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Hawaii for a whole 3 months - my 3rd trip

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Before we start, a quick note about this magazine article: If you would like to know more about the sights in detail (tips, contacts, photos, map), click on "Overview". You can return to the article by clicking on "Read article".
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Overview

3 days travel... The disadvantages of a standby ticket

In 2010, I am at the limit professionally. Stress, bullying and dissatisfaction lead me to quit myself without having a new job. Who does something like that? Lack of understanding from colleagues, friends and family. But only for a week. After that, the incomprehension turns into respect, envy and admiration. I am still scared shitless. I decided to fly to Hawaii a third time. As long as I enjoy it. But at the longest, 3 months. How will that be? Me, all alone, at the other end of the world. That makes my stomach hurt at first. The first 3 weeks I take a friend with me to facilitate the "entry". In retrospect, total nonsense. Develops my time alone over the coming weeks to the much more valuable journey. With magical experiences and complete freedom.

Overtired in pouring rain from Ulm to Frankfurt by train. Vacation feelings do not set in. Too uncertain the matter with the Standby ticketA ticket with which you can only fly if there is room. And you don't really know until you're sitting in the plane. Actually so not my thing, this risky planless. My then acquaintance and fellow traveler gets the only available seat to NYC and I stay behind in Frankfurt. My mood sinks. How long will I sit here? Frankfurt again? Or as Martin says on the phone, rather via Amsterdam? The trip seems like a big mountain I have to conquer. The icing on the cake: My luggage is obviously on the plane, but my companion's suitcase is with me. I wonder if I'll put on a ladies' thong tomorrow. So overnight in Frankfurt. Tomorrow then the same game again. Check in again early in the morning and wait for my name to be called. The couple that couldn't split up yesterday is also back. They will not separate again. This is my chance. However, the flights to Atlanta are completely overbooked, which leads to the fact that all rebook to NYC. I slip from my fabulous 3rd waiting place to the 35th So I walk slowly to the baggage hall to pick up the suitcase, which is not mine, for the 2nd time. Outside, 3 cigarettes in a row almost bring tears to my eyes. I feel like my home.

I call Martin and he has great news: I can go from Zurich to Atlanta, but anything but safe. Or tomorrow the same game from Frankfurt. Düsseldorf would also be a possibility. All uncertain with safe seats. I decide within 2 minutes (so fast?) for the most troublesome of all possibilities: I take the train from Frankfurt to Amsterdam, from there the next morning to Minneapolis, then on to Portland and from there to Honolulu. But even that is anything but safe. The idea of flying all over America overwhelms me mercilessly. My planned time off of 3 months seems so out of touch with reality that I have to laugh hysterically on the platform.

The next 3 crosses I make when I have found a hotel at the airport in Amsterdam. Shortly thereafter, I think to rummage through my lady suitcase in peace and look what suits me so. Tomorrow at the latest, I start to muffle anyway...

I'll be back the next morning at 6 from Nana Mouskouri's "Good Morning Sunshine" woken up from my cell phone. Outside it is raining cats and dogs. Martin gave me a new flight route yesterday. Directly to Portland and 6 hours later to Honolulu. I'm in a good mood, but excited and treat myself to the €15 breakfast at the Ibis Hotel. The big juice machine is empty. No apple, no mixed fruit, no orange juice (at least the Dutch should have oranje). I have to enjoy my much too hard boiled egg with a soup spoon. Small spoons are not to be found far and wide. Strange people, the Dutch. I'm looking forward to the land of opportunity. However, the chances of arriving there are rather limited, as it seems to me.

So I reach gate E 16, where a nice Dutch woman sees my worry lines and answers my question, how it looks like with "It's good" replies. I could smooch her. When an hour later my name still hasn't come up, my mood sinks again. A few minutes later the announcement "Sorry, booked out". I notice how great aggression spreads and kick a row of luggage trolleys for the first time. People are already looking. So into the baggage hall to pick up again the 22 kg, which do not belong to me. But can take 2 to 3 hours, they tell me. A last time I try my luck 2 hours later to Seattle. "Mr. Stevens? Mr. Jenkins? Mr. Brown?"

No answer. I sit like a heap of misery at the gate, then the voice sounds again and my name comes up. Did I actually just hear "Krauss"? I don't quite know whether to be happy or not.

So now the uncertain flight marathon continues in the USA. Where the female luggage is in the meantime, I do not know. Probably won't arrive with me in Seattle. But that's not so bad, because I decided against wearing women's clothes anyway. I didn't even get business class, but the most uncomfortable seat in the middle, surrounded by screaming children. I'm about to start myself. The toddler on the flight to Seattle steals my last nerves. After 11 unbelievably long hours, I'm now sitting in the city of grunge, that musical youth movement that started with Nirvana's Kurt Cobain and ended with his tragic death. The "teen spirit" I can not smell, however, is probably already too long ago. Instead, I find a gas station near the airport, where I buy a large Budweiser from a can and drink it, yes, on the open road, but in bright sunshine. So my remaining bundles of nerves lead to complete resignation that I even risk arrest for public drinking. Tipsy, I walk to the gate and have to realize that my flight is 2 hours late. So back to the gas station...

At the next attempt at the gate another delay of 4 hours, which leads to the fact that I land completely exhausted, instead of 21.00 o'clock only at 3.30 o'clock in Honolulu. I feel as if I had 3 days of travel behind me.

My friend Martin is obviously so excited to have visitors from home that he gets up to pick me up anyway. Quickly another beer with him at his home at the extinct volcanic crater Diamond Head and off to bed. 2 hours later I wake up and am in a great mood despite jet lag. The morning sun rays, the chirping of the birds, the vibrant colors of the fruit-covered plants and the Aloha Spirit have grabbed me again. It's hard to say what this Aloha Spirit actually is. I still don't know. Probably it is the open and warm nature that the islanders bring to you. The feeling that the islands have been waiting just for me and are happy that I pay you a visit. In the Hawaiian language, aloha doesn't just mean "hello," "goodbye," and "love." The deeper meaning of the word is the joyful sharing of life energy. Every time I am deeply impressed by the Hawaiian principle of "sharing, because not only life energy and joy are shared, but also everything else.

OAHU

Hollywood visit Hawaii

Shortly after my arrival, I drive with Martin and his wife Dana to Kaneohe Bay, where he works as a production assistant for the film industry. Unbelievable. I am on the set of "Pirates of the Caribbean. Delicious cheeseburger from backstage in Hollywood with a view of the bay where Jack Sparrow's "Black Pearl" is anchored. For this production, a walk-on mockup was sailed over 4000 kilometers from LA across the Pacific just to shoot a few exterior scenes here at night. Young girls wait with their parents all night for Johnny Depp. When he finally leaves the "Black Pearl" after the rehearsals, I hear hysterical shrieking. The fans don't get to see more than a silver Chrysler with blacked-out windows. But I do. Johnny Depp drives right past me with his chauffeur, rolls down the window and calls out "Hey Man, how you doin`?"

