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March .2002 Daily Diary

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(New Zealand, Hawaii USA, Vancouver Canada, Seattle-Portland-San Francisco Phoenix USA)



We got onto the ferry around 1:00 am.  After parking our car, we went upstairs and found a couch to sleep on.  The ferry ride took 3 hours from Wellington to Picton.  Coming into Picton Harbor at night was mysterious looking at around 4:30 am the shore lines from the back of the ferry.  After driving off the ferry we drove until we found a rest spot to park our car and slept a while.  It actually took a while to find a rest stop.  In the later morning we drove to Kaikoura.  There we took a 1.5 hour coastal walk.  It was really interesting. One was able to get really close to the seals which were sunbathing on the rocks.  We first walked along the rocky shoreline and then walked up onto the cliffs from where we went back to our car.  Afterwards it was off to Christchurch. Along the way we cooked a meal along the coastal road.  There were also seals there.  In Christchurch we first went to the DOC to get information on treks.  The famous Milford trek is fully booked until April so we will do some other trek.  We then walked around Christchurch a little.  It does not have that much to offer, but it is a small nice city.  We also used the internet for an hour to write a few emails home. Later on we drove a while and when it got dark parked our car and slept in it as usual. 


This morning we got up before 8:00 am and drove first to Lake Tekapo and then to Lake Pukaki.  This was after we had peanut butter and honey sandwiches for breakfast. We had to eat our bread because it was getting moldy.  We wanted to eat the muesli, but did not want to throw out the bread.  The lakes both had a beautiful aqua coloring and had white capped mountains in the background.  We then drove to Mt. Cook hoping to go on a half day trek or so. But the weather turned bad on us, raining heavily and becoming very cloudy. So we decided to go to the public shelter and cook ourselves lunch.  At the shelter we noticed they had electricity and hot water.  So we decided to make ourselves tea after lunch and worked on our website a little and charged our camera batteries.  So this actually worked out well.  We are now at least up to date with our websites, not including the pictures.  We also found a public hot shower here which we can use for .50 NZ$ for 3 minutes.  So it was nice to get a hot shower for a change.  After the nice shower and drinking a lot of tea we drove a little outside the park and parked our car.  The both of us read our books before going to sleep.


In the morning we decided we would take a risk and see if the weather was any better at Mt. Cook.  So we drove the 50 km to the first information center. There we got the bad news that the weather was just as bad as it was yesterday.  So we decided to move on.  We would have loved to do a little trekking there,  but were not willing to waste any more time waiting around. So we then drove to Dunedin and visited the Otago Peninsula to see a view sites.  To our surprise there was a huge entrance fee to see anything on the Island. From seeing the penguins or visiting a castle. The fees were ridicules, so we just drove around a little on the peninsula and then visited Dunedin. There we walked around town, visiting the old historic train station and the university.  After using the internet, it was off to the Catlins, which is the area on the very south of the South Island.  There we went to Slope Point the Southern most point on the Island. However, it was so stormy and windy we could barely get out of our car. After driving around a little we parked our car above the cliffs and decided to sleep there for the night.  When Kirk got out of the car to go to the bathroom, he could barely stand because the wind was so strong.  The whole night the car was shaking in the wind and we seriously thought that the wind was going to blow us off the cliff into the sea at any moment. We could hardly sleep at all. 


In the early morning we took off right away. The winds were still very strong and the waves were even reaching the top of the cliffs.  When driving away the wind protector on the drivers side of the car even blew off and disappeared.  We were glad to get out of there.  The road in the Catlins was mostly a dirt road, which we are actually not insured on in our vehicle. The insurance will not pay for any damage on dirt roads.  We then went to Invarcargill.  There we did a little food shopping and gathered some information on treks at the visitor center.  After a great tasting muesli breakfast we took off to Te Anau. There we decided to do the Kepler Track.  The famous Milford Track was fully booked out until the 12th of April and the Routeburn Trek we decided would be easy and cost a lot of money.  So the Kepler Track it was.  We decided to leave in the late afternoon because we only had a 2 hour hike in front of us.  So we walked into town and bought a gas cartridge for our cooker.  The first day trek for us was really easy.  We left from the visitor center and walked 4.6 km along the lake to the gates and starting point of the trek.  From there is was about 1 hour and 15 minutes hike to the campsite.  It went through the woods along the lake.  The campsite was ok, really just a toilette to use, but was right on the beach.  One major problem though, the sand flies. Sand flies are just like mosquitoes, they bite and bug you to death. We first set up our tent on the beach and cooked dinner. We ate dinner and read in the tent because otherwise we would have been eaten to death.  The sand flies bites last a lot longer than mosquito bites.  They will start even itching again the next day.  So the whole evening we basically stayed in our tent and read our books. There was only 1 other couple camping there what was really nice. 


