On my third day here, I signed up for a full day tour of the island. We covered 123 miles, starting in Pearl Harbour, going straight up to the North Shore, and then working our way down the east coast and eventually back to Honolulu.
The day started in Pearl Harbour at dawn. I knew the basic facts of Pearl Harbour’s history and the events of December 7, 1941, but being there I learned a lot more of the whole picture. It also gives you a small sense of what it must have been like – standing on the shore, overlooking the bay where it all happened, reading simple but powerful quotes placed around the area.
Overlooking Pearl Harbour:
One of my favourite quotes there, by Eleanor Roosevelt:
My group took a boat out to see the USS Arizona, one of the ships that was hit in the bombing. Over 1100 people on board were killed, and 900 of those bodies were never recovered; they and the ship are all still there, lying in about 40 feet of water. There’s a memorial structure built overtop it now – from there you can look down and see the ship’s outline in the murky water below. It was powerful.
From there, our tour carried on to the North Shore. We saw some of Hawaii’s most famous beaches, including the one where they host the Eddy, a famous surfing competition.One of the North Shore beaches:
We stopped at the Dole Plantation, where I tried some pineapple ice cream (very good) and a macadamia nut farm, where we got to sample macadamia nut coffee (also very good).Pineapple ice cream, topped with fresh pineapple:
We also saw Hanauma Bay. This bay gets its shape from formerly being the spot of a volcanic crater. It’s also where they filmed Elvis’ “Blue Christmas”!Hanauma Bay:
A busy, but very good, day on the island.