Monday, April 6, 2009

HOLY Hawaii!

So, I have found a few spare moments to update my blog -- For your information, Hawaii is 4 hours behind us (Calgary folk), and for some weird reason, I've been getting up at 4:30am EVERY MORNING. Hahahahah -- of course that means early bedtimes for me.

Here is a brief synopsis of my impressions of the Big Island --

* Paid the bike shop $70.00 to reassemble my bike, only to discover 3.5 MILES into my ride that the fricking left pedal came right off. I one-legged it back to our rental and screwed the damn thing back on myself -- 70 bucks! Good thing all those one-legged drills paid off. Hahahahaha!!

* Alii Drive is a mixed blessing -- EVERYONE (and their dog) runs and bikes along here, but the speed limit for motorists sits at 15 miles/hour -- SO FRIGGING SLOW when you are trying to get somewhere. And where we are situated there are no shortcuts -- you have to drive the whole length of the road.

* The locals are either SUPER friendly or complete A$$HOLES -- a lot of motorists HATE cyclists here. I've been sworn at quite extensively while riding -- one guy hung out the passenger side and even looked back calling me an "Effing B" while they drove away. All this has caused me to grow a thicker skin, and spread the Julie love even more -- I make a point of smiling and greeting just about everyone I encounter. But, boy-oh-boy, do I miss the friendly drivers in Canada...

* The Ironman bike course is really awesome -- the main highway has HUGE beautiful wide shoulders all the way up to the turn off to Hawi (pronounced HAVE-EE. I had to stop and ask a local because I sort of got turned around... Big surprise! LOL!)

* Gas stations do NOT have public restrooms. There are public restrooms at harbours and at beaches, so that's where you have to go -- or you scramble around in some crusty old lava and squat off the highway...

* The shoulder rumble strips here are nothing like the ones back home -- you can actually ride on them and not bounce your kidneys out! :) (This I discovered after I was going for a steady ride one morning and found myself in the middle of the Lavaman Triathlon. Eeep. I didn't know there was a race! I was passing all these people and felt like "that guy." You know the one who is riding their bike and interfering with the race? Double eep. I was surprised to see how nobody signalled if there was crap on the road. At the races back home, every rider points if there is a water bottle or something up ahead. Anyways, when I was going by the racers, I passed A LOT by going on said rumble strips. Hahahahaha!!)

* There are these little square reflector tings that stick up out of the pavement to mark the shoulders of the road too -- most of the time they are on the white shoulder line, but every once in a while, one appears right in the middle of the shoulder lane -- BAH BUMP!! Watch out for those!

* Every road inland goes up -- and I mean STRAIGHT UP! You'd think, living in the mountains, I'd have access to all these hilly roads, but I don't -- mountain biking yes, but not roads like this -- HOLY FRIGGING MOLY! My favourite hilly route is from our place (at the south end of Alii Drive), up Palini Drive, and then up Kaloko Drive. I've never pedalled up hills like Kaloko -- and yes, I had to get off and push my bike. But, Jenna -- I went back and did it on Thursday! AND, I'll be doing it again tomorrow! YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!

* I thought I sweat a lot when I would wring out my sports bra at home after a trainer session -- that was nothing compare to the buckets of sweat that pour off me here. The humidity makes it all the more interesting. Let's just say that while climbing up Kaloko drive, I just have to tip my head forward and sweat POURS off my nose.

* The shoulders everywhere else except the main highway are at times, non-existant. Like there is a white line and then a cliff, of broken, rutted pavement. I've become pretty good at biking on 2 inches of pavement, but when I get scared, I hug the shoulder on the traffic side -- this is where some motorists get pissy. I have seen cyclists take up the whole lane of traffic, but I ain't one of them. Perhaps if these jerks didn't throw their beer bottles on what little shoulder there was, we would all be happy...

* Swimming in the ocean is AWESOME!!! Fighting the waves and currents, while being supported by the salty water just makes you a better swimmer by default! :) :) :) My favourite place to swim at is Hapuna Beach -- snorkeling isn't so great there, but the swimming is BLISS!!!!! Up and down and bobbing all around with the waves -- I LOVE IT!!!! :) :)

* Beaches are small, rocky, and you need to drive to get anywhere. But, the snorkeling is UNBELIEVABLE! Mike and Jake are going crazy with all the snorkeling -- Mike is in heaven and diving down deep and having the time of his life. We've kayaked out to the Cook Monument and snorkeled an afternoon away, and yesterday, we hiked across fields of lava to get to this other place. It was so cool -- you could here the HISS of the ocean as it would come rushing in underneath the lava you were walking on. Then, there were these big holes that would violently fill up with water when the waves would come in, and then the water level would drastically fall when the waves sucked back out -- just amazing.

* The pool here is FREE!!!! AND SO AWESOME!!! You go in to lane swim whenever you want and just start swimming. There are two 25m pools -- there are so cool and clean -- I bliss out every time I go in there. And I even have a pool buddy from my short time here! Hahahahahahahaha!!

* We want to move here. Hehehehehehe!

Well, we are off to the volcano today -- can't wait. Oh yeah, the BEST burger I have had was at Huggo's, and the BEST Mexican food has been at La Cala -- Oh man, their guacomole is the best I've ever tasted. Weather has been moderate -- overcast but still stinking hot compared to home! :)



Keith said...

A juliebloglove fix! My day is made. What a great fun post. Awesome pics!

I guess not everything can be perfect there, otherwise nobody would live anywhere else.

Susi said...

i'm so glad you are having a blast down there! looking good too missy!!

that's too bad about the drivers, but i bet you made them feel bad when you flashed your julie peace/love smile!!

can't wait to see all the pics and hear more stories.

runningman said...

thanks for the update, glad you're enjoying yourself!!

Shannon Wicks said...

Thanks for giving us update on your trip! You are looking strong and fit! Enjoy the rest of your vacay!!!

Charlie Browne said...

looks like it has been a great time thus far!!

Kelly B. said...

WOW!! Julie!!

(Cool bathing suits!!!)

Cath said...

Hey, sounds like an amazing trip. make the most of it and enjoy it - like you wouldn't ??! Ha ha ha!

Chat when you get back (btw can't remember when that is, we may have moved out of london already, but will be on e mail anyhow)


streaker said...

you know we love you (but right now we also kinda hate you, sorta it's been beautiful out here too!)

PS the word verification is tedwoto

Melissa said...

Oh, sooooo jealous! Sounds like you are having a great time! So did I read this correctly, you are staying there longer than planned? Now THAT is an awesome vacation!

Love the photos!