I quickly photograph him and a short time later I have an envious douche fan next to me who missed him. "Can I do a shot from your shot?" he asks me and takes a picture of the display of my camera with great laughter.

Johnny Depp Hawaii Pirates of the Caribbean Big Island

A few days later Martin wants to take me to work. Last day of shooting "Pirates". He explains my job to me. I'm supposed to stand on the road to the studio with a walkie-talkie and in-ear earplugs; as soon as "Rolling" sounds, the big trucks have to be stopped so that there's silence during the shoot. Then at "Cut" they are allowed to continue. Standing in the sun for 13-16 hours. I don't really know. On the one hand, I could proudly claim to have worked a day for a Hollywood blockbuster, but on the other hand, I'm not angry when Martin's boss tells me that they don't need anyone today. Also at the new Film "Big Eyes" with Christoph Waltz and Amy Adams we are there in 2013 when the final scenes are shot at Iolani Palace in Honolulu. After seeing the same 20-second scene 8 times, even Hollywood gets a little tedious.

Hiking on Oahu

Hiking in Hawaii is different than in the Allgäu, Austria or Switzerland. It's often shorter, but more strenuous and spectacular. "It's a hike" sounds harder than "hiking trail." It is. In Hawaii, you hike through sultry rainforest, through slippery volcanic sand or across black lava fields. The trails are often narrow and steep, and the subtropical climate makes you sweat pretty quickly. You will be rewarded with fantastic views, romantic waterfalls or glowing lava fissures.

With Martin I have the great advantage of getting to places on Oahu where tourists unfamiliar with the place would never stray. So we run the hidden Maunawili Falls Trail. Through dense green jungle we go to a romantic waterfall, under which we take a bath and jump into the pool. The brave locals climb up the rock walls and jump from a height of 12 meters, I am content with 2. Martin's dog Sophie follows us up the slippery cliffs and gets stuck with her paws in a crevice. I have rarely heard a dog howl like that. But after the first shock she is fine again.

Maunawili Falls Trail Big Island

Because the "Stairway to heaven" to the Koolau Mountain Range over almost 4000 steps does not work out, we dare as an alternative the Trail to Kaau Crater. After a few minutes I realize that this will not be a walk. Through lush jungle uphill, we cross a romantic little river a few times. Martin casually tells me that we are on the most demanding and strenuous hike on Oahu. Conditionally light years separate us. I'm getting scared and anxious.

However, the nature is so bombastic that I do not think about turning back. Not to mention that I don't want to be a girl in front of Martin. We have to go up directly at the waterfall and so we pull ourselves on ropes along the cliffs to the top. There are always strenuous places where it is better not to look down. I often have no choice but to rely on the forces of nature. With difficulty I pull myself up on a branch and slopes 30 meters above the waterfall. Gradually I get solid ground under my feet again. We take a break in a small clearing on the edge of Kaau Crater. Martin gives me Edemame, soy beans pickled in garlic and oil. Should give strength for the rest of the route. Last time Martin's friends waited here with Dana, because here the most demanding part of the hike begins.

Kaau Crater Trail Oahu Big Island

The small path along the green ridge doesn't look bad from below. But it is. With soy bean power, I'll manage and continue to follow Martin upwards. More than 2 foot widths I do not have; left and right it goes down several 100 felt meters. In addition, the wind blows here to the Gehtnichtmehr. Partly I crawl on all fours along the narrow path, for fear that the wind could blow me down the ridge. Me comes the Kalalau Trail from the last visit to Kauai come to mind. I felt similar there. I get a slight panic, but Martin pushes me on. "Don't look, just walk" he tells me. As soon as I raise my eyes from my feet, I feel dizzy.

We are on one of the highest points on Oahu. Martin has promised me at the summit an amazing view. I am over with my forces as I arrive at the top and must first sit down. Then I see the complete island from the bird's eye view. In front of me, the tiny skyscrapers of Honolulu and Diamond Head. To the right of it Pearl Harbor. Behind me Kaneohe Bay with Chinaman's Hat and all around the green overgrown cliffs.

I feel for a moment as if I had never been closer to myself, to God and to death.

I'm relatively uncomfortable up there, but I still enjoy the view. Then the horror ridge down again. I rope myself down over slippery red sand. How my pants, the new white Dave Matthews T-shirt or my hands look, I do not care meanwhile. Hang directly on the cliffs and let me slide partially on all fours over the dirty ridge. The Kalalau Trail last year seems like a walk in the park. Am glad when I have again undergrowth and trees around me, which would prevent a fall to the bottom. The way back is no longer over the waterfalls, but over relatively easy paths. My legs get tired and start to hurt. Crossed the creek 5 more times and good to go. Can not remember to have done such a hike before.

Kalalau Trail 1 Big Island

Camping on the North Shore

According to the Strains of the Kaau Crater I take a camping trip to the North Shore. On the way there, we stop at the film location of the Hollywood movie "50 first dates" with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. The former restaurant resembles a wooden hovel and is unrecognizable. The private grounds are nevertheless gorgeous with View of the distant Kaneohe Bay.

The Campsite in Malaekahana we have almost for ourselves and therefore set up our quarters directly on the beach. Fully equipped with grill, kayak, snorkels and 2 coolers packed with delicacies and drinks. For Americans a cooler is standard, for me pure luxury. When I go camping in Germany, the beer is drunk warm. Since the weather is too bad for the beach, we take a short hike on the Hauula Loop. Great trail with great views over parts of the North Shore. On the summit beer in the evening sun. Martin tells of his disastrous start in Hawaii in 2003, cleaning up elephant poop in the zoo. Only half a year later he got a job at an event company. In the meantime, he is an independent production manager who is one of the first to be called when a TV series or a Hollywood blockbuster is coming up. My great respect. I wonder if I could have done the same. After our short hike we settle down at our campsite. Wood collected and grill fired up, burgers eaten and the most disgusting chicken of our lives. Plus pasta salad and feta cheese. The chicken we have to wash down quickly with beer and sit all night around the campfire and have great conversations about the past and the future. We listen to the finest singer/songwriter music by John Mayer.

camping north shore oahu big island

At 6 I get up for sunrise. Actually, we wanted to be there already on the offshore bird island, but are too tired and it is still quite fresh. So I lie down again at half past six. At half past eight then watermelon for breakfast and we are on the way to the Birds breeding ground to a small offshore island. The paddle is a stone's throw and we find ourselves on a sweet islet with shallow water. Islet walked, bath taken and back to the campsite.

