On our last day in Hawaii, we had a few hours to spend before catching our red eye flight back to LA, so we decided to venture out of the Waikiki/Honolulu area and check out the other side of the island.
Honestly, everything about this day turned out to be a complete disaster. With my parents trying to navigate us using a map, and my sister and I navigating with GPS, we ended up getting so lost and turned around that we spent most of our last day in Hawaii inside a car.
Moral of the story: choose one form of navigation and stick with it.
Eventually, we did make it to a beach though. It took us twice as long as it should’ve to get there, but we found Kailua Beach Park, on the windward coast of Oahu. This is more of a locals beach, and looked completely desolate compared to Waikiki.
It was a pretty beach, but worth driving all day to get there? Definitely not. We only stayed a few minutes and then left, unimpressed and in bad moods (getting lost in an unknown place will do that to you). From there, we continued around the southern edge of the island and headed for Hanauma Bay, which is where I had wanted to go from the beginning.
We got there fairly late in the day, after they stopped charging admission to get inside because it was almost closed. Hanauma Bay is a nature preserve and costs around $8 per person to get in, but the snorkeling here is supposed to be really awesome. Not that I would know though, because we got there too late to do it. However my sister had snorkeled there before, and said it was just alright. Too many people, she said, causing poor visibility. It’s still on my list of things to do next time I’m in Oahu though.
So we were only able to walk around the grounds for a few minutes, but even with only being allowed partial access, the bay still looked beautiful. It provided a moment of peace and serenity in the midst of a travel day from Hell.
By the end of the day, my sisters and I made the unanimous decision to pretend this day never happened. After leaving Hanauma Bay, we got lost trying to find a place for dinner, and then lost again on the way to the airport. It just goes to show that even the most seasoned travelers aren’t immune to encountering problems abroad.
Lessons I gained from this day: don’t simultaneously use maps and GPS, have a game plan laid out before you start driving, and if you have time constraints, don’t choose a destination that is far away.
Hanauma Bay…I will return for you!!