Hilo to Honolulu

After writing my previous post yesterday, a woman named Erin from the Hinge dating app met up with me at Mo’oheau Park. We decided to hang out before my flight since she had some free time and had to walk her dog.

Erin has a degree in botany and works in the environmental field. Her family moved to the Big Island when she was 14 years old. We got along great and had good conversations.


After walking her dog in the park, we grabbed brunch at The Booch Bar. I had an excellent omelette and Erin ate one of the two tacos, I ate the other one. We had about an hour to chill so Erin drove me to two beaches that the locals go to, Chalk’s Beach and Carlsmith Beach Park.

Chalk’s Beach is small and felt very private. I noticed the grass near the beach is like grass on a golf course. Carlsmith had more people who were swimming and snorkeling.

Chalk's Beach

Carlsmith Beach Park

I enjoyed the brief encounter with Erin. I can see myself living a slow island life here on the Big Island. Erin also informed me there is a software engineer job at the Keck Observatory. If the job is still there when I’m done traveling I will apply.

Erin was gracious and dropped me off at the Hilo International Airport at noon. After getting my ticket, I read more of The Good Life on my Kindle while waiting to board the plane.

Honolulu in the distance

The flight was only 45 minutes to Honolulu on the island of Oahu. I arrived around 3 PM. While waiting for the bus to the Waikiki Beachside Hostel, I met an older local man named Tony and a young female traveler named Nanda. Tony told us where to go and what to do in Honolulu. Like me, Nanda is also staying in Honolulu for a week. We all exchanged phone numbers in case we want to meet up later. Tony also gave me his Holo bus card. I would load a $30 weekly pass once I reached the hostel.

I arrived at the hostel after 5 PM. The hostel is at a prime location that’s only a block away from Waikiki Beach. After sorting out my reservation with the hostel worker, I downloaded an app called Goki, which acted as my key to the front door and the dorm room. I thought that was pretty high tech.

Inside the dorm room all the bottom bunk beds were taken so I had to pick an upper bunk, which I didn’t like.

The only thing I ended up doing was to get a spicy tuna poke bowl at Maguro Spot for dinner. All the restaurants in Waikiki are very expensive, at least 25% more than the meals on the Big Island.

I met some students at the hostel who are attending a machine learning conference in town. No wonder all the hostels are fully booked.

I actually slept well last night on the top bunk and woke up around 5:30 AM. After sorting out my things and drinking a cup of coffee in the kitchen, I headed to the beach for the morning. I ended up buying a bucket hat at the ABC Store since Christian and Lily had suggested I should get a hat while traveling. I certainly don’t want to get skin cancer since the weather is so hot.

One end of Waikiki Beach

A small crab

Statue of a surfer

A catamaran boat about to set sail

Using the hostel as my base, I came back from the beach then walked to a local chain restaurant called Zippy’s for brunch. I read that their chili on rice is good. It was just OK. I’ve had better. I also got a bowl of wonton saimin, which is noodle soup with wontons. It was just OK, too.


I came back to the hostel once again and did some research on what to do around Honolulu. There are some hikes I want to check out. They are too far to walk to so I’m glad I bought the weekly pass. However, for the rest of the afternoon, I walked to the other end of Waikiki along the beach.

Before my long walk, I had a shave ice. It was just frozen water with flavoring. This has to be the easiest thing to make of all foods. In any case, it did cool me down.

Shave ice

I walked all the way to Magic Island, which is about two miles away from the hostel. It has a park and a small beach. I didn’t stay long since it was so hot in the afternoon. However, I felt my walk was good and I saw most of Waikiki Beach. I caught the bus back to the hostel soon after and stopped at another ABC Store to get a spam musubi and a spicy chicken wrap. A spam musubi is a slice of spam on top of rice, wrapped in seaweed.

Some type of a heron

View of downtown Honolulu from Magic Island

It’s almost 5 PM and I feel tired from all the walking. I might just stay in the hostel for the rest of the day.


  1. Sounds like you had a good first day. Hope you also get to the north end of the island


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