Monday, January 17, 2011

10. My Visit to Hawaii, August 11 - 25, 1993 for 15 days



Package tour to Hawaii for 15 days from August 11, 1993 to August 25, 1993. Tour covers four islands Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Hawaii.

HAWAII: Formerly Sandwich Islands. A group of islands in the North Pacific, in 1959 it became the 50th state of the Union (United States). Hawaii comprises more than 20 beautiful and intriguing volcanic islands, including Maui, Oahu, Kauai and Hawaii. Since Captain James Cook's discovery of these islands (1778) the population and culture have become a mix of European, Oriental and Polynesian. Its economy depends on tourism. The lure of Hawaii is irresistible. Its tropical flavor is unparalleled. It is the Pacific Paradise.

August 11, 1993: Leaving Charlotte via Delta Airlines 9:45 AM and Arriving at Atlanta. Leaving Atlanta via Delta Airlines 12:00 noon and arriving at Honolulu, Oahu.

OAHU: the Gathering Place. Oahu is the spectacular capital island, home to Honolulu. It is the third largest island of the state of Hawaii in the North Pacific. It is also the most populous and highly developed of the islands. The important US military installations on the island includes Pearl Harbor. It embodies the exotic flavor and flair of Hawaii.

HONOLULU: Capital of the State of Hawaii on the island of Oahu. It is a crossroads transport, trade and tourism as well as the economic and commercial center of this tropical paradise.

On arrival at the Honolulu Airport, greeted by a Hawaiian damsel who honored me with a lei garland. I was then transferred to the Maile Sky Court Hotel (3 nights) at Honolulu. After dinner at the hotel, strolled on the endless, sun drenched beaches of Waikiki. From the littering lights and excitement of Waikiki to the serenity of the quiet beach, Oahu is a beautiful piece of paradise. Next morning, breakfast and orientation in Queen Kapiolani Hotel, Waikiki. After the orientation the city tour started. Visited Coral Jewelry Factory, Garments Factory, and downtown. Evening tour to Paradise Cove, Luai. Tasted Hawaiian Alcohol and Polynesia Luau dinner which was followed by a three hour long Polynesian dancing ceremony which exhibited the true pageantry of this island state. Next morning to USS Arizona Memorial Monument at Pearl Harbor.

Pearl Harbor:  Inlet of the Pacific Ocean in Oahu Island. Site of US Naval base, it was the object of a surprise attack by the Japanese Air Force on October 7, 1941 that precipitated the United States into World War II. We embarked on a steam boat which took us to the USS Arizona Memorial, where we witnessed one of the saddest chapters in American History. Once a proud flagship in the US Navy, the USS Arizona now stands as a dilapidated submerged structure which will always be a reminder of the ruthless Japanese raid of Pearl Harbor.

Later that afternoon we visited the International Market and other shopping districts in the city. At night visited the Polynesian Cultural Center for a historical overview of Hawaii and the people who first discovered it. At night I attended a Polynesia Luai dinner in the Polynesia Hut with a Singaporean couple, who like myself came to experience exotic majesty of the island. The cocktail party and Polynesian Show lasted for three hours.

August 14, 1993: Leaving Oahu via Hawaiian Airlines to Luhue Airport, Kauai.

KAUAI: the Garden Isle: In Kauai there is a greater variety if native vegetation and magnificent tropical scenery.

Arrived at the Airport Kauai. Greeted by yet another Hawaiian beauty with a lei garland. Toud started from the airport itself. Enjoyed the Wailua River Cruise at Fern Grotto up the Wailua River. Visited the Rain Folk Water Falls and dilapidated King's palace. Transferred to the Hotel Islander on The Beach, at Kapaa (3 nights). After taking sea-bath enjoyed a blissful rest.

Solo tour in the free bus. The Travel Agencies are operating buses free of cost to the visitors in the island connecting important and shopping centers to encourage tourism. Visited the Luhue Airport, shopping centers and a church in the residential area. Next day to Princeville through sylvan surroundings and visited the Princeville neighbourhood and the status of Captain James Cook in the midst of the beautiful fountain. Went round through Kapaa, Kolaa and Kannappapaee villages and lastly visited the Waimia Canyon (like Gran Canyon in Arizona). Participated in the bar-party and then to bed.

August 17, 1993: Leaving Kauai to Maui vai Hawaiian Airlines.

