• =?UTF-8?Q?D=c3=a4nkbl=c3=b8g:_Hawaii_2016?=

    From =?UTF-8?B?RMOkbmsgNDLDmA==?=@21:1/5 to All on Mon May 30 04:31:23 2016
    XPost: alt.society.liberalism, soc.culture.usa

    Dänkbløg: Hawaii 2016

    My trip to Hawaii this year was pretty much like the one last year,
    except I visited Kaua'i instead of the Big Island.

    This was my second time to Kaua'i, the first being 25 years ago, when
    I stayed at the Coco Palms before it was destroyed by a hurricane in
    1992. This time I stayed in the southwest area of the island, near

    Kaua'i is beautiful, with pristine beaches, tropical flora, and lots
    of wild chickens running around everywhere. There are also wetlands
    bird observation areas, though don't expect to see the rare nocturnal wedge-tailed shearwater, but you will hear their ghostly moaning call
    at night: (http://www.soundshawaiian.com/mp3/kauai-wedgie.mp3)

    There is only one major road on Kaua'i, which ALMOST runs along the
    entire edge of the island. Which means that to get from the western
    side to northshore you have to drive all the way around, and traffic
    backs up pretty bad around Waimea, Port Allen, and Lihue. There are
    a number of small towns, mostly insignificant for tourists, and
    getting to the exotic scenic places requires an expensive tour or
    expensive 4-wheel-drive rental with expensive insurance.

    Then back to Honolulu, which I like to describe as Las Vegas on the
    beach. Noisy, expensive, overcrowded, but not too polluted and the
    weather is usually pleasant. Reasonable bus system, but the time
    schedules are fantasy. $2.50 fare with up to 2 transfers within 2
    hours. Rental car is recommended for exploring the island outside
    of Honolulu.

    O'ahu has lots of beaches; I hate swimming and even walking on sand,
    but if you do that's great. Hanauma Bay is famous for its coral
    reefs and the fabulous colorful fish that live alongside them, but
    sadly all the sunscreen washed off swimming tourists has killed them,
    and you have to snorkel out a considerable distance to see the fish
    now. Last year I took a snorkeling boat tour to see sea turtles,
    which was fun but the water was deep and cold (and I hate swimming).

    Didn't do Diamondhead this year, but it's always the same mile-long
    walk from the bus stop, and another mile-long hike up a path and
    stairs to the top where there are a thousand people taking selfies
    with Waikiki in the background. Go early in the day, it gets VERY

    Dole Pineapple Plantation! Pineapple farm, pineapple ice cream,
    pineapple maze, and, of course, the Pineapple Express miniature
    train ride that takes you through the plantation. Overpriced
    souvenirs. From Ala Moana Center walk slightly NW about 150-200m
    to "Kona St + Opp Kona Iki St (NS)" (21.292970,-157.844985). If
    you miss that, walk another block NW to Kapiolani Blvd. and catch
    the #52 bus on the westbound side of the street, towards Haleiwa.
    Ignore the schedule -- expect up to two hours, possibly with a
    transfer to another 52 bus, before you arrive at the Dole
    Plantation. Same on the way back.

    Downtown Honolulu can be reached via several buses departing from
    Ala Moana Center, including #42. See the King Kamehameha statue,
    as well as Iolani Palace, the only (former) royal palace on U.S.
    soil. $15 audio tour of a Victorian style palace. Smallish,
    but ornately decorated in the European style of the time, even
    being wired with electric lighting, something even Buckingham
    Palace didn't have yet.

    If you're looking for sleaze, Chinatown, also downtown, is the
    place to go. Waikiki is heavily policed, so don't bother looking
    for hookers or drugs there. Still, be discreet, and be careful
    as this area borders a large homeless camp.

    If you're looking for souvenirs, the huge swap meet at Aloha stadium
    on Saturday and Sunday (also bus #42) is the place to go. Everything
    from cheap t-shirts to high-quality crafts and jewelry.

    42 also takes you to Pearl Harbor -- get off at Arizona Memorial
    Drive. Check your bags, $3 each. Tickets to the USS Arizona
    Memorial are free, but run out fast so it is best to reserve them
    ahead of time, and even then the tour may be canceled due to high
    winds. Still a lot to see, though -- expect 3 hours and that's
    only if you don't tour the submarine or warship they have on
    display. ($65 gets you an all-attractions ticket).)