In the morning we made our way up to Luxmor hut after a great muesli breakfast.  This section goes up through a very green forest overlooking the lake.  It took us 2 hours to get to the hut. At the hut we had a muesli bar and talked to the hut warden.  He said that the hut was over filled last night with 71 people staying there with only 60 beds. Thank goodness that we were camping below.  The next stretch was up to Mt. Luxmor.  What was not good was that Maren's knee started to hurt again. So Kirk just did the side track up to the summit and Maren waited below on the Kepler Track. The views from above were good, but there was not much of a difference to the views from the actual track.  From there we went further to the next emergency shelter to have lunch.  After lunch the trek went over an amazing pass over the mountain range.  It was spectacular.  The brochures advertising this trek do not do it justice.  We were very happily surprised.  Along the way an Israeli guy gave Maren an elastic strap to help support her knee.  It helped a little in the beginning she thought. After the second emergency shelter it was all down hill to Iris Hut.  It took us a little longer than normal because Maren was really hurting.  Down at Iris Hut it was packed with people.  We were glad we were camping. The campsite was a little bit away from the hut, which was nice.  The hut was also very noisy.  We also recognized a few Israelis who were selling there cars at the Kings Cross Car Market when we were there.  We then set up our tent and had some tea and then cooked dinner. After dinner and tea we read our books, enjoyed the scenery around the campsite and talked with some older people from Australia.   Kirk got a little restless so he decided to take a 40 minute round trip hike to a water fall. The water fall was interesting, but not a knock out.  It was off to bed when it got dark.


In the morning we got up before most of the campers and had breakfast.  From there we walked 18 km to the Moturau  Hut.  It was more or less a flat walk.  There we had lunch on the beach and decided that Maren would only walk the 6.2 km to Rainbow Reach and Kirk would hike back to the Visitor Center.  Maren's knee was just hurting too much.  So after resting for an hour Kirk took off and Maren waited around a couple of hours.  Kirk still had to walk over 21 km to the Visitor Center to pick up the car.  The walk was quite nice and pretty easy since most of it was flat. The most part went through the forest along a river.  He made it back to the car in 3 hours and 50 minutes. To his surprise Maren was there waiting.  She was able to get a ride with someone from Rainbow Reach.  Kirk then went for quick dip in the lake.  It was only a short swim because the water was ice cold.  We took along a young Danish fellow to Queenstown.  His friend had given Maren a ride to the car.  In Queenstown we dropped the guy off at a caravan park and then walked around town and had dinner. We ate the McDonalds special of the day, McChicken burger.  We orderd one McChicken Menu Meal for 4.95 NZ$ and we also ordered 2 McChickens extra for 2.24 each. It did not fill us but is was enough.  We then walked around town a little before heading off. We had hoped to find a rest place to sleep, but it took us pass Wanaka to find one to sleep at. Along the way we did something for New Zealand's environment and whacked a huge rabbit.


We slept up on a mountain pass the night before, so it got a little cold. We only have light sleeping bags with us, which are not great when it gets cold.  We then drove to Fox Glacier and walked up to the terminal face of it. It was ok, but very dirty.  Must be better if one goes on a tour onto the ice, but they are expensive and very crowded.  So we decided against it. We then walked an hour around Matheson Lake.  When the weather is good there are beautiful reflections on the lake from the nearby mountains.  However we did not have such a day. It was then off to the Franz Joseph Glacier where we again walked to the glacier's face.  It was very similar to the Fox Glacier.  So one really just has to visit one of them.  We then drove to Greymouth. There we had heard that there was an all you can eat meal at the Railway Hotel for 3 NZ$ (under 1.3 US$).  The Danish guy had told us.  The meal consisted of sausages, salad, coleslaw, potato salad, and buttered bread.  It was not a bad deal for 3 dollars, especially since one could eat as much as you liked from everything.  So you know Kirk,  he pigged out.  After we could not eat any more, we filled the car with petrol and drove to the nearest rest area and went to sleep.


