LA to Hawaii Week 1

Posted: September 29, 2010 in GREEN, Helping Hands Events, NEW FRIENDS, Table Of Contents, TRAVEL / Gatherings, TRUTH / Occupy
Hawaii 2/2/10While in LA, my friend Sung informed me he had taken 2/2-2/10 off and he was going to Hawaii. It was an opportunity for me to go and split the costs of a rental car and camping expenses while examining the quality of living for native Hawai’ians so I started preparing.Sung was caught in the housing crunch. His property value dropped 20%, his income cut 60%and he had a loan from 2001 so he qualified to have his payments split in half and his interest cut to 2%.Sung’s contact on Honolulu had no problem with me coming along so I reserved the airline tickets. We paid full asking price of $195 each way. When traveling solo I just risk a last minute special and save around 15% from priceline.

SP needed a round trip ticket but I was not sure I would be ready to come back at the same time. I decided to get round trip for LA to avoid a chance at a higher cost.

I put an ad on craigslist and couchsurfing for inter island boat shuttle and camping advice. I received plenty of advice on free caming spots but no one was aware of any boat shuttles. A ferry service ran for a year and then the 2 boats were eventually sold to the US military. Locals were complaining that it was a scam to raise taxes and have them pay for everything before transferring to private military use. One person I talked to was trying to organize investors to create a pedestrian shuttle but it was only in planning stages.

The only option I found online for inter island transport was with the airlines at a cost of $64 each way. I got round trip tickets for Sung but only got a one way from Honolulu to Maui for myself on the chance I may decide to stay longer.

If I was to stay, I would have to donate $150 to American Air to change my ticket or pay $200+ to get a new ticket. For 7 days this decision would weigh on my mind. It was like having to decide when to leave the forests except this time I was trapped on an island.

After researching areas to sleep and transportation in Hawaii for a few days I had an idea of where to be for each day of the adventure. I spent the coming days paying bills in advance and turning off email alerts

The morning of our departure we had our plans ready within comfort. I had my computer files copied over to my HTC phone and obtained emergency cash and had all the other checklist tasks completed. I had a camping pack on my back and a regular pack with all my food on the front for the train ride to the airport.

Sung’s place was 3 blocks from the rail depot so he used his 4 Runner to drop off the luggage and then took it back to the garage and returned to me on foot. This took us from 8:45 to 9:15.

After getting off the train we had a bus waiting to shuttle us to the terminal. We checked in and passed security smoothly and were sitting at our gate by 10.
On the plane we found out American Air does not offer comp meals and they charge $10 for a sanwhich. I was not fortunate enough to sit beside anyone to add to my circle but Sung was. He gave a cute girl the isle seat and sat by me. Our entertainment consisted of the movies “Up” and “Two boys” which was a comedy of two male flight attendants. During the 5 hour flight I struggled to find a conversation and ended up writing most the trip. I was entriqued by thousands of bird sized white dots below the plane. There were too many to be birds or small clouds so it had to of been a combination of the two plus boats, white caps and sea animals. Maybe it was all just a bunch of white cap waves?
  Once we landed we got our rental car and drove around Oahu. We stopped at a Walgreens to compare prices. One noticeable thing was a 4 pack of generic AA batteries was $4.99. I noticed a lot of apartments have water heaters on roofs or balconys. About half the population live in 60 story skyscrappers. The price of regular gas was $3.20 on O’ahu in comparison to $2.20 on the mainland.
  There are pigeons everywhere and the mountains are covered in typical rainforrest tropic cloud haze. There schools have lockers and walk ways on the outside. Most of residential windows are glass shutter blinds.

Our host Scott Fuglei, took us through south Honolulu to the Sandy Beach area. We ended up climbing down some rocks to get to a cove the locals call Roach Bay. It is a nice secluded area where you can camp and party without being hastled. I noticed a big hole in the side of the cliff so the three of us went in and explored.

The cave went about 100 feet back and opened up at the base of the mountain. The rain water from the mountain formed this blow hole to allow the water access to the ocean.There were cocheroaches all over and signs of overnight sleepers. After leaving the cave we sat by the water and partied while watching the moon rise. As our paranoia settled in and our stories ran thin, we climbed our way back up the cliff.There were a bunch of cops driving around the next lookout lot so Scott wanted to hang out on the trail until the cops left. We sat on the side of the cliff and before long spot lights were shinning above us. Eventually the officer quit looking for us and drove off. We waited a few minutes and then left as well after diggin up our party bag. Once back at the house, Sung passed out on the couch and I stretched out on the floor. I was grateful to be provided a safe, dry, bugless shelter for Free the next two nights.2/3/10
The next day we drove to the north tip of O’ahu. Along the way, the coast was covered with tent campers. Most of them were living there permanently and had pvc and plywood structures. It was just what I needed to consider an extended stay. I wish I could find a similar spot in California.

I thought there would be a dirt road connecting the two highways but once we got to the western tip there was no way north to the road that went around the mountain.

Bad planning on my part meant I would not be able to see the rest of O’ahu because we also wanted to spend the afternoon at the tourist trap, Waikiki. If I would have picked to go northeast from Honolulu we would have circled the rest of the Island.

Waikiki was worth the time though. We had beautiful swiss girls tanning right by where we laid our heads down and all sides of us were surrounded by hot ladies. There was 5 girls for every guy within 20 feet of us but yet I could not get one to notice me until we were ready to leave. By the time I had one looking at me, we were walking away and even when I waved she didn’t wave back.

