2 weeks in December 2009
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(and see Olivier Molina 's albums More than 37 Go !)
Departure from Grenoble Friday, Nov 27th in the afternoon to spend a night at hotel Kyriad in St Exupéry airport of Lyon.
Departure with British Airways to London Heathrow Saturday Nov 28th at 7h10 (GMT+1), landing at 7h55 GMT.
Departure with American Airlines to Los Angeles at 11h10 GMT, landing at 14h40 (GMT-8).
Departure with American Airlines to Honololu at 16h55 (GMT-8), landing at 20h35 (GMT-10).
Night at Ohana airport hotel in Honolulu.
Departure with Mesa Airlines on Sunday 29th at 11h20 (GMT-10), landing in Hilo (Big island) at 12h09 (GMT-10)
Getting rented car by Dollar at Hilo airport. ( see elocation)
Stay in Castle Hilo Hawaian hotel till the 4th of December.
Back to Honolulu (Oahu)
Getting rented car by Dollar at Honolulu Airport.
Stay at Castle Ocean Hotel in Waikiki till the 11th of December.
Back to Ohana airport hotel in Honolulu.
Back to France on Saturday December the 12th at 8h05 (GMT-10), arrival to Grenoble at 20h20 (GMT+1) the same day.
In American Airlines planes, you have to pay beers ( and alcohols of course ). From Los Angeles to Honolulu, you need to purchase food and beverage on plane ( better to buy in airport? ). In Los Angeles airport, food and beverage are really expensive! even if $1 = 0.66€ !
From Honolulu towards other islands, you must pay for luggage in plane hold : $10 first one, $17 second one. Just one hand luggage allowed if sizes fit !
11h jetlag with France, pretty tough to adapt. Allow 3 days at least....
Be aware if you buy bottles at duty free shops, you might not pass the security control if you change terminal. For instance, from Los Angeles you 'll arrive in London Heathrow terminal 3 then you'll take a bus to terminal 5 (flight to Lyon and ....) You 'll pass another security checkpoint. Most people forgot this, and it's available in any airport when you change terminal ! Available whatever transit airport !
Be aware if you buy bottles at duty free shops, you might not pass the security control if you change terminal. One of our luggage has been opend for a control and the agent has been enough fair to put a paper inside saying it has been checked. This is not the case for instance in Plaisance airport in Mauritius island where security agent destroy the zip, control the luggage and steal perfume. The luggage don't even get into plane and we got it back 3 days later ! :( :( :(
An absolute rule : If you have to take a connecting flight, plan 3 hours at least between landing and taking off. We did that and we done well :
When back to France, we got 1h delay in Los Angeles aiport due to a technical trouble.
45min waiting over Heathrow due to air traffic jam. After landing, we waited to take a bus to go from terminal 3 to terminal 5. We just arrived 20min before boarding. Don't forget security control! This is a bottleneck! Theoritically we had 3h05 interval. And we took the cake gettings 1h delay due to another plane flying back 'cause of a technical trouble.
We thought that visiting 2 islands were enough in our 2 weeks stay. Afterwards we guess 3 islands should worth it. Oahu worths a week stay if you only like surfing and shopping.
We stayed in Castle Hilo 71 Banyan drive in the beautiful Liliuokalan gardens, in front of Coconut island. Gorgeous spot and wide comfortable rooms.
Renting a car is a Must to visit all places. Using Tomtom (or another) is essential to get a quiet mind. We rode all across the island again and again from 8am till dusk.
• Tropical botanical garden East shore close to Onomea.
• Onomea Falls.
• King Kamehameha memorial NE shore.
• Saddle road.
• Kilauea caldera.
• Naula sea arches.
• very wild SE shore.
• About 1h helicopter flight over Kilauea volcano.
With Hawaian Blue Helicopters, allow $420 for 2.
With a rented car, you are not allowed to get to Mauna Kea volcano.
Because I love Nature and wildness, I didn't appreciate staying in Waikiki that much.
We stayed in Castle Ocean Resort Hotel, 175 Paoakalani Av à Waikiki close to the zoo.
Why? Because it's one of the cheapest parking fee : $15 a day.
This hotel is sad like a factory and crowdy with asian group. Just a tourist factory ! Restaurant sounds like pretty good.