We fire up the grill again and eat the rest of the hideous burgers. They are so heavy in our stomachs that we can hardly keep our eyes open because we are so tired. I pull myself together in the evening to go jogging, but thanks to the hideous burgers I don't manage 20 minutes.

North Shore

Now that I have so much time on the islands, I plan a few days on the North Shore. Martin has to work and I just go alone now. I check in my Backpacker's Hostel near Waimea Bay and I get a friendly welcome. I meet Chris from Ravensburg, who tells me a lot about hostels on the other islands. This sounds perfect for me and my motivation rises to make the next weeks one on backpacker. We go together with Martin from Freiburg to the Three tables beach for sunset. There is a bizarre picture. 3 weddings at once. The sudden rain surprised not only us but also the bride and groom. Wedding under the umbrella on the beach. After the wedding ceremony they are invited to Jack Daniel's by some local hippies playing music. Funny situation. Also there is Steffi, a blonde from Munich, who will complete her semester abroad in business administration here in a few days. I can hardly believe my luck and we sit together with her boyfriend Marcus from LA until late at night and talk with plenty of beer about experiences on the other islands.

sunset north shore oahu big island

The next morning I can persuade almost all residents in the hostel to a hike and so we start around 10.00 to a simple but beautiful 3-hour tour above the North Shore. We have a lot of fun, especially Marcus is a crazy freak who only has nonsense in his head. There are great views into green valleys and over the whole North Shore. At noon all are tired because of the strong sun and Marcus, Steffi and I rattle off the most beautiful beaches of the North Shore one after the other. Afterwards still Banana cake at Ted's Bakery, the best bakery on Oahu. The day ends at Sunset Beach without Sunset. The clouds were faster this time.

In the hostel, like yesterday, a lazy, fat guy is waiting for us, sitting in front of the TV from 9 in the morning until late at night. I learn that he has been in the hostel for 4 weeks. What the hell is he doin'? Anyway, I call him Television Man. Also when I drive weeks later again to the North Shore, he sits in his television armchair...

I get up relatively early and meet Steffi for breakfast. I pour my cornflakes into the bowl and almost drop the package in shock. Comes out there but a green gecko with. It has made itself comfortable in my chocolate flakes. Then Snorkeling at Shark's Cove. Dreamlike. I leave my sandals on because of the huge sea urchins. Because of the depth of the water it is much more pleasant here than in Hanauma Bay. Moreover, hardly overcrowded.

I take advantage of the day at Three Tables Beach before heading home. Therefore Three Tables, because 3 table-like rock slabs in the bay lie. Again snorkeling. I like it even better than at Shark's Cove. It's deep and you don't have to constantly worry about getting stuck on the reef. I swim further out and have a breathtaking underwater world below me. And finally my own first Green Sea Turtle. She looks at me briefly, finds me completely irrelevant and then continues to nibble on her yellow, red, blue and white coral on the rock. I join her and nibble a bit with her. Lunch with a Sea Turtle. Great. This situation is so funny that I have to laugh under water. My snorkel runs full and I swallow liters of the finest salt water.

jump photo at north shore Big Island

Lazy days on the North Shore

After weeks of island hopping, I visit the North Shore again in early October 2010. With me in the luggage I have Alex, a nice, blond doctor from Zurich, whom I met weeks before on Big Island in the hostel and John Mayer, who accompanies me since camping with Martin. In Haleiwa as always Frozen Mocha. At the hostel on Three Tables Beach, a wild sow is drooling and eating a mango. This scares us a little and we treat ourselves to the Beach House directly with a view of the sea and palm tree. Snorkeling is because of high waves this time rather troublesome and dull. So we continue to my favorite beach. With blonde and beer from New Zealand. The stones in the water are mean and I cut my lower leg and feet. Mrs. Doctor sends me back into the salt water and good is.

To the sunset to the Banzai Pipeline, the most famous surf spot on Oahu. The "Pipe" is a very special wave, here it is possible for advanced surfers to surf through a tunnel of the wave to shoot out again at the end. Surfers glide down the glittering water at dusk. A picture for gods. Alex and I have a fun evening on our decadent balcony with the sound of the sea.

High Surf

As of October, the North Shore is almost unrecognizable. No more families with small children who want to enjoy quiet bathing days on the beach. Instead, well-trained surfers who wait all year to finally compete in the waves again.

I wake up at half past six from loud noise and see from our balcony over the sea that today huge waves are piling up. I want to go to the beach immediately. Alex goes there a little more comfortable and we have breakfast in the Shark's Cove Grill. There hangs a surf map with all the major waves of the North Shore. Banzai Pipeline, Off the Wall, Log Cabins or Rock Pile. We check out and the hostel owner whets our appetite: "The first winter swell is coming".

What then awaits us on the beach is bombastic. Oversized waves, which I have not seen before. The Pacific is probably something different than the Mediterranean. They are 4 meters high and are illuminated green by the sun, breaking close to the beach with a great roar and leaving behind a huge carpet of foam. The beaches are lined with onlookers. Especially the Beach section "Rock Pile has done it to us. Alex and I get along great and enjoy the "Eddie feeling" of the North Shore. We can hardly believe it, at the most famous surf spots in the world to sit and to have the luck to still experience the first winter storm. I ask a surfer who comes out of the waves exhausted, whether he lends me his board for a fake photo and he smiles at me. We cannot escape the attraction of the waves and watch the surfers for 8 hours. When it gets dark, we suddenly get tired. We both have a little sunstroke. Because of the trade winds you don't notice it during the day. The way home takes what feels like an eternity. I drive Alex to Waikiki and find my way home to Diamond Head without any problems. I know my way around here really well by now.

high surf north shore Big Island

BIG ISLAND

Halemaumau - Residence of Pele

I'm worried that I'll get bored in the national park now. But no such thing. Even the third time I am from the Kilauea and the Halemaumau crater completely thrilled. I love the fresh, clear air and the peace that surrounds me. At the edge of the crater, where I drove along by car 2 years before, a lava lake about 200 meters wide has now formed due to numerous small earthquakes. Clear starry sky, a bright moon and the red glow of the lava lake. In addition several shooting stars, which seem to fall into the crater. An experience that I cannot forget until today. I could spend the whole night at the Jagger Museum sit and shoot one photo after the other, which takes a while, with an exposure time of half a minute. All visitors talk very quietly and devoutly. As if no one wanted to disturb Pele while she was sleeping. I would have liked to see her really angry.

pele big island Big Island

I still do not get enough and continue to shoot from the Volcano House where Mark Twain already feasted on the lava.

I forgot to say that the noise made by the bubbling lava is not great heard as we heard it from our lofty perch. It made three distinct sounds - a rushing, a hissing, and a coughing or puffing sound, and if you stand on the brink and close your eyes, it is no trick at all to imagine that you are sweeping down a river on a large low-pressure steamer and that you hear the hissing of the steam about her boilers... The smell of sulphur is strong, but not unpleasant to a sinner.

