I have been on the road again after a long hiatus. This trip was to western Canada to visit my daughter with a stopover in Hawaii. I had booked four days on Kauai and another four in Honolulu. It was just as well I hadn’t opted for Big Island, given the erupting volcano!
The trip began inauspiciously. I wasn’t allowed to board in Auckland unless I had an onward ticket from Hawaii. My flight to Vancouver was not acceptable as U.S. Immigration do not deem Canada (and Mexico) as ‘onward’. Frantic booking of a return flight ensued! U.S. immigration is also now so complicated that separate check-in and boarding areas are necessary at the airport. Clutching my newly issued boarding pass, I was ‘interviewed’ before I could drop my bag. On the other side of security, I realised my flight was half an hour earlier than I thought and the gate was at the furthermost point of the airport. Of course, I hadn’t allowed enough time. I was out of practice and a bit too casual!
The flight was overnight and easy. Immigration in Honolulu entailed being fingerprinted and photographed twice. Otherwise it was very smooth. It didn’t take as long as I had allowed so I had plenty of time before my next flight to wander the airport, have breakfast and chat to other Kauai bound passengers. Sitting on a bench outside the terminal, the air was warm and balmy so I wasn’t complaining!
I had booked the Kauai Beach House Hostel in Kapa’a so this is where I headed once I had picked up the rental car. I was shown to a cave like private room with a view of the sea through the glass vents. There were no actual windows. The walls were wooden framework with plaster board on one side. The shared deck outside my door had three beds on it. The mattresses of the double bunk beds had plastic covers. It wasn’t quite as I envisaged! Over the next few days, bodies came and went but not in my room. It was a busy hostel and, on some nights, people were sleeping on the settees in the office and the sofa beds in the common areas. I didn’t offer to share. As one local said “staying at the hostel is an experience in itself”!
On the first day out I put a dent in the rental car. Something in the car was beeping at me and I lost concentration for a second. (The hand brake was still partially on.) Luckily, I was in a car park and not going fast although hitting parked cars seems to be becoming my specialty. It was raining and not living up to my expectation of blue skies and sunny days. Things could only improve!