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Hawaii Islands Notes
BK on the better side of the world '93 .. 2000!
Over the years it became tradition to spend December on the Islands. My trip to Hawaii is surf-related and Oahu gets some killer waves over the winter. Of course, JahTours means travel adventure and I've checked out the BIG Island Hawaii, as well as the Garden Isle Kauai and Tourist Heaven Maui.
Curious place, these islands halfway in the Pacific Ocean. So far and yet so near. Of course, the american and asian influences are obvious but there is also a undeniable european influence. Not that there's a pizzeria on every corner but for example imported european food like danish cookies or german Christstollen make it to the islands in time for christmas. Only the bad weather stays on the other side of the world.
Hello Kitty, Sunset Beach '97
So when I went hiking I was amazed about the number of europeans on the trails of Kauai and Oahu. In between a couple of americans, but almost no asian visitors. The japanese ladies on a shopping trip are already a piece of local culture. Since my first visit in 1993 many new shops all over the place, especially between Ala Moana and Waikiki. US prices for luxury goods are cheap compared to their japanese homeland. For visitors from Europe there is litte interest in shopping, may be in the more typical american shopping centers around Pearl City.
Pat O'Connel, Sunset Beach '97
Every year Mid-November to Mid-December the Tripple Crown of Surfing competitions are held on the best surf spots of Oahu North Shore. When I'm on the islands I never miss the final competition, the Gerry Lopez Pipemasters. The master himself may show up on the beach or paddle out in the longboard expression session, also seen surfing the former world champion Rusty Keaulana, and longboard Wunderkind Joel Tudor. In 1997 Joel nearly created a sensation when he stole the first place in the first trial series against later winner John Boy Gomes. JBG struggled to get the second place in that heat to move into the main event. His perseverance paid, at the end he shared the podium with Michael Ho, the 1983, and 1985 Tripple Crown Champion. This years Tripple Crown may see another hawaiian, Andy Irons, be crowned. He and his brother Bruce Irons already were strong in the Pipemasters 2000 and they only have gained experience since.
Once the contest was over with a couple of days at my disposal I had a go at Pipeline myself. With my waterproof stereo-photo camera I got some breathtaking shots. At times there were ten photographers and videomen in the water, it was an honor for me to be out there.
Kauai offers not only the most untouched beaches but also excellent hiking around Waimea Canyon and on the North Shore. My favorite beach on Kauai is Polihale with its long wide dunes and fine sands, yet free from resort-minded tourists. Speaking of, the worst Tourist spot is Princeville, it reminded me a little of the Lahaina resorts on Maui. With my four-islands experience Kauai holds a solid second place, just after the Big Island, with Oahu on third. I'll sure come again!