Mark Twain, 1866

Only at 3 o'clock in the night I drive to the well-known "Volcano Hale". In the middle of the rainforest I proudly send my impressions via WLAN back home.

Hiking in the Volcanoes National Park

My next goal is a hike on the Kilauea Iki Loop. My path leads me through dense rainforest. Suddenly I stand in the middle of a sleeping lava lake. Sleeping because the crater is not yet extinct. One notices this quite fast, if one holds the hand to a lava crevice. Hot smoke clouds rise from the crevices. Black lava fields alternate with purple, pink and brown sulfur banks. Except for me, very few people in this bizarre landscape surrounded by mist and rain. 40 years ago Kilauea Iki was a bubbling lava lake, which hurled fountains of fire 600 meters into the air. On the way back, the sun finally comes out and offers a great view of the crater I have just walked through. In the background the poisonous smoke column of Halemaumau. I just can't get enough of these views. Even after many exciting days in the national park, the volcanoes have lost none of their fascination for me.

After a short nap I set off for the second trail. I want to go to the Puu Huluhulu. From there you have a great view of Mauna Loa, Mauna Kea and the PuuOo. As always, only in good weather. I don't have that. So I sit all alone on my crater and wait for improvement. The sun is not in the mood today. But I am overcome by a feeling of loneliness in the middle of the dead landscape. I decide in spite of fog a side trip on the Mauna Ulu to undertake. Its great brown and red hues make me climb further, completely euphoric, over bizarre lava boulders up to the crater rim. The views take my breath away, not least because of the sulfur vapors that surround me. I stand right on the crater rim, which is riddled with cracks. If the rim doesn't hold me, then good night. I catch a quick glimpse of the smoking crater and suddenly feel queasy. All of a sudden, everything seems incredibly eerie and threatening. Not least because of the thin lava crusts that constantly give way under my feet. I poke ahead with my hiking poles and break in several times. It's like walking over thin ice. All I can see around me are black crevasses and I'm on the verge of a panic attack. Fog, drizzle and smoke in the middle of a huge lava field. Not a soul except me. So I walk back a bit. My original green-covered crater serves as my orientation. With every step my knees almost tremble. Finally I have reached my path and I am happy to have solid ground under my feet again.

Glowing Pacific Ocean in Kalapana

The next day my journey takes me to Kalapana and I relax during the day at the Kehena Black-Sand Beach. At least I try. I'm constantly being offered marijuana. This is not for me, I have big plans. Around 16:30 I make my way to the Ocean Entries. I am curious how the lava looks this time. After about an hour I reach a palm forest, which is completely destroyed by the lava flow last week. It smells burnt. The different colors in the evening sun take my breath away. Blue sky, green palm leaves, burnt scrub, silvery and black lava. And then it slowly gets hot under my feet. I see my first tiny skylight. 50 cm in front of me it glows through a hole to the surface.

hiking big island Big Island

I do not know quite how I should continue walking, there joins an old hippie with 4 women to me. He has flip-flops on. The Hawaiians are merciless. We decide for the non-existent path at the cliff. After another hour we finally stand on the coast and have a natural spectacle in front of us that takes my breath away. The lava flows into the Pacific Ocean are hundreds of meters long. No comparison to last year. I want to get closer and wait for a guided group of Swiss who dare to get closer and closer to the lava. Strange. As soon as someone walks in front of you, you get a certain feeling of safety, although it glows dangerously in every crevasse I cross.

An insane heat surrounds me. My feet get hotter and hotter. Euphoria alternates with discomfort. Can these glowing lumps of lava break? Are they just glowing out, or is there a current flowing directly beneath me? Nevertheless, I dare to climb the dangerous lava benches directly at the sea to get an even better view. What I do here is simply madness. In every respect. I stand 30 meters in front of an incredibly beautiful natural disaster... Slowly it's too hot for me and we start the way back, always with a look back at the seething Ocean Entries. I would have preferred to spend the night here. The way back is much easier, faster and more pleasant. We just didn't know that on the way there.

Have to turn around every 5 minutes to catch another glimpse. At the top of the mountain, the new fresh lava flows of PuuOo crater are coming down. Finally arrived, the Kalapana Village Cafe awaits us with Hawaiian musicians playing Commitments and Elton John Hawaii style.

lava tube big island Big Island

I go to the Lava Tree State Park and through the fantastic coast of McKenzie State Park. On the way I try in vain to organize a boat tour to the lava. Everything is fully booked. So I decide without further ado to make the trip a second time on foot. So I start walking in light rain. When I reach the path in the green, I am offered a great natural spectacle: A double rainbow. "Alexander's dark ribbon" is probably the name of this phenomenon of main and secondary rainbow. The thick clouds come closer and I flee into the palm forest coked by the lava. I sit on a coconut and wait under palm fronds until the rain subsides. 10 min later I stand again in the heat and follow the guide, who was also there yesterday. He waves me over and I stand 5 meters in front of a bulging river of lava that hisses as it pours into the waves. The guide stands next to me and lights a pipe of marijuana. I need a clear head in this territory. The sight of the lava flows is drug enough. I guess he uses that for additional consciousness expansion. I haven't seen anything more beautiful and exciting in my life. I frantically shoot a few photos and feel incredibly brave. Somehow you develop a certain routine when you walk several times over the hot lava slabs, from whose glowing crevices small blue flames are rising again and again. An uncanny picture. But I'm still glad when I have normal ground under my feet again and watch the spectacle from a safe distance.

When I arrive at my accommodation, my cat already greets me at the car and pretends to be happy that nothing has happened to me.

Also the next day I set out and this time I reach the lava flows all alone. I feel a little queasy, but Pele attracts me magically. Then I stand directly on the cliff and 10 meters in front of me the lava flow. The power of nature and the column of smoke is so bombastic and fascinating that I stand as if rooted to the spot; even when it comes again and again to small explosions, in which the molten lava is thrown 10 meters high into the air. I feel small and helpless. Actually, this is madness what I am doing here, but something tells me that God is with me and I am safe. I enjoy the powers and the energy that are in this natural spectacle. I want to take that home with me. This time I have my little digicam with me and catch the explosions. Now quickly a few meters back, where the glowing lava sparks can not catch me. Gradually, guided groups come again and I dare again to shoot a few great shots.

On the way back I meet an English/American couple, show them the shortest way back and drive them to their accommodation. I can't wait to see my kitten, but unfortunately it doesn't show up. But my little movie compensates me. I have captured the complete lava rain. Apart from the volcano noises, nothing can be heard. I am simply speechless. To my delight I have Internet and send the most beautiful pictures to Germany. Dog-tired I fall into bed with frog concert and the pictures of the lava.

pele big island active Big Island

Of flute hippies and lava guides

After a few days on Oahu, I decide without further ado to fly to the Big Island a second time to explore the volcanoes with more time.