    Manoa Falls! From Ala Moana Center (edge of parking garage)
    take the #5 bus to Manoa Valley, which runs every 50-60 minutes.
    From the end of the line you walk uphill through an expensive
    neighborhood and into a park, and walk a little further to the
    trailhead. The trail starts out nice, then gets steeper and
    muddier and muddier and muddier and you have to crawl over a few
    mud-covered rocks before reaching the top. A beautiful tall
    waterfall awaits you, with a pool at the bottom that is off-limits
    because of a deadly bacteria but which everyone swims in anyway.
    More mud on the way down, and you walk alongside the Manoa creek,
    passing bamboo groves on the way (an invasive species). Hopefully
    your hotel has a laundromat, and the mud washes out easily without
    staining. I should add that you should wear good solid boots or
    sneakers with soles with a solid grip. I saw idiots in flipflops,
    and honestly they deserve it if they slip and break their neck.

    I'm not sure if I posted a blog for last year on the Big Island,
    but it was fabulous! The first night I was there the volcano
    erupted and I rushed to the visitor center at the top and saw the
    lava bubbling away. Not a huge eruption, but it was the first
    time I ever saw lava in real life. The next day someone had placed
    strange objects around, something wrapped in banana leaves which I
    assumed were offerings to the volcano goddess, Pele. Never made it
    to Pahoa, a very out-of-the-way town that was almost evacuated as
    lava encroached (it stopped before hitting town).

    The Big Island is my favorite island of all. The volcano side is
    the windward side, at roughly lower-cloud elevation so there is
    always a light drizzle going on. Which means lush rain forests.
    And lava, lots and lots of solidified lava. One highway takes
    you through a humongous lava field that goes all the way down to
    the ocean. I forget the name but it was windy as hell and it
    felt like being at the end of the world.

    Information for the stoner tourist: There is no pakalolo in
    Hawaii, it is just a myth. Actually, that is not quite true.
    There is marijuana, but not for tourists. If you're there long
    enough and befriend the right people, you'll find someone with
    a connection. Don't smoke it in public, especially in Waikiki.
    Pakalolo is grown in Hawaii, but not enough to meet local much
    less tourist demand, so most of it is smuggled in from the
    mainland. And forget about scoring it on Kaua'i right now. The
    feds recently busted a big meth ring, which also supplied the
    island's marijuana, so everyone is hoarding their stash.


    Panasonic DMC-ZS540S
    $219 Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-DMC-ZS40S-Digital-Camera-3-0-Inch/dp/B00IOTTLZY Nice compact camera that fits in pocket, good lens with high zoom, long
    battery life, GPS with 15-second logging (eats up battery though).
    Combine with following by synchronizing camera time with GPS time (or
    use NIST.gov, but make sure to sync to the second):

    Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro (GPS logger)
    $150 Amazon
    Durable little gadget which displays latitude and longitude, but not so
    good with altitude. Sometimes takes a minute or two to get a satellite
    lock after powering on, but tends to keep the lock well after. Long
    battery life (actual time unknown), but memory holds up to 100 hours of
    logging at one time per second. Logging can be turned on and off, and
    points of interest recorded.
    iThing with Bluetooth
    This is absolutely necessary for using Bad Elf. It *WILL NOT* connect
    to any other device -- Android or Wind*ws -- and Bluetooth is the only
    way to transfer the GPS logfiles off the device, as well as adjust
    settings such as logging frequency, English/Metric units, etc. The
    iThing does not connect to non-iThings, so I resorted to e-mailing
    myself the logfiles. That said, the Bad Elf is an excellent little
    gadget, very accurate and pretty good at keeping a satellite lock as
    long there isn't a lot of concrete around.

    Wolverine Fulton Men's W05107 11 3E
    $70 Amazon
    Sounds too wide, isn't. Replace cheap insole with Dr. Scholl's Sports
    Gel. So comfortable I wear them daily, not just for hiking.

    High Sierra Elite backpack
    $35 Costco
    Best backpack I've ever owned! Not too large, but plenty of room for everything from your water to electronics. Large-tooth zippers, lots
    and lots of pouches, and an airflow mesh thing that keeps you back
    cool. Heavy duty stitching, and metal cable that reinforces the handle.
    So far it has survived 3 or 4 machine washings. Occassional item at
    Costco, grab one when they are in stock. Comes in red, blue, or black.

    Asus X205T netbook
    $130 clearance Walmart
    Pros: Full-functioning computer with speedy SSD and 10-12 hour battery
    Cons: Comes with Wind*ws 10; Linux incompatible. RAM and SSD could be
    Weight: 1kg, fits nicely in backpack. Runs Google Earth.

    LG G3 Verizon VS385
    Pros: Quad-core supercomputer that fits in pocket and also makes
    telephone calls.
    Cons: Verizon makes it unrootable and includes "featured" (and
    unremoveable) apps that suck your mobile data dry the moment you turn
    it on. Use pre-paid SIM card when traveling overseas (I learned that
    the hard way).

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)