It was off to Arthur's Pass in the morning.  We first went to the Arthur's Pass Public Shelter, hoping there would be a place to take a shower, like at Mt. Cook.  However we had no luck.  So we had some breakfast and visited the Information Center and decided to do a small walk, the Temple Basin Trek.  So we drove there and did the small hike up the mountain.  The trek was actually not great and the scenery was not spectacular.  It was just a quick hike up a gravel like trail to a few huts.  They have skiing up there, but the skiing did not seem that it would be of any good.  Maybe it would have been better when the weather was good.  The sky was grey covered mostly by clouds.  After the hike we went back to the public shelter and cooked a noodle and rice meal.  Kirk also updated the diary.  There was electricity here.   Maren cooked a noodle and rice meal while Kirk was typing away.  We had hoped that there would be a shower there, but there was not one. We had though there might have been one, while Mt. Cook's public shelter provided one.  We both started to smell pretty bad!  The drive up north took longer than expected and we arrived in Motueka around 8:00 pm.  There we went quickly food shopping for a few supplies for our trek.  We also out of luck found a place to park our car with other campers in town for free. Along the beach at the salt water pool on the ocean a public area where one had bathrooms, pay gas stove, and an outside shower.  This was a nice surprise for us, though we did not use the showers right away because it was too cold and we were really lazy.  At this place of course we were not the only ones, it seemed popular for the young and old to get a freebie once in a while.


We slept a little too long, even though it was cold. So we had to skip the shower and quickly drove into town to get our camp passes and information on the Abel Tasman Track. We decided to do a two day trek, hiking to Bark Bay and out again the next day.  We thought it would be too risky missing the ferry if we did another day.  The bus schedules were infrequent and did not fit our time table. Also the buses and water taxis are quite expensive so we decided the hike would still be nice if we hiked in and out. So we drove to Mahrau where the trek just about begins.  The Abel Tasman Track follows alongside the ocean through thick forest, forests, and heavy layers of moss. The trek is fairly flat with just a few up and downs.  So we walked the 20 km in 4.5 hours + a short lunch break.  It was easy but really beautiful, especially the clear blue water shining through the thick forage. Only trouble was that Maren's knee started to really hurt again.  So this was not a great sign.  Barks Bay Campsite was really nice, lying on a point between two water masses. On onside was the ocean and on the other side was an area only filled with water when it was high tide.   The location was absolutely spectacular.  We first went for a cold swim and then took a cold outside shower at the hut. Our first shower in a very long time. It was probably the longest time we have gone without a shower on our trip.  Kirk has this notion that salt water would disinfect us.  Later on we cooked a meal, took a walk and read and relaxed on the beach with tea as the sun set over the ocean.  Only problem is again that the sand flies drove us nuts.  In the middle of the night we both had to get up and go to the bathroom, we drank too much tea.


In the morning we took our time because we had to wait anyway for the tide to go out so we could cross one section of the trek.   The part where one has to cross at low tide was really cool, since we had to wade for a while in water to get across. Good thing we had our sandals with us.  The ground was covered with sea shells.  After 3 hours Maren's knee was really hurting again. So we had a break at Apple Tree Bay. Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches again.  Kirk loves them, but Maren will be happy when she does not have to eat them anymore.  For the last stretch, Kirk went ahead because Maren had to go so slowly.  After the trek we drove straight away to Motueka and had a swim in the saltwater pool and then had another shower. It felt really good.  Later we went into town, did some laundry, checked the internet and had some fries for 1.5 NZ$ for a huge scoop.  We again slept in the rest area near the pool.


In the morning we drove to Nelson.  There we walked around town and doing a little sightseeing, the church and old town section was from 1863.  Of course we checked our mail again.  It was then off to Picton.  There we slept in our car for a while, walked around town a little, went food shopping and bought some things on special.  For dinner we had some marked down pizza slices (tasted delicious), and bread and spaghettis out of a can which we ate up at a lookout overlooking the town and the harbor.  At 8:30 pm we started boarding the ferry that would take us to the North Island again. By the way our car was a pig sty after living in it for two weeks.  However we did get our money's worth out of it.  The ferry ride was ok, Maren slept while Kirk read a little of an old paper and watched a little TV.  Otherwise nothing much happened on the ferry.


