Three quite cloudy and cool days at sea, the swimming and sunbathing programme stopped temporarily. Bridge lessons continued in a blur of confusion and the eatathon proceeded as normal.
We finally docked in Honolulu at 9.15 am with instructions to be back on board by 11 pm. That was hilarious as an instruction as Ryan Sea was refuelling and in usual Ryan Sea fashion was the last in line and did not finish refuelling until 1.30am. The new Italian captain has been throwing the ship across the sea at over 20 knots for the last five days. He does slow somewhat over the dinner period then back to it.
However that is in the future lets get back to Hawaii. We were going ashore with an Australian couple who we had struck up with and planned to do the Honolulu Art Gallery, the bus trip by public transport around the island- costs 3 dollars each for a four hour circuit. Plus we planned to do a little shopping.
We found Macys before the art gallery so did a little shopping first, then after much confusion as to where to go we finally caught a bus to the Ala Moana centre where the buses leave from.
Huge shopping centre full of goodies, we promised we would be back later. We finally got ourselves on a rattly public bus and set off around the island. Seems to be better off than when we were last here a few years ago but we did see some homeless on our return to Honolulu, just out of Chinatown there is a row of makeshift abodes made of packing cases and blue tarps right on the footpath!
We travelled up the coast side and back through the hinterland, all very pleasant with intermittent heavy showers. Just before we reached Turtle bay a large Hawaiian man complete with guitar got on the bus and immediately engaged us in conversation. Asked where we were from. New Zealand we said, no he said, Aotearoa, ok we can play that game and replied yes Aotearoa. He started in on us and we did not oblige but our Australian friend sitting in front of us was more polite and when asked where he was from said Australia.
Friends wife and us immediately and from then on removed ourselves from the conversation leaving Dave to deal with Rodney! He harangued us – aimed at Dave for at least an hour. He had one of those loud piercing voices and never paused for breath. He covered everything from christianity to imperialism to barbarism with a bit of sexual perversion by the Americans thrown in. At one stage he insisted on having the equivalent of a hongi with Dave, who later said he thought he was going to get a Liverpool kiss so was mightily relieved when it was only a nose rub.
This was to show how morally superior the hawiian culture was. Jennifer- Dave’s wife and I were by this time muttering obscenties about Rodney and suggesting in muttered tones what he could do with himself. After an hour he finally got off- what a relief.
Rodney is a type we have met before and in Hawaii! We went on a guided tour once with a guide who behaved just the same, we got off early and never tipped him. I agree in part with Rodney that the Hawaiians were ripped off by the Americans but no more than many indigenous races. What Rodney (and the guide) both did was tantamount to abuse and it always amazes me that they get away with it.
We actually saw large turtles on the beach at Turtle bay and could just make out the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbour. I first saw the memorial in 1967, Hawaii was not nearly so glitzy then, maybe it was better?
China town in Honolulu looks colourful but not a place to venture after dark. We were warned not to travel on the buses at night. Finally we arrived back at Ala Moana, all bursting for a pee , a drink and some food and some SHOPPING.
Fortified we hit Macys again, unfortunately most of the lovely sale racks were decimated by this time with hundreds of kiwis and aussies having taken advantage of Macys one day a month sale. We met one woman who had bought a large case to hold all her goodies. But, I did manage to buy a few more essential pairs of pants, blouses and skirts. T got a very spivvy jacket.Finally got some white trousers, Ralph Lauren for 35 dollars!
It was funny meeting up with rather grumpy husbands whose wives had been shopping since they got off the ship, 10 hours previous. They did admit to admiring their stamina. T oddly enough has by now no sense of humour about shopping.
We caught another bus back to the ship, had dinner and fell into bed while still dockside.
Just wish I had done a bit more shopping in the morning…..