My first encounter with Hawaii was experienced on O’ahu’s North Shore, an absolutely beautiful region with chilled beach and tropical vibes. Turtle Bay Resort located in Kahuku provided comfortable accommodation, delicious dining and cultural activities, as well as a stunning locale to swim at secluded beaches and to view magical sunsets. Walks around the resort and its beaches, as well as reading in the sun on an ocean-view balcony contributed to a sense of freedom and relaxation in this tropical paradise.
En route to the Haleiwa market village, I even spotted a turtle on a small beach which was idyllic. Full of souvenir shops, surfboards, local art, cafes, and food trucks, I drank and ate a coconut and couldn’t believe how sweet and delicious it tasted.
An organised trip to the Polynesian Cultural Centre involved sipping on more coconut water, watching a canoe dancing pageant representing the nations of the Polynesian Islands, and exploring the centre’s activities with a canoe tour ride and 4D film. Of course one must dine like a traditional Hawaiian at a luau, complete with wearing delicate leis, and eating a meal of roast pig with tropical buffet selections which enhanced the entire experience. To conclude the day, there was an amazing performance with Hawaiian hula and an impressive fire dancing performance.
Another highlight at O’ahu was watching the final of the 2014 Billabong Pipe Masters. It was fantastic watching the competition on the beach and being close to numerous international surf competitors which strode past me on their way to the surf. It was surprising how exciting the final was, including the round in which Gabriel Medina won the surfing world title. Banzai Pipeline and Sunset Beach catered for the crowds with local food trucks. I particularly embraced tropical fruits with the help of tasty acai bowls, smoothies and papaya boats. Overall, the atmosphere was electric and I felt a part of the rich Hawaiian beach culture.
Dining by the beach watching sunsets and a last morning swim in the tropical waters of Turtle Bay Resort transitioned into a new experience – boarding a cruise. Checking in at the ship pier in Honolulu and setting sail that evening was the beginning of another fantastic adventure. Stay tuned for more travel posts that explore the Hawaiian islands.
Photographs by © MCTL