The ferry arrived in Wellington around 0:30 in the morning.  We then drove around 1.5 hours.  It seems when you look for a rest area to sleep, it takes forever to find one.  Before 8:00 am we were again on the road, this time driving north to Napier which is famous for its Art Deco Architecture.  There we went for a walk through town.  We were kind of disappointed because the place did not seem too much different than the other towns we have visited.  We then went to McDonalds again because there was a special deal,  and the soft drinks were with free refills. This of course we used to the max.  It was then off to Auckland.  The drive was ok, but nothing spectacular to see along the way.  In Auckland we arrived after 5:00 pm.  We then visited the War Museum (only from the outside, it was already closed) and then updated our sight and downloaded our emails at an internet cafe that let us hook up our laptop.  We later drove to the auto rent place and parked our car in a residential area and went to bed.


The first thing we did was getting our stuff packed ready to go.  We also through out a lot of garbage which had filled up our car.   At around 8:15 am the car was back at the rental place. There we filled up on free coffee as we waited for them to bring us to the airport.  At the airport security was meant to look tuff, but they seem to be only doing it for show, no real system.  Made Kirk little mad with them.  When Kirk confronted a security officer on what kind of system they had and why it just seemed not to be correct, he just tried to show his stripes.  Do not get us wrong, we are totally in favor of searching everyone and doing it write.  But when they seem to only do it for show it does not make sense. After we checked in our baggage we took a shower,  a really nice and hot shower.  We did a little computer work in the waiting area and then ordered the flight.  The flight was ok, showing this time at least watch able movies this time.  The movies were Kpax and The Musketeer. 



Honolulu Hawaii

The time was set back, so we landed at around 10:30 pm Honolulu Hawaii USA time after a 8:05 minute flight from Auckland New Zealand.  Kirk some how expected the customs agents to give him a little bit of a hassle on him being in Arab countries this past year and spending so much time abroad.  Well he was right.  They right away started asking a whole lot of questions and acting tough.  They also put a special letter T on his arrival card. After picking up the luggage Kirk was taking over to be a little interrogated.  Kirk did not feel he should be taking abuse and questions about how can he afford to take such a huge trip and how much he had in his bank accounts.  The one custom officer tried to act really tough with him, trying to scare Kirk or something.  Kirk just acted cocky then after a while with the guy, throwing one liners back at him.  Again, it is not that we are against the questioning, they just do it in a way that has you guilty before you are innocent.  It is a really weird situation. On one hand one wants to give all the information they want, but they put you in a situation that you feel like a third degree murderer.  These guys must be on a power trip.  Kirk was disgusted with them.  We decided again to sleep at the airport to decide the next morning what we should do on the islands.


Honolulu Hawaii

The both of us did not sleep well, Kirk basically did not sleep at all.  We collected some brochures and advertisements and then took the local bus to Waikiki Honolulu.  They have rules that you are not allowed to take luggage with you on a local bus if it takes up a certain amount of space. So we had to sit in the seats with our backpacks on.  They want you to take the 8 US$ shuttle bus instead of the 1.5 US$ public bus.  The cheapest hostel we found was the Hawaiin Hostel for 15 US$ each per night in a dorm.  It is very expensive for our taste.  After eating breakfast at the hostel (they provide toast, coffee, and tea), we decided to first visit Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial.  There was an 1.5 hour wait, but it was well worth it.  The security measures were also very tough. No bags what so ever, even camera bags except min camera bags.  So we had to take the camera bag for the camera apart and rolled it up and stuffed it into Kirk's pants.  Luckily it worked and they allowed us in.  Or we would have had to take the one hour bus ride again to come back tomorrow. The place has a museum and a viewing area overlooking the harbor where all the ships used to be.  One had also a very good look at the Arizona Memorial. The tour started out with a short film about the reasons why it came to war and the actual footage of the attack.  A very well done film.  Afterwards we took a boat to the actual memorial.  It is a white structure which passes over the middle of the battleship like a bridge.   One sees the battleship below, still leaking fuel.  The ferry then took us back.  We also had a good view of the USS Missouri.  The tour to the USS Arizona is free and is run by the National Park Service.  It is done very well and moves one deeply.  We did not visit the submarine and Missouri Battleship for a few reasons.  First they were more strict on what we could take with us to the museum.  We would not have been able to go there with our camera bags rolled up and they did not have any lockers to store them in.  Before we had seen a National Parks Serviceman throw someone's bag in the garbage that the man had left outside when he visited the Museum. Second we had a great view of the Missouri from the Arizona Memorial and did not think it was worth the extra 14 US$.  Third it started to rain.  We then took the bus back to Waikiki and wanted to go food shopping, but were totally surprised how expensive everything is here.  So we calculated it and saw that it would be cheaper to just grab a Big Mac, because McDonalds was having a special deal.  We then read the newspapers at the Sheraton Hotel and then walked along Waikiki beach and back to the hostel. At the hostel we ate some noodles left over from Australia and watched the news on TV. Maren also did some research on what we were going to do on the islands. In the evening we walked around town a little before retiring to bed. Well Kirk did a little computer work, because he had to stay awake when the batteries for the camera were charging.  Maren fell right to sleep.