The plane from Oahu to Big Island is checked in too late, but we take off on time and land 10 minutes early. In Hawaii, the clocks tick slower, but flying goes more smoothly than on the mainland, which is probably due to the extremely small airports. From the bird's eye view I have a great view into the Haleakala crater on Maui. We are barely higher than the volcano itself. 5 minutes later I have my car, 10 minutes later check-in at the Hilo Bay Hostel. Traveling from island to island is extremely pleasant. Quaint store, the best and cleanest beds so far and nice operators. Can even wash. My towel is meanwhile somewhat gammelt before itself. Have but again somewhat strange roommates. I look at the beautiful city park, which they have rebuilt after the destructive tsunami. A Rastafarian greets me with "Aloha Brotha" and wants to sell me a wooden flute. He has already sold 30,000 of them all over the world. And many great musicians use them on their recordings. And he has a signature from every buyer. Aha. He doesn't let up when I tell him that I don't have room for such things because I came from good ole' Germany with my backpack. He pulls flutes in every size out of his bag. But I still don't buy one. In the heat, I get incredibly thirsty from the flute man and inquire about a supermarket instead. Aloha Brotha. I drag myself to the next store and buy directly 4 drinks at once. Only after three quarters of a liter is the thirst quenched and I get from so much cold liquid violent stomach cramps. Afterwards, I drive with my favorite music explore the area and book my locations for the next days. I still go with a few strange guys from the hostel in a bar. A Canadian has bought a plot of land in Hawaii and wants to build a house. He has never seen the property... I disappear quite quickly again and meet in front of the hostel a group of Germans and Swiss, who are in Waikiki for 4 weeks in a language school and visit the other islands on the weekend. I tell enthusiastically about the lava and already I am engaged as a guide.

Wake up at 6 from the street noise and meet more German tourists. They also want to go to the lava. In the morning but only to snorkel at the Richardson Beach Park. The water is quite murky, but I see my biggest turtle so far. She measures almost 2 meters and I watch her having breakfast on a mossy rock.

Due to my passion for volcanoes, the southeast with Volcano National Park and Kalapana is every time the main port of call on Big Island. This region has something magical not only because of the uniqueness of nature but also because of the mystical stories about the fire goddess Pele.

The excitement rises because of the upcoming lava tour. At noon I load York into the car and we drive to Kalapana. There we meet the funny Melanie, the blonde doctor Alex and 2 Swiss guys from last night. My first lava guide tour. Funny. I'm on vacation and I'm acting like an entertainer. I explain to my fellow hikers that although I'm guiding them, I'm not taking any responsibility. This initially leads to discomfort. I am quite euphoric again and run ahead. For the others it is the first time and they are much more excited than I am. On the 1.5-hour walk, I tell them about the different types of lava and how old the rivers are that we climb over. Finally arrived, I unpack sausages and grill at a lava crevice. In addition cold Budweiser. Afterwards we dare to go directly to the cliff where the lava pours into the sea. The current pulls the hot rock out into the sea, the wave carries it back again. Especially York can hardly grasp his luck and we want to go together again on Monday. Afterwards again obligatory sit-in in the Kalapana Village Cafe with live band. I feel like playing with the band and shortly after I sit on stage and play 2 numbers with "Lanna Murphy's Lavawalkers". My companions cheer properly. At home I have a nightcap and tell funny Hawaii stories in front of the hostel. Thanks for traveling with "LavaFLOw's Adventure Co. tips are welcome". How sweet. My lava group liked it so much that they gave me a proud 40 $ tip. I am touched. And sad that the language students are flying back to Oahu. Lava connects. We have breakfast together and then everyone goes their separate ways.

I want to try to get in at the finals of Red Bull Cliff Diving. I charm the security and he gives me an invitation. His last one. I have to go to Hilo to the university to get a VIP wristband. Cold drinks are served on the shuttle bus. Red Bull in all variations. I hate the stuff, but I'll gladly take one. I'm really looking forward to it. Once there, everything is a bit sobering. The view from the bridge on the road is much better. I take but free lunch and still a few Red Bull to me and watch the world's best cliff jumpers plunge into the depths from a height of 30 meters.

I like my lava tours so much that I check out after a few days in Hilo to spend a few more days in Kalapana. In the meantime, my daily routine is to go snorkeling during the day and to explore the surroundings in order to make my way to the Ocean Entries in the early evening. Nice to have lots of time to dive really deep into the islands. Super slept in a huge bed all to myself. I stay in bed until 9. At noon I drive to the Kalapana Village Cafe and treat myself to a delicious turkey sandwich with pasta salad. I book a lava boat tour for a pile of money, look for the harbor so that I don't miss it tonight and sit down briefly on the way back to the rugged rocky coast of MacKenzie State Park.

I hope again for my kitten, but it just won't show up. I make myself therefore about half past four on the way to the Isaac Hale Park and meet Captain Melvin there, who rocks us three over the waves. The view of the green overgrown coast is breathtaking. Then I see my daily walk from the water and a few minutes later we are right at and below the column of smoke. The golden sunset, the gray-black water and the sulfur fumes from the lava make for an unreal picture. Is this what hell feels like? Or rather heaven? The water is also 30 meters from the Ocean Entry as hot as a whirlpool. The air as well, so that the lens of my camera fogs up. Nevertheless, I manage a few good shots. However, the smoke obscures the lava flow and I see less than yesterday on foot. We rock for almost an hour in Pele's territory and I am quite dazed by this spectacle. Dazed also by the way back, as Melvin dashes across huge crests of waves over the ocean. I fixate on a star in the night sky because I get a headache and feel a little sick. Sea sickness? The return trip just doesn't want to end. At 9, I fall into bed completely exhausted. Want at 3 already again raus to see the lava to the sunrise. I take a shower and see that it is raining outside. At the idea to be alone in the lava field at night, I suddenly feel unwell and throw my plans over the pile. Tomorrow on a new one.

