When I think of Hawaii, I always think about a paradise where the sun always shines and pineapples grow. Therefore, I was so excited when I finally was on my way to the ‘fiftieth state of America’. Hawaii exists of several small islands, each with their own character. I landed at the airport of Maui. An island famous for its nature and less touristic than others.
I landed with a suitcase and an address of a hostel, that some friends recommended me. I stopped a cabdriver, said aloha to him and showed him an address. Fifteen minutes later I arrived at the Banana Bungalow.. The place was full of young people from all over the world, mainly Europe and Americans, for whom Hawaii also felt as ‘abroad’.
Every day , the guests could sign up for a trip organised by the hotel staff. My favourite was a day long hike to Haleakala Volcano. Haleakala, at just over 10,000 feet high, is above the clouds. The view at the top was magnificent, as was the sunset. Watching the sky colour red, in this place so isolated from the rest of the world, made me feel closer to nature than ever before.
We also went snorkelling with the group. We drove along the western coast of Maui to the old whaling town of Lahaina, once the capital of the Kingdom of Hawaii. If we were lucky, we could encounter giant turtles. I was so anxious to be near one of them. But be warned, it is forbidden by Hawaiian law to actually touch these gentle creatures. The turtles showed up and it was sensational to swim with them.
Another amazing experience was an afternoon sail to watch the largest Pacific pod of humpback whales. Did you know that thousands of whales travel from Alaska to winter here in the warm waters of the Maui channel. The wales also give birth to their babies in these warm waters.
After a week, I took an inter-island flight. Flying between islands is like taking a ferry. You can buy a ticket and half an hour later you are up in the air. I went to Oahu, probably the most famous island because of Honolulu, pearl harbor, Waikiki beach or Magnum P.I. Almost one million people live on this island, which is about 80% of all Hawaii. The public transport is really good, for 1 dollar you can take a bus to anywhere.
I visited the museums of pearl harbor, and went sunbathing at Waikiki beach. Beware of the sun, I forgot to do my back and just 20 minutes later, I was burned all over! Away from the crowded Waikiki area, you should also try to visit Sunset Beach and Ehukai Beach, one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world.
When I was back at Maui Airport, waiting at the gate, I looked once more outside and I couldn’t wait to come back to discover the islands of Kauai and Lanai.