We woke up a little late today. After a shower and breakfast we used the morning to organize the flights to the Islands.  After looking around a while and finally deciding which islands we wanted to see, we chose the 58 US$ per person per flight deal we found. These tickets were also changeable free of charge.  We are first flying to the Big Island to visit the Volcanoes and then to Kauai. After buying the tickets we took the local bus that travels up the east coast to the northern part.  We then took another local bus down the west part of the island. On the way we past some really nice beaches and scenery, including the Bay Watch Hawaii Beach and some Dole Pineapple Farms.  This cost us 1.50 $, the best deal on the island.  The island is really made out for people wanting to do water sports.  On the way back we went food shopping at Foodland where we had to get a members card so we would get the discounts.  Food is really expensive here and takes a big part out of our budget.  We are not used to these prices at all.  After Maren's delicious dinner we used the internet quickly.  This was also a fortune so we only used what we really needed.  Also we packed our bags in the evening because we were leaving early. We also found out that we could not leave our extra luggage in the hostel.  This was not what they told us when we checked in. They claim one can only leave one's stuff for the day you are leaving.  So this was really a bummer since the airports do not have luggage storage anymore since 9-11.  So we are now going to have to carry all of our stuff with us.  We have not send anything home for a while so things have added up. This hostel is a real pit!


We got up at 7:15 am, had breakfast (disgusting boloney we had bought the day before) and then left the hostel to take the local bus to the airport. The local buses do not actually allow people with luggage on board.  They want people to use the shuttle services which cost 8 US$ to the airport instead of the 1.50 US$ the local bus takes.  The trick is to make sure your luggage fits on your lap.  The airport was absolutely packed with different lines and different security checkpoints. What made it worse is that an x-ray machine had broken and they had to check everything manually.  They smear paper which they rubbed on your hands and bags to try and detect bomb material.   Before we got on the plane we were again searched manually.  They even checked our shoes.  Maren had our Swiss Army Knife in her Camera Bag. They took that away. So we are now without a good knife.  But at least they found it. It had actually gotten through the x-ray machine which is a little scary.  Of course Kirk was totally pissed with Maren that she forgot to take it out after Kirk had asked her repeatedly if she had taken everything out of the hand baggage. So the trip to the Big Island did not start that great.  The car rental agencies at the airport quoted prices for cars for over 50 US$ without insurance.  So we decided that we would walk to Hilo instead.   On the way to Hilo a guy offered us a ride.  So that was nice. We were not even hitching at that point. In town we found a travel agent and found out that they could get us a car for 31 US$ a day. So we decided to rent one for the next day.  We should have taken the deal in Honolulu for Fly and Drive where a one day car rental was included. But that is our tuff luck.  Next time we know better. It would have been much cheaper. After having another boloney sandwich for lunch we walked to Arnott's Lodge which is about 3 miles away.  Our backpacks are really heavy.  At Arnott's Lodge we wanted to pay for camping, but nobody wanted to work at that time and said they will get back to us. So we set up our tent and went swimming at a nearby beach.  We never did end up paying for the place. They never got back to us, it was ridiculously expensive for camping anyway,  9 US$ per person.  For dinner we had left over noodles from the night before.  We also met a Latvian guy again we had slept in the same dorm room in Honolulu. 