Waikiki is very expensive. You 'll find out Cartier, Hermés, Ralph Lauren shops and others.
It sounds like we weren't in USA, in Tokyo or Seoul instead.
For a French, what a drag to get good food. We hate sandwichs, burgers, US and asian sauces and so on. Sometimes, only a good meal in 2 days.
Because Oahu is a famous place, all is good to rip off tourists.
Close to Waimea bay and Sunset beach, some people rented private parking places $40 a day, and other ones sell coffee, water, ....
Many traffic jam because of famous surfing places and cops are very fast to give you a ticket if you park in a wrong place.
We loved :
• Diamond Head.
• North shore and particularly the wild West shore
• Hanauma bay.
• Valley of the temples.
Honolulu is the worst US city bottlenecks. Search Google : Bottleneck Honolulu.
Something funny in Waikiki, many women walking in main avenue wearing 2 pieces swimming suit even at dusk ! ;)
In France, they surely had gotten problems with police.
4 weeks in February-March 2017
Don't miss to watch Olivier Molina 's drone videos, on Youtube.
This time, we planned to visit 4 islands : Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Big island essentially hiking.
As previously, night in Kyriad hotel at Lyon St-Exupéry airport the day before. The day after, going to London, then Los Angeles by British Airways. Flight to Honolulu (Oahu) by American Airlines.
A little bit stressed at the time of TSA control in L.A. airport. The automatic passport control was denying me, so I had to stand in line for usual control. But few employees during lunch time.
After 2 pm, it was faster and I could get to baggage claim and custom control.
At Honolulu airport, we took an Alamo shuttle to pick up a Ford Mustang convertible (408€), then driving to our hotel.
The Hampton Inn & Suites stands in Kapolei, West of Honolulu.
The room is spacious, with 2 king size beds and a gorgeous bathroom.
Breakfast buffet included : 952€ - 6 nights. Free WiFi.
Easy parking because the hotel is close to a big mall
On Friday we took a flight to Kauai, N-W from Oahu, and Lihue is the main town.
Landing in Lihue, still an Alamo shuttle to pick up a Hyundai Santa Fe SUV (282€) in case of road floods, then going to the hotel.
Indeed, it is well situated, but badly-maintained. One night it was raining, and water stepped inside the room (first floor). Supplies changing very rare.
No tv. No breakfast. Rate : 584€ - 7 nights. Free parking.
Next Friday we took a flight to Maui, S-E ofOahu, and Kahului is the main town.
Landing Kahului, another Alamo shuttle to pick up a Ford Mustang convertible (408€) and then driving to the hotel.
Seaside hotel is in Kahului.
Well situated but parking not free. Small room, with tv, fridge and iron. Breakfast is included but with limited choice. Every day, we had to choose one out of three possibilities
Rate : 1212€ - 7 nights + parking. Expensive, but this island is touristy.
On Friday we took a flight to Big Island, South of the archipelago, and Hilo is one of the main city. (Kona the other one in North)
In Hilo, unpleasant surprise : no Ford Mustang convertible. We booked it up 4 months and a half ago! And the icing on the cake, the employee wanted us to pay the 2nd driver and one more day whereas it was written inside the contract renting, alas in French.
I showed it to persuade him. But we rejected another car he proposed insistently. I raised my voice and after an hour we drove to Kona with a Jeep to pick up a Ford Mustang convertible (482€).
We got back to Hilo at nightfall, after driving 120 miles return.
The Reeds Bay resort is in Hilo close to the hotel we were in 2009.
It's an apartment well-equipped. Free parking. Rate : 585€ - 7 nights.
If you love hiking, Kauai and Big Island are great. Oahu and Maui worth it for their ancient volcanoes but are touristy for my own taste.
Cost of life is expensive in Hawaii regard to France, except gas. I evaluate 2x more.
It was very difficult for us to get good lunch because we hate burgers and other sweet sauced meals. So we drove very often to one of the rare restaurants we liked. During evening, we snacked in our hotel room.
Don't miss to pick an island map up during each flight from island to island. You'll find out all interesting sites to visit.
One of our best moment was in Big Island, renting a bike to go and see lava flow. We did it 2 times, one at nightfall.
Very impressive and a great souvenir. Don't forget a powerful flashlight.