WEATHER – Fine & Humid
Well, after arriving at SYDNEY INTERNATIONAL in plenty of time, (7pm) we certainly weren’t going to miss our flight, departing at 10.20pm. Our movements through customs was pretty much as expected – I had the run-around this time, having to go through the stretch machine etc, while Cas had to wait. The terminal is still pretty much in construction mode so a large proportion of the stores were still being built internally.
Boarding our aircraft was pretty orderly, BUT unfortunately this time we were right down at the very back, HOWEVER, on our return flight we are on the upper floor of the 380, out of LA. 🙂 Our plane, going over was on an Airbus 330 which I got the impression had already been in service about 4-5 years. I wasn’t impressed one bit about the entertainment system. 🙁 BUT the cabin service was good apart from the breakfast which was obviously served late. Cabin crew were still collecting rubbish just b4 the wheels touched the ground. lol
Our flight landed at HONOLULU INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – HAWAII at 11.55am (local time) where we were greeted by our awaiting guide who transferred us to our hotel at Waikiki Beach. Yes, there are high-rise buildings galore, in every direction that you look. Our hotel the Waikiki Beach Resort, approx. 20 stories high and only one block away from the beach front = VERY HANDY!!!
HAWAII is the 50th state to join the USA stable & received “statehood” on the 21 Aug 1959. It comprises of nearly the entire volcanic HAWAIIAN ARCHIPELAGO which embodies hundreds of islands spread over 1,500 miles (2,400 km). In addition to the eight main islands there are several atolls and numerous smaller islets.
The eight main islands are:
Name Nic Name Size
- Ohau The Gather Place 1545 km sq
- Ni-ihau The Forbidden Isle 180 km sq
- Molokai The Friendly Isle 673 km sq
- Maui The Valley Isle 1883 km sq
- Lanai The Pineapple Isle 364 km sq
- Kauai The Garden Isle 1430 km sq
- Kahoolawe The Target Isle 115 km sq
- Hawaii The Big Island 104,32 km sq
Ok, we arrived at our hotel around 2pm, checked in and basically decided that we weren’t going to worry about a rental to get around as we were only in HAWAII for four days and most of our destinations were manageable using public transport. We decided not to island hop on this occasion as there was plenty to keep us occupied on Ohau for four days.
Our main priorities today were two fold –
1: To get a sim card organised for the phone &
2: To sort out a place for light food.
In getting a sim card, especially coming from another country u need to go to an actual telephone company, u can’t just rock up to someone selling sim cards and expect them to sell u one as u need to pass the 100 points test – eg: a passport 4 ID etc. In our case we wanted a card which covered both AMERICA & CANADA FULLY! The only one for that we were told is AT&T who r located in both countries. In short we purchased a prepaid package for $30.00, for one month which has to be renewed at the end on that month. This covers us for unlimited incoming, all local calls in both countries and unlimited text and pic sending. To do calls back to AUSTRALIA all we do is use an international phone card which can be picked up at any ABC shop for nics. Incidentally, ABC stores primarily sell souvenirs, food and a limited range of clothing. Just on the OHAU (HAWAII) island there are over 3 dozen stores = practically one on every corner in WAIKIKI.
Our 2nd task was to sort out some minor food = nibblies etc for the tour tomorrow, soooo we called into Safeway and WOW what a selection. NOW, we were told if u become a member then u qualify for all the discounts which are quite sizeable eg: a massive range of items with the card were 2 for the price of 1. At the counter we explained to the cashier that we were visitors, he said don’t worry just fill in ur name at the top and sign it at the bottom. The card is useable at any SAFEWAY store throughout AMERICA. When we came out of the store (about 5.30pm) it started to rain so we caught a bus back to our hotel.
Given that we had been on the go since the day b4 with only a couple of hours sleep on the plane, I can assure u it wasn’t hard at all falling asleep Saturday night AND Sunday was going to be a BIG day as well.