Another host, Alison, messaged me back, keen to go hiking. Surely I didn’t do enough of that, though the manner of Hawai’i hiking is of the terrifying cliff/ridge lots of wind and wet trail variety so I certainly wouldn’t have been prepared for most of it. Tom delayed my leaving in asking me to take photos of his jeans to sell on eBay, but I still departed his place at around 7.30. And here I learned something important about the bus system – it’s good if you aren’t making connections outside of Honolulu. It sucks if you are. I needed just one transfer on the way down, but this stretched the journey so much that I didn’t arrive in Waipio until 9.15. A car takes about half an hour for the same journey, so we’d have been quicker if Alison came to fetch me, even.
And so we we couldn’t hike Makapu’u Tom Tom. Just as well. Google it, add unusually whistling high winds with crazy gusts and passing showers and you’ll be glad we traipsed up a much calmer hike – the many many steep steps of Koko Head. We stopped for a quick bite at the breathtakingly gorgeous super accessible locals knowledge only Spitting Cave on the way. The ocean below terrified the ** out of me. So Koko Head’s very popular with the locals as a test of fitness – apparently people commonly post their times online. We endeavoured to break Alison’s 21 minute benchmark. As my brothers can tell you, I’m a very strange hiker, my legs don’t tire but my lungs always do – I tend to dart ahead then gather my breath a moment and I hike at around 3-4 miles an hour, depending on the terrain. Brent and I call this trail crushing pace. This weirdness held true for Koko Head (which I didn’t bother photographing), as my legs never felt the least tired except from the normal strain of a particular tall (thigh height) step, but I nearly collapsed up top from lack of air. Oh asthma, how strange you are. I impressed Alison, apparently, as I spent the whole hike just ahead of her and cheering her on to beat her time, never leaning over from lactic acid unhappiness and only at the end needing to sit a while – but a serious while with spotty vision and extreme lightheadedness. After I felt human again we walked down the crater’s ridge a bit of a ways to grab some photos – and at the end a pair of guys hoisted a flag in the ripping wind, wind so strong I crawled along crab style. I’ve a fear of being blown away as times in New Haven with my art bag or Hueco with my crashpad or Chicago with just myself have taught me. I’m pretty aerodynamic but I don’t really have a strong grounding force.
We sampled some absolutely delicious Waiola Shave Ice in town before she dropped me off near the FedEx center where I was to pick up my cover CDs. Excitement turned quickly to a bit of consternation when I realized I’d left my phone in her car and that the package weighed in at twelve pounds – with that and my guitar I couldn’t really travel very far without my arms desiring to quit their jobs. So I borrowed mobiles and arranged to meet her later at her place of work, discovered Couch Surfer Stefan couldn’t go to the eating contest, and read The Farthest Shore inside a Nordstrom’s, where a live pianist tickled the keys to the right of my white leather chair. I couldn’t call Hank’s – my main reason for wanting to stay downtown being to play there and maybe see Kulei again – so I waited for Jazz Mind’s Art and Cafe to open – waited to no avail half an hour past their posted opening time of 6.30.
Now, naturally, only today did I require a jacket, and only today did I not bring one. Spitting rain blown sideways or hanging in midair to soak me through. The rain drenched everyone’s spirits. In a land of paradise where the weather begs friendliness and helpfulness from everyone, on the slightest of unpleasant days the city people turn cold and uncaring – malicious even. Taking the bus to Alison’s workplace proved an ordeal in itself with a bad transfer ticket given me by the first driver. I finally arrived after 8, and left just after 9. Or tried to. At the bus station at 9.15 to return to Waialua the first bus didn’t come until past ten. And my transfer never showed – either I just missed it with the late bus or the last bus of the night failed to show entirely. Both, actually. And so, out in the damp cold with but a t-shirt on and little shelter, I waited until one am for Alison’s kind conveyance of me back to her place.
Song of the Day: Mad World – Tears for Fears