We take the 55 Bus from downtown Honolulu toward Hale’iwa; after making several stops in outside suburbs, we find ourselves rolling down a straight highway in the middle of O’ahu’s countryside, lush green mountain-tops in the not-so-far distance. We hop off at Dole Pineapple Plantation along the way; even if gimmicky tourist attractions are not your cup of tea, it’s worth the stop just for the pineapple whip. Really, REALLY worth the stop.
After a short jaunt from Dole, the 55 Bus drops us off right on the main drag of Hale’iwa, the gateway to O’ahu’s famous North Shore. Though a typical beach town in many ways (think overpriced gift shops and a masses of clueless vacationers), this little surf town may surprise you yet. Like when a caravan of ’69 Volkswagon Beetles—all in different shades of blue—goes rumbling down the road. Or when the local Kalua pork BBQ joint is having a cookout in the parking lot of Ace Hardware. This is also the place to find the most famous of the famous shaved ice, with cones as big as your head (no, seriously).
Once we walk the main (and only?) road through Hale’iwa from end to end, we hop back on the bus and resolve to ride it in the general north direction until we come upon a beach that beckons further investigation. That beach turns out to be Sunset Beach, which is teeming with surfers and spectators, no doubt due in part to the Vans Triple Crown Surf Competition taking place this week. Though the skies open up upon us after a while, dumping a substantial amount of rain, even for Hawaii, it is a glorious sight to be seen when the sun is out.
As the sun lowers itself in the sky, we decide to attempt one more stop on the North Shore: Turtle Bay. Once arrived, we wander out to the rocky coastline upon which the Turtle Bay Resort Hotel is perched, just in time to catch a picturesque Hawaiian sunset. After which we are promptly rained on again. Oh, Hawaii…