Thursday, March 13, 2003

Thursday, 13th March 2003


Well, I've checked my bathroom scales and Since the end of February I'be been steadily gaining weight. Now, over the years my weight seems to go up and down quite consistently over a 5 kg range, but to remain stable over the long run. I must come to the conclusion therefore that I'm fattening up for the winter!

The Past
Well I decided that for nostalgia's sake, I would start to piece together our overseas trip methodogically/chronologically. Hopefully if Chris and Sandor check out my blog occasionally they can add to it, correct and/or expand it into a working diary. I guess I could use email for this, but hey this is good too.

First plane trip - TSV - SYD - HNL. Customs telling me I would need a temp visa to get back in. Crossing the dateline as well as the equator. Starting a trend of eating as much as possible during flights, because we didn't know when our next meal was coming. Arrival at Honolulu and the "show me the money" incident at the customs there. Wearing silly ribbon badges to catch a Taxi. Nearly getting run over because I looked the wrong way instinctively when crossing the first road. Checking in at the hotel, noting the free light breakfast from our "host" holiday packager. Checking out Waikiki. Me & Sandor tasting our first ever Big Mac (being disappointed). Next day take 60c bus ride to Sunset Beach ignoring all the discounts booklet. Watch the world championship surfing, while listening to the beach boys. Surfing gets cancelled because waves are too big, one surfer coming back in with a surfboard broken in half - we decide to go swimming at Weimea Bay. Quite a serious washing machine action at the surf break, filling your pockets with sand instantly. Noting sunset at Waikiki is into the ocean unlike in Tsv. Taking our tape recorder up to the restaurant on top of the fancy Hotel. Recording the waitress saying we were dressed inappropriately. Returning later we left a large tip but failed to make a clean escape. Buying Tropical shirt to match everybody else in the place. Taking a bus ride to the extinct crater to climb up Diamond Head. Strange incident where I thought I'd lost you guys, but you were just sneakily following me. Balcony incident. Locking some luggage at the airport as we fly to the Big Island. Part of the engine block of the plane looking very wobbly. First day of hitchhiking- almost all uphill. Sleep at the shelter near the National park. Much colder up here - Chris has no sleeping bag. Next day we start out hiking through the "lunar" landscape of solidified lava of a recent (2 yr previous) eruption. We had but a large tin of baked beans (supposedly with pork) between us for food. Listening to "Walking on the moon" by "The Police" appropriately. Saw and smelt the acrid yellow sulphur emanating from the fairly recent crater. Walked through the acid rain desert. Walked up to the ranger's building to check it out. By mistake we walked into this "staff only" room, and saw covering a whole 2*4 meter wall an impressively accurate map of the whole island, with special references to the currently active volcano bits. We sat staring at this map for a good few minutes after we realised we weren't supposed to be in this 'control' room. Restart hiking back along the main road after noting the point where the lava flow had gone straight over it, damaging it irretrievably. Start realising that there is coins on the road ( apparently people would throw out their spare coins for good luck!) Caught Chris & Sandor fighting over a penny. After many long hours, we get picked up by this Canadian woman and a man who claimed to a direct male line descendant of the Hawaiian native Royal family (it was probably true). Being it took a long time to get this lift it was of good quality. They showed us some of the sights. Drove us past the supposedly "green" beach (It looked pretty grey to me), and eventually dropped us off at another beach. Apparently the cliffs near the beach were supposed to be haunted - so we slept there. After looking around, we realised that there was no shops in the beachfront community. Therefore, on top of spending a hungry night and morning, we realised that we had made a profit of around $1 for the day! The next day's hike back onto the main road, I realised that all these yellow-skinned, pink-fleshed fruits all over the side of the road were guavas. So I ate a couple. My two friends seemed dubious about picking up fruit from the side of the road and eating it. After finding a shop and restocking our food & drink, we started hiking again. We stopped at Cook, and tried to make our way down to the beach where we knew there was a memorial for where James Cook had been killed by natives. Alas, the track was completely overgrown by tall grass and banana plantations, so we headed back for the main road. We decided not to hitchhike up to the observatory on Mauna Kea, because if we were too delayed in catching rides, we may have missed our connecting flights. Next lift was quite quick - quite poor quality. He dropped us off about 1 k down the road and told us to stop there to get a ride because it was a much better spot than where we were. Ten hours later we realised we weren't going to get a ride that night and slept at a church site......

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