Hawaii Day Three

Up early for another adventure. This time around the North Shore on Circle the Island Turtle Tour with Hawaii Turtle Tours.

If you come to Hawaii, do this tour. Ask for David – he is the best tour guide. I fully recommend it and he is fantastic.

David taught us heaps of Hawaiian language on the tour and taught us a lot more of the culture. He gave us a great insight and added in heaps of little extras, even showing us his house.

We started off around Diamond Head, David pointing out house prices and facts along the way.

One of the highlights of the tour for me was going to an ancient Hawaiian sacred circle where he did a chant and blessed the two newlyweds. This was not part of the tour, just something extra he did for us.

The scenery is magic. Just stunning. You stop along the way for pictures etc.

Shrimp truck was delicious. I had butter garlic shrimp – it was $12USD and had generous servings of rice.

Turtle Bay Resort is beautiful however I wasn’t that impressed with the snorkelling. Coral is all discoloured and there were only a few tropical fish.

Turtle island Beach is amazing, as soon as we pulled up we could see a fuss on the shore so we ran over and sure enough there was a beautiful turtle chilling out. We just got pics before it left.

Dole plantation – I was super excited as the ice cream that this place is famous for was dairy free!! Yess! It was beautiful, melt in your mouth pineapple ice cream.

The only other solo traveller was a female in her 50’s, she is in Hawaii to run and it is the last of all the states in the USA she has to tick off on her list.

The best part for me was learning all about the ‘true’ Hawaii from David. Really insightful and considerate. Plus he looked like The Rock’s twin brother so I was happy as can be!

When we got home, it was straight up to get ready for my date. I met a lovely Hawaiian guy called Kyle and we went to Dukes for some drinks.

Japanese for dinner (surprise, I know) then sleep for a sleep in as I was exhausted!

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Marukame Udon Waikiki – Worth The Wait

What an awesome place!

I decided to find out why the line was sooo long at this udon restaurant (Marukame Udon in Waikiki) last night. I was very pleased I did! Marukame Udon is a build your own bowl restaurant from Japan. They use the best Japanese ingredients and it shows in the flavour.

I planned so that when I arrived I wasn’t too hungry and wouldn’t be impatient waiting in line. I can be pretty impatient (hangry) when I’m hungry and there is ALWAYS a line.

The noodles are definitely worth the wait. I love open kitchens, you can see them hand making the udon. Each bowl is customised however you want in front of you as you go down the line. You start by choosing your size, then the udon, then the broth (kake, curry etc), and finally, the tempura you want to add in.

I chose the Kake udon with two prawn tempura and an eggplant tempura. The total cost was about $9USD.

Oh my was it delicious. I couldn’t even eat half the noodles, they were huge servings (surprise – I’m in America) and the tempura was perfect. It’s a very tasty, affordable meal.

Marukame Udon deserves a line. If you’re ever in Waikiki, make the effort and go there. Be prepared to line up but know it is worth the wait!

** EDIT** I’ve visited a number of times since 2013, most recently in 2018 and there is still a giant line and they are still delicious!

 

Marukame Udon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hawaii Day Two

Day two in paradise.

Even though it poured down a lot of today it was still stunning.

I got up at 6am (gaahhh) as I had to meet the bus at 6.50 around the corner. That’s my excuse for being exhausted.

Took the bus to Kualoa Ranch. What a magical place. Those mountain ranges take your breath away. They are HUGE. I can’t even begin to tell you how big.

Kualoa ranch is a 4,000 acre working cattle farm.

I paid $70USD for a full day including transfers. I didn’t want to do their main two tours, horse riding and ATV riding so it was a lot cheaper. Unfortunately for me, because of the rain the creek flooded and I couldn’t see what I wanted to, which was the movie sets. I still had a great time though.

I met Gopher, an awesome local who works there as a tour guide early in the morning. We ended up chatting and he had spent some time in NZ so he offered to help me out with some notes of things to do. Luckily for me, Hawaiian’s love Kiwi’s!

