that it was back to Bert's for a Hawaiian BBQ with some mean homemade meat sauce where I met a well-known big wave charger and Eddie Aikau contestant, Chava Greenlee.


The oldest and northernmost island in the main Hawaiian Island chain was probably my favourite of the three islands that we visited. It's just so laid back and lacks any of the commercial tourism that you find in Oahu. That lifestyle, coupled with the lush greens, from which it derives it's nickname as the "Garden Isle", and vibrant red earth make for amazing natural beauty, which means that I'll definitely be heading back here at some stage. My 2 days weren't enough but we managed to squeeze quite a bit in.

Day 1 landed at Lihu'e, got a Mustang Convertible and drove to Waimea Canyon, avoiding all the wild chickens on the way. Saw the Napali Coast. Came back via Kaua'i Coffee plantation, checked some of the beaches, including Po'ipu where we saw a wonderful sunset and then met up with some friends in Koloa for some killer spontaneous sushi rolls and they showed me some of their big wave boards before going back to the hotel near Nawiliwili Bay.

Big Island...

Shot down to Hawaii Island, otherwise known as the Big Island. While Kona, on the north western coast, is perhaps more well-known for it's coffee amongst other things, we made our way to the other side, flying in to Hilo and staying near the township Volcano, which funnily enough, is located by the volcano. It is also home to Pele, the Hawaiian volcano goddess and is of great significance for Hula, which shows it's appreciation through numerous chants, songs and dances.

Below is a shot of the volcano on dusk from the crater's rim. You can see the huge expanse of it. I wish I'd gotten there a bit earlier...Also, we did a short hike through the lava tunnels. This is the entrance....Above is Akaka falls.

My wife was studying an an intensive hula course and this is just a shot of them as they finished and made their way to the back of the property where we were. And the last picture is of a super delicious meal had up at the restaurant in Volcano to celebrate the end of the week. (dining with mostly women had it's advantages in that I got to cleanup everyones plates!)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Oahu cont...

Did I mention that it was warm and tropical? Killer avocado burger from Kua'Aina in Haleiwa and a selection of beers drank on the balcony.

Oahu cont...

A beautiful sunset from the park at Ala Moana.

A view of Honolulu from the memorial at the PunchBowl looking toward Diamond Head and Waikiki.

Me at Lanikai Beach near Kailua with the world-famous Mokulua Islands behind.

Hawaii Debut!

10 Days, 3 Islands

What an awesome place! All of it! Just like a warm, compact mellow NZ where everyone digs BJ Penn not Stacy Jones and American Football not Rugby. (just happened that my being there coincided with "SuperBowl Sunday")

Tons of pics so here is just a sample.

Oahu First....Gateway to the North Shore, the 80 year-old landmark bridge in Haleiwa which crosses Anahulu Stream.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Down The Coast

Down the coast with surfboards and a new camera to test out. There weren't much in the way of waves in the Wada area so we scooted down to the bottom of the peninsula and scored an epic sunset. The view from the hill overlooking Mera Beach had the sun setting in behind Oshima Island and off to the right Mt. Fuji was visible across the Tokyo Bay. Finished the day off with mouth watering sushi at Yamato in Tateyama where, if you go, you gotta try the grilled salmon toro. It just melts in your mouth...

Hokkaido Crabs

I managed to squeeze in a quick surf in front of the Grand Hotel in the morning before we got together with a bunch of friends that Aiko hula dances with for our New Year party. As is the way in Japan, seasonal food was the call and we ordered some crabs from Hokkaido for the do. They are something else! If you ever get the chance grab it. These suckers were the business!! Messy eating but fun by all and a great experience for all the kids running around the place who learned how to extract the fleshy meat and dip in the juicy juices.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Izu Trip

As per ususal, we made our holiday getaway to the southern tip of the Izu Pennisula. A drive of about 4~7hrs, depending on traffic. Fortunately things weren't too bad this time round and we scored a perfect sunset and views of Mt Fuji as we drove through the Kamakura area.

Izu was it's usual beautiful self. We found our little beach that we always go to and set up camp in our car. As the surf wasn't really doing much we just chilled, walked around headlands, ate and generally just recharged the batteries. We drove over to the west side for the first time and did some touristy things, such as a boat tour through some caves and a short hike in the bush to a well-known waterfall before making our way home.


Well everyone. It's something I swore I'd never get around to, but here goes...

To start I might just give everyone a quick update on what's been going on since the new year kicked off. It's been a relatively action packed start to the year.

New Year was celebrated in a somewhat sedate and mature fashion with some bubbly with friends and an early rise to see the sunrise in Kamogawa on a magnificent day with blue skies and only a slight chill in the air.

This was followed by the seeing off of Kanpei-san, a well known Tv celeb from Osaka who had recently embarked on an earth marathon, running from Osaka to Kamogawa where he set sail for LA.