A Travellerspoint blog

June 22-23 Oahu Windward Coast and Byron Bay

TURTLE BEACH TO WAIKIKI TO BYRON BAY

sunny 29 °C

The drive down the windward coast on highway 83 is a treat - beautiful unspoilt bays and beaches and soaring peaks rising almost vertically from the the narrow coast road. There didn't appear to be any hotels but you might be able to get a B&B or rent a small shack for a week or two

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The least said about Waikiki the better, but we did have good views from our room in the Royal Hawaiian - we had booked a room in the old deco part of the hotel but were "upgraded" to the horrible new wing. However, the Mai Tai Bar on the beach is great place to waste an evening

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And if your stuck in Waikiki and need a good veggie burger, go to Veggie Star Natural Foods, just off the main street

Saturday the 23rd were the final flights back to Australia and home, Ken to Perth, me to Byron Bay. We used Star Taxis Hawaii to get to the airport - a good service for $28 total for 1 to 4 passengers. We flew in Jetstar Business (Starclass) for $999 one-way to Sydney - it's not business class, premium economy at best but the flight was comfortable enough (10 hours) though I really wish that all airlines would stop allowing infants to travel in business class

Posted by kforge 20:59 Archived in USA Comments (0)

June 20-21 Turtle Beach on O'ahu

NICE RESORT, SHAME ABOUT THE HILTON

semi-overcast 27 °C

Very overcast start to the day, so we did some food shopping at the small Hawaiian town of La'ie and then drove a few miles to Hale'iwa, supposedly an historic town but in reality just a tourist trap and a waste of time. On the way back, we thought we'd have a quick swim at Waimea Bay but the car park and all the road nearby was completely full

Anyway, by now the sun was out and back at Turtle Beach there were a couple of good swimming bays and a great beach bar called Ola Restaurant

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Oahu - Turtle Bay Resort3

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The resort is very large, well-maintained and quite attractive until you see the original "fuck you" Hilton Hotel perched on the low cliffs above the bay

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June 19 Los Angeles to Honolulu to the North Shore of O'ahu

YET ANOTHER CHEAP AIRLINE THAT IS MASQUERADING AS A REAL AIRLINE - HAWAIIAN

overcast 22 °C

The day started well with England beating Ukraine with some help from the idiot fifth official

Now Ken reckons Hawaiian are a great airline. I thought they were one of the worst airlines I have flown with in 20 years - a 2-hour delay that they didn't tell us about until we arrived at the airport, no vegetarian meal option (in fact, no special meal option at all), very narrow seats on an A330, terrible ground crew and Honolulu Airport is awful. Apart from that a great flight

On top of this, Budget Car Rental had quoted us $125 for 2 and a half day's rental but proceeded to add in loads of extra charges which took the cost to $252. At 11:30 at night there is not a lot you can do. Don't use Budget - they are deliberately misleading and I don't know how the US laws allow them to trade this way

We finally arrived at our rental condominium at Turtle Bay Resort around 12:30am

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June 17-19 Carlsbad to Marina Del Rey in Los Angeles

RUN AWAY!

overcast 21 °C

A fine evening in Carlsbad last night but today the weather was once again cool and overcast so we decided to head back up the highway to Los Angeles. We fly out of there on Tuesday and there seemed little point pursuing the sun when there was no hope of finding any even further south. "June gloom" is what everybody from Santa Barbara to San Diego calls it. There was lots of traffic this morning but all fast-moving so we got up to the Marina Del Rey hotel in just over 2 hours which was perfect timing to watch Portugal vs Holland. Marina Del Rey is just a couple of miles from Venice Beach but there is parking here, and like the sun, something also impossible to find there. The hotel has water on 2 sides, there's a pool and at $145 per night, it's an absolute bargain

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On Monday we had a slow start and seeing as the sun didn't bother to come out at all, we did nothing until we drove to Venice Beach to watch the Spain vs Croatia and Italy vs Ireland at the Sidewalk Cafe

Actually Ken did go early to a Medical Centre with an "Urgent" department as he had some sort of ear infection - the doctor's fee was OK at $130 but the prescriptions cost him $250

After the matches, we walked up and down Venice Beach which really is very seedy these days and then had lunch at The Rose Cafe which has been there for at least 30 years and also had a look at the pink Cadillac Hotel which Jeni and I have stayed at a few times

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The Marina del Ray Hotel has some interesting old photos in the lobby one of which is of the Coast Highway/Malibu Road in 1912

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June 16 Santa Barbara to Carlsbad

THE GETTY VILLA AND TRAFFIC JAMS

overcast 20 °C

We left Santa Barbara about 9am and drove 2 hours to the Getty Villa in Pacific Pallisades (near Malibu). The Villa collection has 44,000 Greek, Roman, and Etruscan antiquities dating from 6,500 BC to 400 AD. Admission is free but if you're driving there, you must book online or by phone in advance (I just booked the day before) and pay a $15 parking fee. If you catch a bus or walk in there is no charge at all

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From there, we were heading for Laguna Beach or Del Mar but the traffic on Highway 73 down to Laguna had traffic back to the exit off Highway 405' that's the 4 miles into Laguna! So we got back on 405 and got a few miles onto Interstate 5 towards Del Mar and San Diego and then came to a halt - 6 lanes north and 6 lanes south completely full. We struggled on a few miles then decided to get back on Highway 1/101 into Carlsbad. We found a great hotel right on the beach (Beach Terrace Inn) and doubt we will head any further south. Apparently the road is like this every Saturday! I don't know where everyone is going - maybe Mexico, maybe San Diego but it's not that big a city

And finally, there is this myth that southern California is sunny and wonderful all of the time. Well San Francisco in the north was sunny but you can never swim in the sea. Coming south we thought we might be able to swim at Carmel - nice weather but cool and no swimming. Then we thought Santa Barbara would be the place, but the weather in June is so foggy that it doesn't burn off until 3pm or 6pm or 8pm and I'm not sure how much swimming could be done even in July or August. Now we are just 30 miles or so from the Mexican border and still the water is freezing and the sky completely overcast. Acapulco sounds nice!

Posted by kforge 17:43 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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