We woke up at 5:00 am in the morning and walked the whole way to the airport.  No one at the hostel was awake to pay, so we did not pay for the night. That was not very nice of us, but nobody really organized anything there.  At the airport we picked up our car at Dollar Rent A Car. The lady behind the counter was really unfriendly and that was the last time we use them.  A real b_tch!  They seemed not to have any small cars left so we think we got a bigger one, a Dodge Neon.  The drive to the Volcanoes went really quick. We first watched  a movie on them and then drove around the 11 mile rim up top the crater. The only problem was that the weather was really bad, it was foggy and it rained a little.  We decided to take a small rest in the car. Before we knew it we had slept for over 2 hours.  So we quickly drove down to the coast where the lava had crossed the road. There we hiked over the lava field for 3 hours.  There was no lava flowing, but we did manage to find a spot where one could see the red hot rock below.  We then drove to a Lava tunnel and then out of the park to a black beach in Punalu'u.  It was then off to Hilo again. We had our usual 2.22 US$ 2 Big Mac Special and also bought some heavily reduced quick sale bagels in a super market. We then drove into the center of Hilo and parked our car in a parking lot in town and slept. 



In the morning we filled the car with petrol, so we would not get charged extra and drove the car to the airport.  We got on an earlier flight to Lihue on the Island of Kauai.  This flight was not direct and we had a stop over in Honolulu.  In Lihue we had already decided that we would not rent a car and try our hand at hitching.  So we walked the few hundred meters to the highway and were able to catch get a ride right away for part of the way. We had to walk a few miles to Kapaa where we had hoped to be able to leave some of our baggage at a hostel.  Well the information we had received from another traveler was wrong. The International Hostel there does not have luggage storage.  So that was a real bummer.  The trek we want to do is going to be hard with so much weight on our backs.  In Kapaa we were able to hitch a ride to Princeville.  The guy who gave us the ride was nuts, he was a carpet cleaner who was drinking and driving.  We were happy to get out of the car.  He just talked so much crap and was a real meat head.  In Princeville we almost right away got another ride all the way to Haena Beach Camp from a really nice guy.  He had left Phoenix Arizona a month or so ago after selling his business or something. He was 31 I think and his name was Howard.  Kirk spoke to him for a while over making websites and things in that nature. We pitched our tent, ate some quick sale chicken and bread and later we hung out on the beach with Howard before we went to bed. 


In the morning we woke up and packed our tent, happy that the rangers did not come by and collected 5 US$ from each of us for camping.  One actually is supposed to get a camping permit before one camps there.  They cost at the office 3 US$ per person, but they are not open on Saturdays and Sundays.  So one does not have much choice.  We then hiked to the Haena Coast State Park to do the 11 mile Kalalau Trail.  Well with all our weight on our backs, it was a tough hike, much harder than we thought it would be.  It was not only because our backpacks were heavy.  It was because the trail goes up and down along cliffs overlooking the ocean. The trail was also not very well maintained.  At some parts of the trail when one looks down hundreds of meters into the rocky waters below it gets a little scary, especially when the winds are blowing really hard and one has a hard time keeping ones balance with the heavy backpack.  We also had to cross some small overflowed streams along the way.  This meant taking off our shoes and wading across and getting wet a couple of times.  The trail is worth it if you are in the area though.  It took us all day to get to Kalalau Valley. There we camped overlooking the beach.  This place is known for the hippies that live there permanently.  We met one guy who has lived there for over 10 years.  In our minds a little nuts. There are also a lot of young people high back there.  They welcome you with the words "Welcome to Paradise" or "Welcome Home".  The place is beautiful though with water falls, beaches, and thick green cover mountains in the background.  It was also too bad the weather was not great when we were there.  One is also supposed to get a State Permit to camp and hike in this park.  However since they were closed on Sunday we did not try and get one. No one we met had a permit.  We heard the office claims that there are never openings and that it is hard to get one while it is overbooked.  There was no way that so many people were in the campsite when we were there.  So there is something a little fishy about the whole thing.  In the evening we ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and went for a short walk on the beach.