Greeted at the Kakuli Airport, Maui and transferred to Maui Sea Side Hotel, Maui (3 nights)

MAUI: The Valley Isle: Maui has a magic all its own. The second largest of the Hawaiian Islands. Many say "Maui is the best". Maui is home to Lahina, Once the royal seat for Hawaii's ancient rulers, the historic town became the world capital of whaling by the 1840s. Maui consists of two mountainous masses. Its economy is based on mainly sugarcane and pineapples.

This time the Tour Manager arranged a Motor Coach. We touredi n the coach to Iao Valley -- Heritage Village of Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese and Native Indians. Driven to the amazing 19,000 foot summit of the dormant volcanic Haleakala looms high over Maui and offers breathtaking Panoramic views of the islands. The Needle Peak, Kennedy Face Profile, Waterfalls and mountain rivulets are the attractive pieces. Lunch in Plantation Resort Hotel. Tour continued to the Whaling Port white water sea-shore at Lahania. Visited the port, shopping centers, Jail and Flea markets and returned to the Hotel. Next day solo walking tour around the city-- Visited Wharf, Port of Kakului and shopping centers.

August 20, 1993: Leaving Maui and arriving at Hilo Airport, Hawaii. Greeted at the Airport.

HAWAII: The Big Island. Captain James Cook discovered Hawaii in 1778. Over 4000 square miles of wonder and romance, almost twice the area of the other Hawaiian islands combined. This is the land of exotic beauty and drama, serenity and excitement, coffee plantations and cattle ranches, misty rain forests and parched deserts.

This tour was a non-flight segment from Hilo to Kona that is from west coast to East coast. Hilo on the windward or wet side is a lush tropical town where wild orchids and beautiful red anthuriums thrive in the abundant rains.

Boarded into an air-conditioned motor coach, driven through Banyan Tree Drive,  Harbor, Sea Shore and through University complex where a myriads of damsels (University teenage girls) wearing variety of colorful and shining mini-skirts and shorts and shorts and skirts, walking, chanting and playing like butterflies in that area, really a feast to the eyes. We were not allowed to alight from the bus to enjoy the beauty but we watched the scene in great awe.

Visited Rainbow waterfalls and Macadamia Nuts Factory at Mauna Loa. We witnessed the processing how the nuts made into Chocolate and also tasted some free samples. Visited Akashu Orchid Gardens full of beautiful flowers and attractive plants. On the way visited the Volcano Winery and tasted various wines. An exciting walk through Tube Tunnel, caused by volcano was a thrilling one.

Twin Volcanic peaks, Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa each soaring more than 12000 feet into the sky are the highest points in the State. Mauna Loa is still active and delights us at a distance with its spontaneous eruptions of fiery red Lava that spew like a fountain up through the sea from underneath volcanic tubes.

Visited Paualui Crater at Kilemau Calders which is beautiful, attractive and at the sametime horrible to look at. Kilauea eruption took place in 1979 -- Kalemau eruption in 1982. It almost seems the lava is still flowing. Molten Lava enters the sea and makes the sea and sands black at Punalua. The whole Kalapana area was destroyed by the volcanic eruptions. The people believe that the PELE, the volcanic Goddess, was angry with the people of that area and destroyed their homes and belongings. Still the city of Hilo is under the threat of eruption of volcanoes at any time. Visited the National Park Service Center and Thomas A Jaggar Museum-- Sulphur pit near the Museum still emitting smokes. On the way swimming in Black Sands Beach, Punalua. Visited Kona Coffee Stores, tasted the Kona Coffee and reached Kona Sea Side Hotel, Kona ( 4 nights).

August 21, 1993: KONA: Tour to USS/CUSHING DD 985/ War Ship. One day free tour to the ship. The ship was anchored in Kailua Bay, Kona. After visiting the ship back to the hotel, surprisingly saw the road sign PALANI Road at the Kailua Bay Junction. Palani Road is one of the main thoroughfare in the Kona CIty. Visited the Palani Court Complex on the road. Attended Elks Club's Entertainment and dinner at Hale Halawai Recreation Club. Next day breakfast in Waterfront Row Hotel. Night Polynesia Luau Dinner in Hilton Resort Hotel, Kona.

On August 23, 1993, attended the International Bill Fish Tournament held in Kailua Bay. The fish caught weighing 534 lbs got the prize. The man, who won the prize, asked  me to lift the tail of the fish. I tried with all my strength, however the animal was so massive I was not able to move even the tip of its tail. Took rest for the next day early flight to Honolulu.

Aug 24, 1993: Leaving Kona Airport vai Hawaiian Airlines to Honolulu.

Aug 25, 1993: Leaving Honolulu to Atlanta and from Atlanta to Charlotte.  Reached Home Safely.


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