Archive for the ‘Hawaii’ Category

Love SurfingI love it!

As you can tell from this shot taken at Turners Beach in Yamba

On a separate vein I have been reading about this bloke who surfs while playing his ukulele. I’m not sure I am personally ready to combine the two just yet!

 

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Endless Summer 2The first place I am heading to in New Zealand is a small town called Raglan, which has been famous in surfing circles since it’s waves appeared in Bruce Brown’s classic surf film ‘The Endless Summer’.

The weather is awful and I get completely lost leaving Auckland so it is well after dark and I am tired by the time I pull up at the supermarket there upon arrival because I need to buy supplies.

Anna 1I walk through the door of the supermarket and immediately bump into Anna at the vegetable section, who was one of two gorgeous Canadian surfers I met all the way back in Oahu and joined me for the first surf of my travels as well as touring most of the North Shore with me back in December.

Neither of us knew the other would even be in this part of the world let alone in town or going shopping, and two minutes either way and we would have missed each other entirely. Nobody else in the supermarket has a clue what is going on and is probably wondering why two people are jumping around hugging one and other only having seen the price of potatoes, but we are super stoked. Such an excellent surprise.

Hot TubWe spend a few minutes catching up on the waves we have been scoring on our different journeys, and I’m disappointed to discover that I only missed also seeing Alexa again by a week because she has just gone home.

“Do you want to come and hang out with me and my friends in our hot tub?” is not a question I have been asked often enough by pretty young surfer girls, and is certainly not an offer I need to consider for long. We complete our shopping and I give Anna a lift back up the hill to her place to enjoy a few beers. Whilst there I am treated to some wholesome home cooked food too. What a welcome. I think I will be liking New Zealand.

However it was a good job I was in a great mood, because when it is time to turn in I discover that  the numpties at the campervan hire company haven’t equipped me with the center-board necessary to make up the king size bed in the van. Denied!!

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The AmericasI have travelled the length and bredth of the Americas since I started this trip back in December, but the time has come for me to move on.

It also means that I will no longer need to keep butchering the Spanish language that I have learned to some degree as I have moved south from the USA.

There have certainly been plenty of highs as well as a few lows to keep me grounded on the road, but as ever it is time to move on because the planet has so many more waves on offer for me to enjoy along the rest of this trip.

Las OlasRather fittingly I saw this road sign next to the pizza place on my last night in Chile.

It translates to The Waves, which is an odd name for a road if you ask me, but the sign was pointing westward towards the east and that is exactly where I am going.

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Hawaiian FlagAloha works as well as goodbye as it does for hello, and I definitely take a bit of the Hawaiian spirit with me as I head back to the mainland.

Apart from the Union Jack which still forms part of Hawaii’s flag I leave a little bit of myself in the islands, and I’m not talking about the back of my hand shredded off by the reef at Makaha or the $100 surcharge to get my board back to the mainland! I have dreamt about surfing here for years and it was everything I hoped it would be, and just a shame that I dont have more time to enjoy it. But like my surf sessions it is always good to get out when you are still thirsting for more. Mahalo to the islands for a great time.

Feeling a litle deflated on the way to the airport I consol myself by chatting up the German girl who shares the shuttle bus with me. he is from Santa Barbara so there may yet be more twists in that particular tale.

 

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North ShoreAs ever I wake up early and realise that I am not flying out until after 9pm so have another full day to amuse myself before leaving the islands. The surf forecast for the south coast is pants but the North Shore is supposed to be huge so I decide to hire a car and try and get a picture of myself riding the huge waves on my new GoPro camera.

Easier said than done though because all the cars on the island are hired out. even the hooky hire dudes known as Rent-a-wreck dont have anything. Avis, Hertz, etc are all looking for nearly $300 a day for a Ford Ka or equivalent with a minimum 3 day hire. Using guile and cunning however I manage to lay my hands on a vehicle for $160 which in the circumstances is a right result, even if it smells decidedly dodgy and the transaction is all a bit cloak and dagger with cash payments etc.

Apart from trying to get myself killed on the North Shore for the sake of a glorious picture I am using the opportunity to do a complete lap of the island, and have my new room mate Neal from Saskatawan along with me in the front, as well as Manon and two Brazilian Girls she knows called Elluar and Isabela coming along for the ride in the back.

Crowded PipelineThe scenery of course does not disappoint the others who havent got outside of Waikiki yet, and the waves everywhere on the North Coast are absolutely pumping. There is a massive crowd watching Pipeline as usual and one that is almost as big as that in the water around the break. As if the wave wasn’t hard enough you have to slalom your way through the flotsom. Not everybody manages that each time and the carnage is unbelievable. I also see the worst drop in I have ever seen in my life. One guy flying along in the tube only for another to blatantly drop 20 feet on top of him at about 45mph with the wave whumping both of them in the ensuing wipeout! Awful and that nobody was seriously hurt was a miracle. Surfer number 1 in this story had a few things to say to surfer number 2 you can rest assured however!

We opt for the edge of Hale’iwa lagoon which is sheltered from the monster waves breaking past the harbour and will be great for the girls who know nothing of surfing, but sadly the lifeguards will not allow any boards to be hired out due to the pumping surf. Denied we cant hire anywhere else and I cant leave everyone on the shore for two hours so I am not going to get a chance to take on huge North Shore waves on this trip after all. Never mind it might be  good thing for my own health and they will let us hire Stand Up Paddle (SUP) boards for a trip up the river that feeds the lagoon, where we can supposedly see loads of turtles as well as trying out the latest surfing craze where you have a huge board and a long canoe paddle to propel yourself.