In the morning we were packing our stuff when we heard a helicopter landing.  We realized that it must be the rangers coming in to catch people camping there.  We quickly stuffed our bags and hid behind a rock.  Not quite sure what to do we decided to go out onto the beach and just walk by the camp and look innocent.  Well we got out.  We were relieved. We have heard different stories on what happens to you when you get caught, from they take your camping gear from you to paying heavy fines.  These were all rumors, so we do not know exactly.  The way back was just as hard as the way in and also took much of the day.  It was also very windy along the cliff's edges and our packs were really heavy.  We camped out in Haena Beach Park again.  There we did not do much.  We were very exhausted and wanted to just rest.  The young hippies and pot smokers camped out there too.  They had also done the trek.  They must have also stayed up the whole night partying drinking and smoking what ever. We only had a couple of slices of bread left over and a little peanut butter.  Not a great dinner for us. 


In the morning the ranger came and we had to pay the 10 US$ to sleep there.  We should have packed our tent earlier but the ranger came already before 7am.  When we were packing our tent, the young hippies and drug addicts offered us a ride to Kapaa.  We took it.  These peoples interests are just about what musical tapes to play and how they are going to get wasted next.  It is really sad.  They have absolutely no goal in life except getting high.  Well it was nice they offered us a ride anyway even though we were happy to get out of the old Volkswagen Van in the end.  We then did a little food shopping and went to McDonalds for lunch again. We of course had the special Big Mac deal and the special on medium fries.  We then were able to hitch a ride within 2 minutes to Hanamaulu Beach Park.  The pickup that brought us there actually took us right to the campsite. There we found out though that they were actually closed on Wednesdays.  We decided to stay anyway and camp out.  We had nothing really to do today, so we just read our Lonely Planet Canada and USA to pass the time away.  At first we thought we could sleep one section of the camp away from everything, but there were so many locals driving there pickups through the camp and hanging out.  There were also guys dealing drugs. So we did not feel comfortable. We also did not see any other campers. Well that is not exactly true, one camper we did see decided to leave.  When it got dark we did not feel comfortable and decided to hike somewhere else.  On the way out of the campsite we saw some guy also camping and asked him if we could camp out near him. Well the guy turned out to be a homeless guy that just went through a divorce on the mainland. It seems like there are a lot of homeless people hanging out in Hawaii.  We also saw a lot living at the Haena Beach Campsite.  He was nice though. Asked Kirk if he wanted to smoke a joint. Kirk  declined nicely.  Seems like everyone is on the stuff here. We did not sleep great.  It was really windy at night and it felt as if the winds would blow our tent away.


We got up before 6:00 am so the ranger would not see that we had slept there.  After breakfast and relaxing for a while we walked the three miles to Lihue.  There we did not do much and decided to catch a flight to Honolulu. In Honolulu we could not change our ticket to Vancouver for an earlier flight because the Air New Zealand desk was not working at that time.  The flight is with Air Canada actually.   There is also no luggage storage at the airport and we did not want to carry our heavy packs downtown. So we just hung out at the airport, reading old newspapers and doing some computer work.  Kirk tried to find a March 21st USA TODAY newspaper, but had no luck.  He even walked out of the airport to look for one.  Otherwise it has been a fairly uneventful day.



After a very comfortable flight we arrived around 09:30 am at Vancouver airport. The passport control was easy, of course we were questioned a lot as usual, but in a very friendly way which did not make us feel like terrorists. First of all we tried to contact Ryan who we met a last summer in Dahab, Egypt. Unfortunately he was not at home. We initially took the public transport to the Greyhound Station where we  wanted to get information prices  on bus to the US (Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Phoenix). We decided to buy the tickets right away and leave tonight on the bus to Seattle.  The ticket we were told it was changeable without a fee. So we thought we had nothing to loose. If we actually reached Ryan tonight we could take a bus tomorrow instead. Later on we walked around Vancouver. After leaving the the train station we walked through China town which looks like every China town all over the world and then we crossed into a street where all the drug addicts where. We did not feel very comfortable and hurried to get out of this area. Vancouver is a very pleasant town, located on the shore fronts of the  sea from where it overlooks a mountain range. To our luck the weather was beautiful, blue sky, sunshine and cold but fresh air. We walked all the way to Stanley park where we strolled around before we went back to the train station. On the way back to the train station we stopped somewhere for pizza which we already had for lunch but it was good and cheap we had to go there again.  At the train station we had to wait for about to hours until our bus left to Seattle. We tried to call Ryan again. Unfortunately he was not at home again but he left a message on his answering machine for us to call him back the next morning. We decided to leave because we did not have so much time. The bus ride was quite comfortable, we had two seats for ourselves and could sleep a little bit. The boarder crossing to the USA was fast and uncomplicated. The only annoying thing was that Maren had to pay an entry fee of 6 US$ even though she had a visa which already cost 85 US$.



