Day Two

I am staying on the west side of the main island of Oahu, or the Leeward shore. With the mountain range acting as a giant wall, there is less wind. But the resort is on the southern tip of this range which acts as a funnel pushing everything my way. There is a constant breeze as if the hair dryer of the islands gods set on low. It gives the sway of the palm trees a dance along the ocean that soothes the heart from all its busy mainland troubles.

I drive along the west side road until it comes to a military base and ends. I back track to Pearl City. Next I go north, with a quick stop at the pineapple plantation, and turn west on the north shore.

The trip takes me to parts of the island the tours don’t take you and few people bother to travel on vacation. It is the real Hawaii. Among the small suburbs set in rocky ground Islanders live in tents or make shift shelters on the shore. Some have invested in an old twenty-six seat tour bus, ripped out the seats and made it a mobile home. The nicest of terms I have heard are “beach combers” and the nasty slang is “squatter.” It is their island, and their right to live where and how they want.

My belly is full of fresh pineapple and juice.

My back did not like the ten hour flight with layover in LAX. The day ends with a back massage from a beautiful former mainlander who is living the island dream. No bruises, no phone calls, no life story of mistreatment – she laughs pretty hard when I tell her of the Irishman who I paid to beat me up. “I wondered where those bruises on your back came from” she smiled politely. Her professional advice is not to go back to him. The spa is very nice. I miss not being a member of a great health club and decide that on my return I must find one.

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