Eloa, Isabella and ManonWe pay up, are in our swimwear (what little there is of the Brazilian bikinis) and good to go when Elluar goes back to the car one last time and locks the keys in the boot. #*$#%&#&£!!!!!! Not happy doesnt quite cover it.

If they weren’t so pretty I would go apoplectic. (Can you tell me which one you would forgive first?) However I am now stood only in my swim shorts with bare feet on a ticking clock for the car hire, missing my plane, another nights room rental, admin fees, etc where as the others have no rush at all to be back in Waikiki nor the grasp of the English language to deal with the situation effectively. Consequently I have to fall on my sword and tell the others to go out on the SUPs without me. They later say it is the best thing they have done on the island whereas I did not even get wet, instead spending the next hour in the steaming heat trying to persuade people in the surf shop to ring locksmiths for me on their mobiles, then trying to get the tradesmen out on Boxing day to release the keys. (To rub the salt in I can all the while see and hear the massive glorious surf that is the reason I hired the car crashing down on the reef, which is so close I can almost taste it, but never get near to.) Miraculously one locksmith does come out fairly quickly and has the keys in my hand in under an hour. I then have to swim out to the others who are over running on the hire of boards because they are seeing so many turtles and having such great time, to shepherd them back in to the beach so I can drive us the hour back to the south of the island hopefully returning the car on time and make it to my shuttle bus. Nail biting stuff but nothing I’m not used to and I get the car back with 85 seconds to spare to find the guy standing and tapping his feet outside the hire shop, which he has already closed up for the night!

A frantic and more than a bit frustrating end to a great stay, and I have an hour to enjoy a few beers and say my goodbyes to everyone before heading for the airport.

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It is my last night in Hawaii so I decide to go on a Pub Crawl around the various bars of Waikiki The crawl is led by Chad who is the loadest man in America even if he is a Canadian. Thankfully there are no pictures of the night but I have a great time, meet loads of new friends and am suitably trashed by the time I get back to the room.

As Chad would say “Not just Awesome, F##king Awesome!”

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DCIM101GOPROI have treated myself to one of the GoPro Hero cameras for Xmas. I installed it the previous evening and it is good to go on the nose of my board for this session. The waves are not epic by any means for this session, but are perfect for trialling this product. Manon and I enjoy posing for it in the sunshine as we wait for waves.

DCIM101GOPROWe paddle out at Waikiki to get ahead of the crowds but even at 7am minutes after the sun comes up there are already twenty surfers in the water including several wearing santa hats, including one fat bloke with a thick white beard and sunglasses who looks like he has just finished a big shift at work. Hmmmmmm, I wonder.

We have to wait about 10 minutes for each set to come through and it is at best waist high and the scramble to catch each one gets worse as each new surfer drags themselves out of bed and into the water.

DCIM101GOPROPatience brings it own reward though and I bag a few small waves but take them for long rides with this being the best picture of the lot taken by the GoPro which snaps nearly 2500 during the session. I can see I will be spending a significant amount of time hitting the delete button to get rid of all the dross if I want to have any space left on my hard disk by the end of January.

DCIM101GOPRO I was hoping for some great surf shots for me and for you to share, however what I wasn’t expecting was for the camera to capture how much it means to me. If you ever want to know why I go surfing. Check out these picture which say far more than I ever can about why I go.

DCIM101GOPROI look look like I am having such a good time even in rubbish surf.

 

 

 

 

DCIM102GOPROProper stoked!!

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ElcioAfter a stroll along the beach and enjoying some retail therapy because everyhing is open here on Christmas Day I enjoy hanging with the Brazilians in the hostel. Elcio my room mate is on his way back to Sao Paolo from watching his beloved Corinthians beat Chelsea in the final of the World Club Championships in Tokyo. He gives me loads of presents, so much so that I may now have more Corinthians kit than the team, which I am adopting as my south American side due to partying with him and becoming an honorary member of the supporters club!

ManonWe are joined later by the lovely Manon who is only 19 and from France, but can already speak 5 languages and sings to me whilst playing on her own ukulele. We try to jam a little but she is far too good for my ham fisted playing. Were it not for her age she would be a very serious contender as the future Mrs Pearson. She is adorable and we agree to go surfing together the following morning.

A very mellow end to an absolutely marvellous Christmas Day

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Waikiki Bach3It is Christmas Day and despite feeling more than a tad woolly after last night’s Cocktail marathon I am up early to give a surfing lesson to the rather amply chested Ricarda from Austria. I am a little wary after my last instruction efforts many years ago resulted in a hurried trip to casualty to have the young lady’s thumb manipulated back into its socket after it was dislocated by a knock from a loose board in the water.

In the end no medical assistance is needed throughout the session, but better swimwear might have been helpful for my new friend. In between instruction I catch a few rides on the very mediocre waves in front of the Royal Hawaiian Hotel using the 11 foot board that we have hired. It is really quite naff and completely overcrowded, but one bikini spilling filled session later I am thinking all my Christmases have come at once. Hang on it is actually Christmas Day of a year long surf session, and indeed they have! Wave 10. Wooo-Hooo!

😀

 

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Xmas CheerI dare you not to smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEvGKUXW0iI

Happy Christmas everybody.

Lots of love

Rob. x

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