Tuesday, 1 January 2013

O'ahu, Hawaii

I arrived in Honolulu before I left Sydney. Crossing the international date line fiddles with the mind a little. This became especially apparent when I arrived at the hostel on Waikiki beach and asked to check in. On seeing the a frown and and pursed lips on the face of the friendly receptionist I immediately realised that I'd not actually booked a room for that night. I could only think of the high-end hotels around the area and how much this mistake might cost me! Sleeping on the beach popped into my head, but in raining season probably not an option. I popped on the net and checked for any spaces in hostels - but of course, with new years eve the next day, there was nothing. I ditched the bag and went on a rece to the hotels in the area to get an idea of prices. All were between $350 and $450 per night, and seemed to be only the high-class rooms - although I must admit it was tempting to grab a penthouse suite with spa, and full sea-view for one night. Eventually (and quite close to the hostel) I found a hotel that had a $125 room - I took it immediately!

Back at the hostel I grabbed my bag and got chatting to a friendly, cute girl from New Zealand. We were both heading down the beach so decided to hang out. I had to get changed into my swimming shorts at the hotel but the room wasn't ready. The receptionist said I could use the bag room to get changed, but there was CCTV with a monitor in reception - she promised not to look and I donned my shorts, superman style.

The next 18 hours, we decided, was our new years eve - a sleep-deprived whirlwind of conversation, sunshine, swimming, cocktails and terry-towelling jumpsuits - I've rarely had such a fantastic, instant, connection with someone. At 5am the next morning I waved my new partner-in-crime off in a taxi - she, sadly, had to fly home.

After catching up on sleep I moved to the hostel, where I had a booking for that evening. The official new years was that evening, but I wasn't feeling it - dramatically missing my Kiwi buddy. In my hostel room were some welcoming Argentinians who'd already started the celebrations - they thrust a beer in my hand and the party, once again, started!

At midnight thousands gathered on Waikiki beach to watch the fireworks. Afterwards we did a little clubbing, dancing about to some dubstep then ended up swimming in the sea around 3am. The dip sobered me up quickly and then I had to go back and get some kip. New years eve (part 2) complete.

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