The Sky and Telescope Venus Transit tour base of operations was on Waikoloa Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii. To get there from Ottawa, I had to spend at least one night in Honolulu. There’s a simple expression to describe traveling 8000 kilometres, seeing nothing more of Honolulu than a hotel room, then getting back on a plane: bloody silly!
Getting around Honolulu is — interesting. Whoever laid out the streets must have hated right angles. Whoever named the streets must have loved variety: street names seem to mutate faster than the influenza virus. The car GPS navigator I brought with me became my newest, closest friend. One who repeated “Recalculating!” Frequently. Ah , well — we all have our foibles!
Dead-tired after a 15 hour trip, driving a electronic-everything rental car with an automatic transmission has odd implications. My left foot expected to find a clutch pedal. It kept finding a brake pedal instead. All I can say is that Hawaii seems to have the kindest, most tolerant drivers on the entire flippin’ planet. After half a dozen wrong turns (“Recalculating!”) into an interesting part of town and several spine-jarring reminders that my rental car did not have a clutch pedal, my hotel looked like a pleasure palace in Xanadu.
Most of the hotels in Honolulu seem be clustered in Waikiki. Even if you’re not a beach-lover, it’s a cool place. Hey, it’s in Hawaii, after all! Check out some pictures of the neighborhood, made after a few nearly-comatose hours in a nice, comfy bed.