We arrived in Seattle on time at 12:30 am. Our plan was to sleep at the Greyhound station and explore the city in the morning before heading to Portland. Sleeping at Greyhound stations is nothing we would recommend anybody. We could not sleep very much because we were afraid someone would steal all or belongings. The security woke us up at 4:30 am because they do not like that people sleep there and there were busses arriving at this time. At 07:00 am we did not want to wait any longer and went for a little sightseeing tour into the city. Seattle is not big, the few attractions as Pioneer Square, Pike Market and the Waterfront were quickly seen. Around noon we took the next bus to Portland where we spent our 3 hour stopover sightseeing. The city is very pleasant, most of the buildings and the streets are well restored. At 18:30 pm we were on the bus to San Francisco. Before we entered the bus our hand luggage was searched by some security guards. You notice everywhere that security is very high written nowadays. Again the bus ride was ok, we were able to sleep a couple of hours.


Early in the morning we changed busses in Sacramento before we arrived in San Francisco. We tried to call Marc, Kirk's brother who lives there, but could not reach him. It was a beautiful day today, usually San Francisco is very foggy. We walked to Fisherman's Wharf where we watched the sea lions at Pier 39. Then we walked towards the Golden Gate Bridge to take some photos for our website. Later, we were looking for an internet cafe to get in contact again with Kirk's brother but it cost a fortune (10 US$ an hour or even more) so we tried to call him again but without any luck. We decided to go back to the Greyhound station and try it again from there.  In the mean time we found free internet access in a computer store which we used for half a hour. Finally we reached Marc and he explained how we could get to his place.  We had to take the train to a suburb where he and Tami, his girlfriend, picked us up. First of all we took a long, long needed shower (we, especially Kirk, smelled horrible). We had a great BBQ dinner with Marc and Tami and with Tami's sister Cindy, her husband Luik and their little daughter. It was nice for Kirk who did not see his brother for about 1.5 years. Even better than the dinner was the bed. We did not sleep in a proper bed for weeks now.


We got up early in the morning, packed our bags and had breakfast alone. Tami left already for work and Marc was on call all night in the hospital because he was called in last night. We took the train to San Francisco, walked to the Greyhound station and waited a little for our bus to leave. The bus ride to Phoenix, Arizona will take about 18 hours. Maren was lucky because she got a book from Tami to read (Memoirs of a Geisha) but Kirk could not find a book for himself to read so he was left with old newspapers to read.  The bus ride was boring, we tried not to sleep otherwise we could not sleep during the night. In Los Angeles we had to change busses but the waiting time was just one hour. The LA Bus station was not something one wanted to stay very long in. One also did not want to leave the building and walk outside on the streets. 


We slept quite a bit and arrived in Phoenix on time at 6:00 am. We thought it was 5:00 am but there was an hour time difference between California and Arizona. With three local busses we made it all the way to Paradise Valley where Kirk's parents are living. It was 07:40 am when we arrived and rang the door bell. Kirk's father had left already for work and his mother almost did not open the door because she did not expect anybody at this time of the day. And especially not us because we told her a couple of days ago we flew to Lima. It was really a surprise for her and she almost could not believe we were there.  It was great to finally see Kirk's parents.


We spent 3 1/2 weeks with Kirk's parents in Phoenix. What did we do the whole time? The first two weeks Kirk was sitting permanently at the computer and did a lot of work. We went a lot of bike riding with Kirk's mom and also rollerblading. Kirk also hit golf balls with his dad  and even played a round of golf.  One Sunday morning we climbed Camelback, a popular mountain (shaped like a camel) nearby. And of course we relaxed a lot and enjoyed not traveling around for a while. And the most important thing, that is reason we came to Phoenix, we celebrated Kirk's mom's 60th birthday. We rented cabins for the weekend, two hours drive from Phoenix, and had a great time. Marc and Tami came from San Francisco and of course Scott and Louise were there too. So Ingeborg had all her kids around what made her birthday perfect.


Phoenix Arizona



Phoenix Arizona



Phoenix Arizona


31.03.2002 Phoenix Arizona