lava tour hawaii boat Big Island

Beer at Pahoehoe Lava Stream

My landlady Babette from Oliana Cottage tells me that a friend owns a house directly in the lava field. When I ask if he is insane, she only says "No. He loves the lava. As you do. He only wants to stay close to Pele." At the Kalapana Village Café I am told that I am not allowed to walk alone because I am on private property. That is such a thing with private property on the lava field, if Big Island becomes ever larger by the constant lava flows into the sea. Does that automatically make my land bigger, too? A bit bored I start walking, because I have no great hopes to see more today than usual. Then I meet 5 meters from the "Ocean Entry", where the lava flows into the sea, 2 Frenchmen and an American woman. The older of the French turns out to be Alain Gerente and tells me where I can step and where I can't. I don't really know if he's just a wannabe researcher like me, or if he really knows what he's doing. Then, little by little, it turns out that he is a French is a volcanologist who has filmed volcano documentaries for ARTE. The younger one is his nephew and the American is a nurse in Hilo. What am I for a lucky child. Directly in front of me today I have a fantastic view of the lava flow, which pours with 25 km/h into the Pacific. Alain strolls over the hot lava field as if it were the most normal thing in the world. It is for him probably also. After all, it's his job. He waves me over hurriedly and I stroll after him. Directly past the underground lava channel or over it. I don't know exactly because of the heat. Strangely enough, I feel completely safe in his presence. Then I discover a silvery shimmering lava flow on the surface. My euphoria rises and I am at the goal of my dreams. We have found a pahoehoe stream. This type of lava is created when the underground lava tube becomes clogged. I can't believe my luck. The others join us and we stand on a small black sand beach and watch as the lava slowly and leisurely moves toward us. I hope I can take this incredible energy from inside the earth home with me. Alain says that the lava will move to the left, towards the sea. 5 minutes later it actually does. The man is a luminary. We feel them, we smell them, we hear them, we see them. A feast for the senses. I unpack cigarettes and beer to go with it. What a fantastic experience. A cool Helles at the lava flow. "Real German" says the nephew laughing, but is immensely pleased when I pass my beer around in the round. I can't keep my enthusiasm to myself and cheer it loudly out into the balmy evening. We shoot insanely great photos and have a great time as a foursome. It's as if we've known each other forever. Alain gives me his e-mail address and invites me to his home country La Réunion. The volcano is supposed to erupt again next month. We make our way home in the dark and Alain tells me that he wants to work with the government for more tourism on volcanoes. Super guy. On the way home in the car I grin like a honey cake horse. I call Martin on Oahu, because I must get rid of experiences and send my star photo, which shows me in front of the lava flow by mail to home. Can hardly sleep, so agitated I am. This will probably remain the most beautiful and breathtaking experience of my life.

lava bigisland hawaii big island
beer and lava hawaii Big Island

I start at 8 in the morning towards the airport. One last time I see Pele's column of smoke and am sad that I have to leave Kilauea. The lava obviously exerts such a great fascination on me that I already miss it. Moments like yesterday are addictive. I still have the pictures in front of me. On the flight I enjoy a great view of all the islands. Maui, Lanai, Molokai, Oahu. Again 15 minutes earlier there. I notice again today that I have adopted the Hawaiian lifestyle. I haven't worn regular shoes in 8 weeks. I'm annoyed with the high car insurance rates. Had a dream deal for 85 $ for 7 days. With insurance and taxes I'm back to over 300....

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KAUAI

Fresh cell cure under the Wailua Falls

If you land in Lihue on Kauai, a side trip to Wailua Falls is recommended. From a height of 30 meters, the water masses fall over a rock cliff into the depths. A beautiful view can be had at the turning point about 60 meters above the falls, which is usually besieged by numerous tourists from late morning. According to legend, the ancient Hawaiians threw themselves down here to impress women. Since I don't have to impress women on my Hawaii trips (or because no opportunity presents itself), I leave the jump, but on my second visit I ignore the prohibition sign a few meters from the turnaround. Here it goes extremely steep through dense jungle on a muddy path into the depths. Ropes are attached to the trees to bring the daring and romantic adventurers safely down. However, what awaits you at the foot of the falls is paradise on earth. Green lush nature, a few larger rocks on which you can have a wonderful picnic and the thundering masses of water that plunge into a large round pool, producing refreshing water dust. A swim in the ice-cold pool is like a rejuvenating cure. In the morning at 9 the Wailua Falls are most beautiful, the sun slowly breaks through the large trees and throws a thousand magical rays of light through the green thicket. At the edge of the pool I climb over boulders to the curved rock face and now sit behind the falling water masses in a small cave.

Wailua Falls Kauai Big Island
Wailua Falls Kauai2 Big Island

In nearby Kapaa I quarter myself in 2010 in the Kauai Beach House a very simple hostel that resembles a hippie commune. But here you quickly meet like-minded people. The kitchen and also the 9-bed rooms are open on several sides and surrounded by tropical plants. My sleeping place is directly facing the sea. That's something. But a cheap hostel for 20$ the night also has disadvantages. When I want to take a shower after jogging, I notice that the shower is shut down. I then try my luck one floor below and have to realize that there is also only a simple water hose attached right next to the toilet. No curtain, no tub. Well, at least... I make friends with Pepa from Hanover, Julia from Munich, as well as some Swiss and also meet York again, whom I met a few weeks before in the hostel on Big Island. We cook together and enjoy afterwards with some Budweiser the sunset. I feel like I desperately need the nightcap when I think about the first night in the 9-bed room. 8 snoring men of all imaginable nationalities in one room with me.

When I enter the room around midnight, all roommates are sleeping quietly and peacefully. The only, very likely unbearable snoring comes from me.

kauai beachhouse hostel Big Island

 "You will feel your muscles tomorrow. I was just wondering how you will clean your teeth..." tells me the operator of "Waterski Kauai", from whom I have treat half an hour wakeboard. Very expensive, but a great pleasure to wak in the evening sun on the Wailua River. Glittering coconut palms in the evening sun. For my exhausting evening sport I thank myself and treat myself to a Wailua wakeboard T-shirt. A kayak tour is also highly recommended. For this you rent a kayak in the Kamokila Hawaiian Village a kayak, to paddle to the Fern Grotto or to the Secret Falls. After a few days in the hippie hostel I need a clean place to stay and I book my own hotel room nearby. The Kauai Sands Hotel is simple, but nice and quiet. I finally have a big comfortable bed again, my own toilet and shower.

