OAHU - HAWAII

1st milestone of my journey

From the air

Landing planned in 30 minutes: after a first 11 hours flight from Paris to Dallas then a second 8 hours flight to reach Honolulu, my travel is finally coming to an end.

From the plane, which begins its descent to Honolulu airport, I measure all the beauty of the landscapes that spread out under my feet. This is precisely the fantasized image that we get of the place: in the background, a series of summits greener than each other, whose highest peaks disappear under a fine mist, pricking straight towards monochrome of blue ocean and, in the foreground, Honolulu, whose towers, rivaling in height, come to hem the white sandy beach of Waikiki.

An announcement by the captain informed us of a clear skies and a superb view of Pearl Harbor for passengers seated on the left side of the aircraft. Lucky me, I take out my camera.

Rental car: the friendly employee offered me an upgrade to an SUV with roof racks, which will be very handy for carrying the boards. For a moment my feet are lost and my mind is confused because there are only 2 pedals in the car !! I put my brain in automatic mode too and off we go.

Kaneohe is located on the east coast of the island of Oahu, about 20 minutes from the airport via H3 and its tunnel. The view from this highway is just breathtaking. When you exit the tunnel, a stunning panorama appears over the Ko’olau mountain range. You can see the whole coast from the Marines base to the little port of He’eia. And if there is something you cannot miss, it is the azure blue of the ocean, the spotted patches of underwater coral reefs and a large moor of white sand in the middle of Kaneohe bay: the Sandbar.

A few more minutes’ drive, I leave Kaneohe Bay drive and turn right onto Kalenakai Place.
My friends Linda and Jim welcome us with a warm “Aloha”.

ALOHA

Aloha, this word that you will hear all the time in Hawaii but whose meaning is often misinterpreted.
Most people think Aloha just means “hello” and “goodbye”. But it is far too simplistic because the real meaning of aloha is much deeper.
It is true that in Hawaiian we use “Aloha” both when we meet a person and when we leave him. But it’s much more than that…
Aloha means love, peace and compassion.
The aloha spirit is deeply rooted in Hawaiian culture. It’s the guideline of a lifestyle and a way of treating others with respect and love.
Its definition is an invitation to begin by loving yourself and then to radiate others with our love. This loving and caring lifestyle is the secret to a fulfilled existence.

The Aloha spirit: maybe the reason why I feel so good in Hawaii?

Kaneohe Bay 

February 1st, 2020

Wooly wake up, steamy head. Is it in the morning? Is it in the afternoon?
A light breeze makes my bedroom curtains fly.
Where am I ? In Paris ? No. In Dallas? Neithe. I hear birds singing, I hear the wind in the trees. I look out the window and rub my eyes, I smile, no, I’m not dreaming, I’m there, yes, I’m finally in my paradise.
Palm trees, yellow, blue houses washed out by the sun, an old jeep, a pick up, sailboats moorings in the bay and in the distance, the dark green steep sides of the Ko’olau volcano (meaning Windward in Hawaiian and giving sound name on the east coast of Oahu).

1st picture which give the tone of the trip: an island as my imagination represents it.

Walk along Kailua Beach 

2.5 miles of white sand, turquoise or emerald or even silver water, from sunrise to sunset, a paradise for strollers, surfers, outriggers and kiters when the wind picks up.

Kailua means “two currents in the sea.” Crescent shape, Kailua beach, is rated one of the most beautiful beach in the world according to CNN magazine, and I’d like to believe it.
To put the jet lag behind me as quickly as possible, nothing beats a great stroll in the sun. A good vitamin D fix!
In this early morning, the sun’s rays are very gentle and deliciously caress my arms. When I got to the beach, I take off my flip flops. I find this liberating feeling of walking barefoot, this softness of the sand on my feet finally freed from the prison of winter shoes. I feel all the energy of the earth rising in me. I savor, I swallow the iodized air at full lung. My gaze is lost in this infinity of blue.
Friendly “Good mornings” are exchanged between walkers. Dogs from the largest to the smallest are having a great time playing, who brings the stick, who will take a dive, who will win the race.
The surfers are already in position, lying or sitting on their board scanning the horizon. Small waves unfold perfectly for their greatest pleasure.
Hawaii benefits from this special geographical location where surfing is possible all year round. Due to its completely isolated position in the middle of the Pacific, the archipelago is constantly exposed to 360° as well to the currents as to the winds.