Our parking cost $16 for 5 hours in the Sheraton hotel. It was $6 an hour but u get 2 hours free with a min purchase.
  We went with Scott, Amy and Felix to a Sushi bar. It was my first time eating Sushi so they taught me what some of the delicasies were and how to mix dipping sauces etc. After driving around, we went back to Scott’s house and watched Zeitgeist. Scott and Amy went to bed by 9 so they could get up at 6a. I made sure I was packed and then wrote some more until I fell asleep.

The next morning we took off for the airport around 9 to get the car returned and then checked in at the Maui terminal. At the gate there was some super hot JLo looking celeb walking around, talking on her phone while her body guard followed her every step. She didn’t smile or wave when I gestured but it was fun trying.

On the plane I met a kid and his dad from Alaska. The kid broke the ice by asking if I was a UFC fighter. When I told him no but I was soccer player, he said he liked playing it 2 months a year and was anxious to go to college so he could play all the time.

When we got off the plane we went to pick up our rental car. The lady working the desk was amazing. Flo was native Hawaiian and was all laughs. I’ve never seen someone able to bond with Sung as well. His LA personality can be a bit brupt on first impressions. She provided us a 2010 Subaru Forrester for $200 off the booking price.Flo (leimomi2350@yahoo) was happy to share stories about the locals with us for this book. The USA forcefully weazeled their way into Hawaiian politics by placing rich business men on the Island. As Americans started settling the Islands with their fancy tools and weapons, the locals welcomed them in exchange for these items. Little by little, American’s worked their way into Hawai’ian government and then during the late 1890’s, the USA occupied Hawai’i during the Spanish-American war and never removed their military presence ever since. The world governments stood by neutrally as the USA annexed Hawai’i in 1959 against their will.Flo also told us about how the Kamehameha school system tries to teach mostly in native Hawaiian in an attempt to retain the culture.

Presently, the locals still have not received the provisions such as free property tax and quarterly cash living payments that were promised to them. The Hawaiians have to pay more for utilities and food then ever before and their fresh water streams are diverted by the military and businesses.

We drove around and walked the northeast coast. Fuel was $3.79 on Maui while in the mid $2 range on the mainland. Under the Bayhan tree we met our local Jonah and got some party favors. His family and friends have been conditioned to believe that if the US didn’t conquer the Island, then they would have ended up under Japanese rule probably anyway because they don’t have the iron to produce a strong navy for defense. I asked him to read about all the other independent islands and learn how they have avoided foreign invasions to keep their sovereignty.

We walked the Lahanei shops and saw some todlers wearing Husker Hats. We saw some great Picasso like surealist art by Galeriesthomasbarbey .com. We also chilled with Daniel from Columbus Ohio who had been ruffin it there for over 3 years. While he was making baskets and such out of the palm leaves a lady from Ohio came by and sat at talked and then gave him a $10 spot.

Then we loaded up on Subway’s and browsed a head shop. The subway guy told us the north tip has a great hidden spot so from there we drove north until we found a local for camping advice. He shared the secret spot location with us and off we went.

The spot was everything you could dream. The entrance was a rock road behind a few trees. The road had a few deep ruts but it was passable with AWD. About 200 feet back there was a few flat spots for a tent and firepits. You could walk a lava grass field and then climb up cliffs for a gorgeous view of the sun rise.

In the morning I hiked to a fresh water pool in the lava field and washed up. Then I took a bunch of pictures as the sun rose about 6:45. By the time Sung showed up I was doing yoga on the highest cliff watching wales as they slapped their tails.From here we drove a one lane cliff road about 20 miles down the northeast coast. We went clock wise to make sure we were on the land side of the road. It was a good thing we did because a cute blond haired blue eyed farmer girl came cruising around a curve and scraped a guard rail as her jeep just missed us.We got some great shots of us with the cliffs in the background. There was a bunch of farmer stands along the road so we stopped and got some banana bread for lunch.

Once we reached the main city of Kahului, we found a Salvation Army store and got supplies and got food at a WalMart. We then flipped a coin to decide if we were going to the mountain or the beach.The flip was in favor of the beach so we drove the west coast to the beaches. We spent the afternoon hiking the 2 mile beaches and enjoying the scenery.Around 6p as the sun was setting we worked our way down to La Perrouse Bay to camp with the fishermen. We pulled up next to a native in his 60s and I asked him if we could party with them. He was friendly and said heck yea. He told us to call him Uncle Tim bongo. He said he went to Moloka’i school with our rental car friend Flo.

Tim Bongo had a lady friend camping with him and 5 grown kids around Hawai’i. He told us when he was 19 a wealthy widowed nurse took him home to SoCal with him and paid for him to go back and forth. To this day he is friends with her son and stays with their family when he returns to the mainland. Bongo also told us that jobs are difficult to get for Hawaiian’s because they require skills that are hard to obtain on the small islands. Any natives whom don’t wish to persue traditional farming end up camping with family on Maui or Oahu while looking for a job. Tim also showed us the traditional shakra sign using two end fingers so we would help the ancestors correct the americanization mistakes.

I walked the coast and talked to some fisher’s next. I watched as they set their bait. One guy handles the reel while another feeds the line off the rock to a third guy in a kayak who sets the bobber markers 600 feet out.

The next group over was a bunch of college kids. I sat on the rocks by them to write and one of them came over to chat. They invited me over and gave me some hot dogs and burgers and beer. We chatted about college life and growing up as a minority on the island.

On my way back there was a man in a brown VW camper van. I asked him if he would like a burger and dog but he had some fish and broccoli dished up. His name was Louis pearl and he did tricks with bubbles for school performances (youtube) myspace facebook.

Along the coast we took Piilani Hwy, Wailea Ike Dr., Wailea Alanui Dr., until once you pass the Grand Wailea Hotel the best beaches start. There was volleyball on Big Beach and more adult activities on the small beach around the southern rocks.

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