wailua wakeboard hawaii big island

Waimea Canyon Trail

2010 I hike with Pepa, whom I met in the hostel in Kapaa, the Waimea Canyon Trail. The green of Garden Island at sunrise is perfect. At 7:45 we start on the Canyon Trail in cool banana fields. In fantastic fresh morning air we cross the Waimea River over an adventurous suspension bridge. Directly into a green oasis. The huge trees carry such a fresh and fruity green that you just want to settle down in their shade. After a short time we have to cross the river the second time and I try to jump from stone to stone for the time being. Is too dangerous for me with my camera backpack and I take off my shoes in the middle of the river. As soon as I look at my feet, I lose my balance. The canyon water is incredibly refreshing. So I put my shoes back on and continue through the lush greenery. Already after 10 minutes the third river crossing. Shoes off again and again refreshing foot bath. Then the first ascent over rocky and dusty paths. The canyon gives its first glimpses of beige-pink-purple rock walls free. Unfortunately, a camera is not able to capture this variety of colors and vastness of the canyon. From below the canyon is huge and much airier than assumed from above. It smells of decay. Countless toads jump in all directions as we approach. On the side of the trail, the remains of a dog carcass stews in the midday heat. At the third of 16 river crossings, we rest and eat our hot dogs. How fitting... We can hardly separate ourselves from the romantic little river and talk about God and the world. I tell Pepa about Mama's hour of death. Funny and intelligent girl. Has already experienced a lot with her 19 years. Feels almost like a little sister. And runs the complete 24 km in her Chucks. Respect. These shoes have neither footbed nor tread. The dusty trail and the funny conversations make me incredibly thirsty and I have already used 2/3 of my water supply before we have even arrived. We dive further and further into the canyon and see bombastic rock formations. In the early afternoon we reach the Vilivili camp, where mountain goats climb up the canyon walls in fear. We are a little surprised to have already half of the way behind us and would like to go on for hours. Deeper and deeper into the canyon. The atmosphere of the colorful canyon is magical, as if in another world. But our water supply and the time of day force us to turn back.

Waimea Canyon Trail Big Island

The way back drags and our feet start to hurt. The thirst is almost unbearable, we have to save our water. Out of nowhere 2 construction workers appear behind us on their quads, who have already cleaned the natural irrigation system on the way there. I stick out my thumb for fun. They can't take us with them. But with the words "You look thirsty", they point to their cooler, which is filled with iced drinks. We feel like dancing for joy. A gift from heaven. Can't remember ever being so happy about cold water. The rest of the way is done quickly and we still drive to the Canyon lookouts and one last time to my beloved Kalalau lookout. Shines again today in particularly beautiful colors. Still 2 beers on the beach in Kapaa with Pepa and beautiful full moon. This throws a yellow-green-purple circle on the clouds standing in front of it. Is probably called "Moonbow".

Waimea Canyon Trail2 Big Island

MAUI

Maui is the second largest island in the archipelago and named after the Polynesian demigod. Because of the flat land bridge created by erosion between the West Maui Mountains and the Haleakala volcano, it is also called the "The Valley Isle" called. While Oahu is mostly visited by Japanese tourists, Maui is extremely popular with visitors from the US mainland and Canada.

In Maui, I treat myself to a Frappuccino Mocha Coconut. I don't really know. What the Yanks don't mix everything together. Maui is an island of contrasts. In the south there are long dream beaches and luxury hotels. In the east, however, lonely natural beauties like in the small town of Hana. Beauties from Hollywood, on the other hand, are more likely to be found in the south. Whenever I read Gala at the hairdresser's, I discover Paris Hilton or Hale Berry on the beach of Maui. Don't actors have the desire to spend their time in lonely and breathtaking nature?

Banana Bungalow - Life in the Ghetto

The hostel is notorious. You should not have high expectations. However, it is cheap and you meet a lot of like-minded people as a solo traveler. And it has the advantage that the bungalow guides offer free tours to get to know the island. The small town of Wailuku, near the airport, has nothing to offer but run-down streets and houses, and even the residents make an eerie and shabby impression. At night one should not go out on the street alone, I am told. Too dangerous. What doesn't kill me makes me tougher, I think to myself, and enter an open-plan kitchen with several refrigerators and filthy sinks in the Banana Bungalow. Here, everyone is responsible for themselves. I quickly get something edible and a six-pack of beer, label my bag and put it in the fridge with the other 12 bags. In the kitchen crowded with dropouts and hippies, I also notice a melodious Swiss accent in the multilingual jumble of voices and make friends with Nadine and Oliver from Bern. The Banana Bungalow seems to be one big party. Marijuana swathes in the outside area. I shouldn't wear green swimming shorts, another Swiss tells me, laughing uproariously. They'd be smoked otherwise, too. I stick to beer and try to make more contacts for the next few days. I don't know my colleagues of the bare 6-bed room yet. Am curious because the complete belongings of a roommate is spread on the floor. The free Hana tour tomorrow is actually already fully booked. Nevertheless, the operators of the bungalow, who also picked me up from the airport for free, still put me on the list. "There is a trick..." the driver tells me. I should just buy a bottle of whiskey and fill all, then certainly a place becomes free...

I slept extremely badly because an American woman has a birthday in a few days, now already pre-parties and releases our room in the middle of the night to the party mile. The scattered clothes belong to her. Am slightly shocked that a woman is capable of such a mess.

Road to Hana

The 80 km road runs east on Highway 36 on the north shore of Maui over 59 bridges and 620 curves to Hana, a small, sleepy village with a population of just a few hundred. First stop is Paia, a small hippie village where country legend Willie Nelson runs a saloon. Paia has become a small attraction, although it offers no attractions other than itself. No great views, no waterfalls, but bizarre character and characters to go with it. A 90-year-old hippie couple on a Harley, a Rastafarian with more dirt in his dreadlocks than on a dirt road, a young freak having serious conversations with himself.

We stock up on drinks and snacks at the Mana food store for the day, as there is nothing but roads, nature and waterfalls on the long way to Hana. A German, rather scruffy dropout kindly bums a cigarette. As a thank you he tells me his life story. What does he live on, I want to know. "From air and love," he answers with a grin. The man can hardly part with me, yet I have to make it clear to him that I am traveling with a bus full of bungalow dwellers and therefore have to move on. What a pity that would be, he explains to me with a look as if he would start crying soon. Had probably chosen me as his cigarette machine. 

Not far from Paia is Hookipa Beach Park, considered the starting point of modern surfing since the early 1930s.

The sharp coral reef runs close to the shore in Hookipa and is only about 1 meter below the water surface. So not for beginners, but for professionals like Robby Naish, who compete against their peers in competitions like the "Aloha Classics". Another world famous surf spot is Jaws between Milemarker 13 and 14 of the Hana Highway. The waves can be seen in the winter reach a height of more than 20 meters, which is why this development of surfing is called "tow-in surfing": The surfer can no longer paddle the wave himself due to speed and size and is pulled onto the wave by a jet ski.

road to hana stop Big Island

The Road to Hana is undoubtedly the most famous and beautiful car route in Hawaii. You feel like you're driving through the Garden of Eden: A slow, winding road through lush scenery surrounded by waterfalls, pools and jungle-like scenery.

The reason to take this route is the ride itself.

It is a drive through a tropical fantasy that becomes reality here. If you drive this route, you should take your time, an overnight stay is recommended. Or as a Hawaiian saying goes: "As you drive, don't feel the need to hurry up to get "there" because you may find that there is no there there." On our further way on the Road to Hana we stop again and again at grandiose viewpoints like the Waianapanapa BeachPark. The colors of the black beach, the green palm trees and the blue of the ocean are breathtaking.