First tour was pretty slow, Ancient fishpond and tropical gardens. Nothing wrong with it, maybe not quite my interest. We saw lots of flowers and fruit then took a flatbed boat over the fishpond. I had the wrong idea about the fish… I thought they’d be pretty but turned out to be barracuda, trevally and the like.

Next up was the Ocean Voyage. It was great, the tour guide was cracking me up. I guess they talk to me coz they feel sorry that I’m alone. We went out to Mokoli’i Island, commonly known as chinaman’s hat. Spotted three turtles!

Lunch was a boring affair.. Nice but boring. I opted for the Hawaiian burger – I am in Hawaii after all!

Movie sets and ranch was next. The highlight of this tour for me was meeting Jesse. A lovely guy from Jersey and his son, Jay Jay. I hope to have dinner with them later this week. This was why I came to the ranch, I wanted to see Fifty First Dates, Mighty Joe Young, Jurassic Park etc sets but the creek was flooded as the bus couldn’t make it through.

My last tour was the Jungle Expedition which my mate, Topher took us on the jeep around the island for an hour. Deep in the jungle as driving rough, it was fun. Topher was great and improvised with some cool pics even though it was raining. After the tour he stayed back with me and wrote me a locals guide – pretty excited about that.

My phone finally carked it – well and truly blew up. Luckily apple replaced it on the spot.

Dinner was awesome! Went to the udon place I couldn’t be bothered waiting in line for. Arrived before I was too hungry and the line wasn’t too long. Think I waited maybe 30mins? Beautiful food. Will do a whole other blog on it when I get the chance.

Big walk, chilled on wifi in lobby then upstairs to sleep. Except I got distracted writing this so now am on my way back downstairs to upload 🙂

Mahalo

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Hawaii Day One

Paradise. I can’t explain it better.

I love this place!

I arrived at 11pm last night. My hotel room is huge and has a nice view. I was straight to sleep, excited to see Hawaii in the light of day!

I had a huge, full on day. Woke up at 9.30, walked to the beach. First thing I wanted to see! I wanted to have breakfast on the waterfront but the first few I arrived at weren’t doing it so I found some takeaway fruit. Sat down and made friends with a local who works at the beach. Nice guy, told me all they do is work, smoke weed and listen to music. That’s typical island life evidently.

Went for a walk around the beach, found some markets to browse and had my first experience of someone yelling ‘Hey Kiwi’ at me. Turns out he was from New York – so no idea how he aced that one but now lives here. We chatted for a bit and he asked for my number so I gave him my USA one thinking I would top it up later.

Lunch was amazing. Cool locations, Jimmy Buffetts. Great service. I had a tuna ahi salad and a mai tai mmm

Visited Apple to get my phone fixed – no luck, just a reset required. Nearly bought everything in Bebe but resisted.

Strolled around, got talked into a pedi – I was gonna get one anyway. Hilarious Vietnamese lady telling me not to get in a relationship before 30.

Walked around some more and a guy chases me down the street – he said he just had to say hello. Haha. Sweet guy, working on a video clip here with his cousins, from Brooklyn. Gave him my USA number. Said maybe I’d meet him for a drink later..

Went back to hotel, I’d run out of money! Had a mini nap and applied the back up on my phone.

Realised I had no plans for next week so went and booked some tours to keep me busy. Went for another huge walk and watched the sunset on the beach before settling in to watch a traditional show.

Met another guy walking back, he said ‘I must say, you look phenomenal in those shorts’ and I was all – Hello accent. Nice guy, he added me on Facebook.

Just went to get my dinner, the ramen place I had picked out seems to be the most popular in Waikiki! Line went for miles. Screw that, I was hungry. Passed a taco place, Surf N Turf Waikiki, so I had fresh fish tacos with guacamole. Thank goodness I did – it was amazing!!!

So, funny story, gave my US number to those boys and turns out it was inactive! Oops.

Have not the slightest clue how, but all the locals seem to know in Kiwi. The amount of times I’ve heard ‘Hey Kiwi’ or ‘Aotearoa’ today is crazy… I look just like any other tourist here!

Back to the hotel for a drink at the bar before bed.

6.50am pick up in the morning!

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