It is all go in Waikiki. There are all sorts going on every day, every night, not to mention the hoards of street performers: magicians, mimers, steel drummers, henna tattooists, ukulele players, percussionists, basket ball tricks, guitarists, bracelet makers, lei weavers, the works. Every 10 or 15 steps you take down Waikiki’s main street, you are bound to find at least 2 or 3 performances which stop you on your way.
Waikiki is very much catered for tourism – all the high end boutiques are here, Chanel, Gucci, Armani, Prada, Guess, you name it, it’s here. There are all the hipper shops too, which are giant, UGG, Crocs, Billabong, Quicksilver, Dakine, etc. And of course, there is the infamous International Market Place, heaving with gifts and souvenirs of all shapes and sizes.
The beach front is stunning. I mean, really stunning. The sand is welcoming, the waves are tranquil, the water is shallow so you can dip in there all you want without being swept away by the current. Granted, it is always busy, but if you are a keen people-watcher, this is really a great spot to sit back and watch all the characters.
I have been mulling around lately, trying to find my bearings – after my nightmare bus trip (cf. last post), I have been avoiding the bus, and thus walking around. A lot. My calve muscles have certainly strengthened as I am currently living up a very large slanted hill top. It is sometimes even too far away from some parts of main Waikiki to consider walking back, and so I take a taxi from time to time, which has been burning holes in my pockets like there is no tomorrow.
I am therefore probably going to move somewhere more central soon, to make sure I can easily get to concerts and events without worrying about needing an expensive taxi or a complicated bus trip back to my bed. But before any of that happens, tomorrow I will be off to Punaluu, where my father has recently bought a little place on the beach. I am helping out with some of the administrative process of buying a place which consists in doing a walk-through. I will make sure everything looks in order, and then stay a couple of nights, enjoy the seafront and the tranquility of the North Shore area.
On Sunday, I spent a lot of time mooching back and forth in central Waikiki, sitting on the beach, then exploring a little more of the streets and venues. As I was walking, one youngish guy sitting in, what is called a ‘Mini-Coop’, stopped me and asked whether I would like to go for a little ride for free as he was on his lunch break. Great, I thought, and hopped in. This little green three wheeled vehicle was noisy, but lots of fun, and we zoomed around various Waikiki streets.
I heard there was going to be some live music happening in Duke’s bar at 4PM(a beautiful sea front bar), so around 3PM I treated myself to a sun bed in front of the bar (8$ an hour, I got one for 8$ for two hours as a special) and thought I would snooze until I heard the music. It was a lovely way to relax, and I got talking to two Australian chaps in their early thirties who are here on a short holiday. Once the music began to play, it transpired it was a talented band playing all sorts of interesting covers with a funky rock style. Percussions, excellent guitar riffing, good vocals, it appeared this band knew what it was doing. It transpired this was Henry Kapono’s band, which plays at Duke’s bar every Sunday.
We decided to enter the bar and have a few drinks, and once we actually approached the stage and place, there was a large crowd of dancers and boogying peoples! What a great atmosphere, barefooted people coming from the beach after having spent a long day lazing around suddenly livening up and dancing until sun set. And that’s precisely what happened – the sun set literally behind the band, in front of the crowd and drinkers, the scenery was really magical and very much vibrant with positive energies. Most people actually cheered and clapped after the sun went down, which I thought was excellent.
So, tomorrow, en route for an exploration into a slightly calmer part of Oahu…