Lanikai at sunrise

A pale light is satarting to filter through the shutters. Brief check of the sunrise time 6:57 am. I quickly put on a pair of shorts plus a T-shirt and stuff my camera in my bag. I’m walking briskly toward the beach. I meet two joggers training in the morning freshness. I turn left on Mokulu’a drive named after the islands that outline the horizon. I take off my flip-flops to walk on the beach, the freshness of the sand surprises me. A couple, coffee in hand, are seated ready for the show. Three walkers stop and take out their phones to immortalize this new day that is coming up. The sky is powdered with rose. A golden flow splits the cottony horizon and highlights with an orange beam the black contours of the islet. The slow and irresistible rise of the sun illuminates the waves which are adorned with purple touches.

Reflections of bronze or copper ignite the outrigger which are called elsewhere va’a or pirogue. Designed for one rower or several rowers, these outrigger are deeply rooted in Polynesian culture.

A group of  paddlers is warming up. The team bowed to launch the heavy boat, which an instant later is gliding slightly into the water.

Makapu’u Point

Morning walk – indeed very early morning, my friends Linda and Jim picked me up at 6:30 am – direction the lighthouse of Makapu’u.

According to an ancient Hawaiian legend, the name Makapu’u comes from a goddess with eight big eyes who arrived from Tahiti to live in the Keanaokeakuapōloli caves. She was named Makapu’u meaning bulging eyes in Hawiian. In 1909, the light from another bright, bulging eye was seen on the rocky point of Makapu`u as the giant lens in Makapu`u Lighthouse was illuminated for the first time.
At the extreme south-east of the island of Oahu, Makapu’u Point is the first land to be seen after a journey of several thousand miles for all ships from San Francisco, Mexico, Panama, and other ports in Central America and the United States, which travel to Honolulu via the Kaiwi Channel between Molokai and Oahu.
It is the only point on the island where both the West and East coasts are visible with an exceptional panoramic view of Koko Head Crater, the windward coast and Molokai.

By scanning the ocean, we discerned 2 paddle boarders going for a great downwind towards Hawaii Kai. I would have loved so much to be with them …
Suddenly, the breath of a whale rises in the middle of the blue of the ocean. Unfortunatly, impossible to capture in a picture.

North Shore drive

Let’s go to North Shore, a little less than an hour driving from Kailua.

1st obligatory stop: Dole plantation where you’ll find and see everything you could never have imagined based or shaped like a pineapple. It’s very touristy, I know, but I’ve got a weakness for the famous Dole Whip, a creamy pineapple ice cream cup with small pieces of pineapple.

Let’s continue driving down the ridge, and admire the impressive view of the North Shore.

Souvenir photo of my boys during our 1st stay in Hawaii in 2014.

When you think of the North Shore of Oahu, two things come to mind – high surf and breathtaking beaches. But what you might not know that the North Shore is also famous for its shrimp trucks.
For lunch time, I stop at Haleiwa.
This small village attracts tourists for its surfing atmosphere.  Beyond the galleries filled with Hawaiian art work, I love the character of the old surf shops with the retired long boards that line up against the exterior walls.
Haleiwa is especially famous for these food trucks which create real traffic jams!  The best known, Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, a truck covered with graffittis with a basic shrimps menu. The wait is long but worth it. With lemon butter, garlic (Garlic shrimp my favorite) or spicy, accompanied by white rice, their shrimps are just incomparable and divinely good!

Let’s get back in the car and drive to Waimea, then Pipeline and Sunset: legendary surf spots.
Today is pretty quiet.

On the way back, I follow the coast because the road is clearly worth the detour.
The flanks of the volcano sculpted by deep crevices and covered with dense vegetation slide down to the sea.
At each turn nestles a small beach lined with coconut palms.
There are curious signs following “Ahupua’a”.
In old Hawaii, ahupua’a was the common subdivision of the land. It consisted most frequently of a slice of an island that went from the top of the local mountain (volcano) to the shore, often following the natural boundary boundary of the watershed. Each ahupua`a contained the resources the human community needed, from fish and salt, to fertile land for farming taro or sweet potato, to koa and other trees growing in upslope areas. Villagers from the coast traded fish for other foods or for wood to build canoes and houses.

Follow me on social media, share and write me from time to time, it could be worth more than what you can imagine …
… When you spend hours paddling and you’re on the other side of the world. embarassed

Follow me on social media, share and write me from time to time, it could be worth more than what you can imagine …
… When you spend hours paddling and you’re on the other side of the world.embarassed

Follow me on social media, share and write me from time to time, it could be worth more than what you can imagine …
… When you spend hours paddling and you’re on the other side of the world.embarassed