Waianapanapa BeachPark Big Island

In Hana we treat ourselves to a delicious Fish taco at Braddah Hutts and watch a small Hawaiian child bathing in the cooler. A lot of celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Oprah Winfrey or Sean Connery have settled down on this paradisiacal spot. They know why. The hidden Red Sand Beach is the ultimate hit. I'm probably lying here next to a full-bearded James Bond and don't recognize him. The mix of colors of blue, black and red with natural breakwaters in the bay takes my breath away. I could stay here longer, but we have to go on to the Seven Sacred Pools. One of the most beautiful hiking trails on Maui starts there, the Pipiwai Trail, which is about 4 miles long. Passing a giant banyan tree, after a short while you reach a dense fabulous bamboo forest. The trail ends at Waimoku Falls, where fresh mountain water pours 120 meters over a lava wall.

maui hawaiian big island
Red Sand Beach maui Big Island

In the darkness we make our way home. The complete Road to Hana back. We are properly shaken in the winding, narrow road and a bus must stop because of nausea of a participant. Arriving at the bungalow, I see the same picture as yesterday. Party and schnapps drinking from a surfboard to the Abwinken. And that after a 13-hour tour. Bawling people as far as the eye can see. I decide that backpacking is definitely not for me. I want my peace in the evening. I'm probably too old for that.

We want to enjoy Hana again in peace, so Nadine, Oli and I decide without further ado to take the strenuous way a second time. We want to spend a night in paradise, away from ghetto and tourism. Our first stop we have like last week already at the bridge on the river. This time I dare and jump from 4 meters into the narrow Ching's Pond below me. The water is so wonderfully blue and refreshing that my headache is gone afterwards. Also a bath under the Waikani Falls some curves further is still in it. And a short walk to fascinating Rainbow eucalyptus trees.

Our accommodation, "Hale Hana Bay", will probably remain the most dreamlike location of the whole tour. It is located directly on the sea with a view of the palm-fringed black Hana Bay. Our veranda is surrounded by coconut trees and I will wake up tomorrow with a view of the sea. The whole house for 40 $ each. In contrast, a night in the ghetto for 28 $ is a bottomless cheek. We are thankful to escape the ghetto for one night and completely done with this wonderful spot. Time seems to have stopped here. A few cottages, a gas station and a small supermarket.

Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees Big Island
Hale Hana Bay Rental Big Island

West Maui Mountains

We skirt the West Maui Mountains and arrive in a small original Hawaiian town named Kahakuloa past. Suddenly a Hawaiian jumps out from behind a palm tree, dances in front of our car and holds out fresh pineapple and banana chips to us. "Always eat fresh! Stay fresh!" he sings non-stop. I can't help myself and buy a bag of banana chips from him. They do taste fresh. We laugh about this funny guy all day long. 10 meters further on we stop at a cozy green stand and get ourselves fresh, warm Banana Bread. Is this really fresh from the oven or did the friendly saleswoman put it in the sun? When we pass the banana man again, he jumps again in front of the car. I wag only fast with my chips and he lets us grant. Afterwards for the second time to the Honolua Bay for snorkeling. This time no turtle, but huge colorful schools of fish. I check into Patey's Place in Lahaina and this time I get a friendly welcome. Finally a room of my own, a living room, a terrace. And all this in my favorite city. In the evening to the sunset on the beach and strolled through Front Street. Glad to get to bed early tonight. Have to get up at 6:30 again tomorrow....

I accidentally get on the wrong boat the next morning and get down just in time to take the right snorkeling and dolphin tour. Over a delicious breakfast we drive one hour to Lanai, the smallest inhabited island, where there is not much to see except a luxury hotel and a few deserted beaches. So this is the island where Bill Gates got married. According to rumors, he rented the whole island at that time and also had the regular traffic stopped in order to escape from annoying paparazzi. A journalist probably managed to enter the island anyway. Gates caught him and offered him a deal. His camera in exchange for some compensation. How much the amount was, it is not known exactly. What is clear is that the photographer will never have to work again. I jump into the deep blue waters of Sharks Bay and swim into the colorful coral reef. I'm a little disappointed because I don't see any turtles or large schools of fish. But then comes the savior of the trip. A few meters in front of me swims a 2 meter White Reef Shark. The panic remains out, because the shark is obviously more afraid of me than I am of him. I shoot nevertheless still fast a proof photo, on which except blue haze probably not much will be to be recognized. Then for lunch burger on the ship before we continue to Dolphin Watching.

In the evening I pay tribute to the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and feel like Forrest Gump for 5 minutes. After the huge success of the Hollywood flick in 1994, the American media corporation Viacom established 37 restaurants of the iconic brand around the world 2 years later. On Front Street, in front of the restaurant, there is a bench with suitcases and concrete sneakers where tourists put their sweaty feet to take a souvenir photo. We quickly buy a Bubba Gump T-shirt as a souvenir and head for the sunset under the coconut palm. At first it looks bad, but then the clouds slowly turn from soft yellow to delicate pink and finally to fiery red and purple. What colors to finish with in Maui.

bubba gump maui big island

On the flight back to Germany I am lucky! I fly first class. So a standby ticket has advantages after all...


Photos (c) Florian Krauss

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Summary of all sights

Road to Hāna

The most beautiful street of Maui The most spectacular road on Hawaii Island winds along Maui's northeast coast: the Road to...

Honolua Bay

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Hoʻokipa Beach Park

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Pipiwai Trail

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Kalalau Valley

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Halemaʻumaʻu Crater

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Kalapana Town

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Pohoiki Beach (Isaac Hale Beach Park)

In the Puna District on Big Island, in the Pohoiki Bay, lies the Isaac Hale Beach Park. It is known for...

Richardson Ocean Park

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Waimea Bay (Beach Park)

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Ehukai Beach (Banzai Pipeline)

The multi-faceted Ehukai Beach and the famous Banzai Pipeline. In the summer months a beautiful beach, in winter the spot to...

Sharks Cove

The dazzling underwater world of the famous Sharks Cove. In winter the surfer's paradise par excellence, in summer a popular destination for snorkeling. Crystal clear...

Kalalau Trail

The Kalalau Trail is a trail along the Na Pali Coast of the island of Kauai. The trail runs for about 18 km...

Kīlauea Iki Trail

The Kīlauea Iki is a crater on the rim of the caldera (crater) of the Kīlauea volcano located on Big Island. In the...

Rainforest to Puʻu ʻŌʻō Trail

Opinions differ about this hiking trail. Is it allowed to walk it or not? In the "Ultimate Guidebook of Big Island"...

Wailua River & Uluwehi Falls (Secret Falls)

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"Waimea Canyon Trail to Waipoo Falls" is an approximately 5km hiking trail with 150 meters of elevation gain. It leads through beautiful forest,...

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