Tuesday, December 31, 2019

INDEX

THAILAND

Ao Sadet from Silver Cliff's restaurant - east coast of Ko Phangan

INTRODUCTION - WHICH ISLAND OR BEACH?
ADANG
ANG THONG NATIONAL MARINE PARK
BU BU
BULON LAE
CHANG (big Chang eastern Gulf)
Little Ko CHANG, Andaman side
CORAL ISLAND
JUM
KANCHANABURI
KRADAN
KRABI, RAILAY, TON SAI
KHANOM
KHAO LAK
KHAO SOK NATIONAL PARK
KHO KHAO
KUT (KOOD, KUD)
LANTA
LAO LIANG
LIBONG, HAT YAO
LIPE
MAK (MAC, MAAK)
MAYA BAY/THE BEACH/PHI PHI LEY
MUK (MOOK)
NANGYUAN
NGAI (HAI)
KO PANYI/PANYEE
PATTAYA
PHANGAN
PHANGAN PART 2
PHANG NGA BAY
PHAYAM
PHRA THONG
PHUKET
PHI PHI
PHI PHI NEWSPAPER ARTICLE BY TEZZA
RAILAY, TON SAI AND KRABI TOWN
RAYA/RACHA
ROK
SAMET
SAMUI
SIBOYA
SICHON
SIMILAN ISLANDS
SIMILAN ISLANDS LIVE-ABOARD 
SUKORN
SURIN ISLANDS
TARUTAO
TAO
WAI (WHAI)
YAO NOI
YAO YAI



General Thailand Information

SOME TIPS ON NOT DROWNING
WET WEATHER INFORMATION
SNORKELLING IN THAILAND
THAILAND'S NICER BEACHES


INDONESIA:
Approaching Gili Trawangan, Lombok on Perama's direct boat from Bali

BALI
BALI'S BEST BEACHES - incl THE BUKIT PENINSULA
BALI - AMED
BALI - BEDUGUL AND LAKE BRATAN
BALI - CANGGU
BALI - JATILUWIH RICE TERRACES
BALI - JIMBARAN
BALI - NUSA LEMBONGAN
BALI - NUSA PENIDA
BALI - NUSA DUA, TANJUNG BENOA AND GEGER BEACH
EAST BALI - PADANGBAI AND CANDIDASA
BALI - LOVINA
BALI - MEDEWI
BALI - MUNDUK
BALI - PEMUTERAN AND MENJANGAN ISLAND
BALI RICE TERRACES EAST - SIDEMAN
BALI RICE TERRACES CENTRAL - TEGALLALANG
BALI RICE TERRACES WEST - KEBUN VILLAS
BALI RICE TERRACES TIRTAGANGGA + WATER PALACE

BINTAN

LOMBOK - THE GILI ISLANDS
LOMBOK - THE KUTA LOMBOK AREA

PERAMA SLOWBOAT - FLORES/KOMODO/LOMBOK

SERAYA & KANAWA ISLANDS + LABUANBAJO - FLORES



MALAYSIA
Taking it easy on Tioman Island, Malaysia

GORGEOUS TIOMAN ISLAND
CHERATING BEACH
KAPAS ISLAND
LANGKAWI
LANG TENGAH
PERHENTIAN ISLANDS
REDANG ISLAND
SIBU ISLAND



AUSTRALIA


Cruising down Whitsunday Island

CRUISING TROPICAL ISLANDS ON A BUDGET
BUDGET RESORTING ON THE WHITSUNDAY ISLANDS NTH QLD
SPENDING TIME AT AIRLIE BEACH - NTH QLD
CAPE TRIBULATION - NTH QLD
DUNK ISLAND - NTH QLD
FITZROY ISLAND - CAIRNS -  NTHE QLD
CRUISING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS
BYRON BAY - BEACH PARADISE
NOOSA HEADS - MY ALL TIME FAVOURITE
MAGNETIC ISLAND NTH QLD
TOP END - DARWIN
TOP END - DARWIN BEACHES
TOP END - KAKADU NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK
TOP END - NITMILUK (KATHERINE) GORGE and KATHERINE TOWN
TOP END - MANDORAH and WAGAIT BEACH
TOP END - MATARANKA THERMAL POOLS
TOP END - THE TIWI ISLANDS



GREECE
Cute church - Naxos

GREEK ISLAND HOPPING


TURKEY

Beach, forest-clad medieval ruins and up-valley budget accommodation at Olympos in Turkey
BUDGET CRUISING AND PARAGLIDING THE TURQUOISE COAST
THE NORTH AEGEAN COAST
THE SOUTH AEGEAN COAST



SPAIN
Looking south to Tossa de Mar
INTRODUCTION
BARCELONA
IBIZA
L'HOSPITALET DE L'INFANT
MALLORCA/MAJORCA
MONTSERRAT

PYRENEES
SAN SEBASTIAN
SITGES
TOSSA DE MAR


USA - SOUTH WEST

THE BEACHES

THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY

GRAND CANYON TREKKING

YOSEMITE TREKKING



USA - HAWAII

OAHU'S BEST BEACHES
OAHU - PEARL HARBOR
OAHU - OTHER NEAT PLACES:SOUTH EAST COAST
OAHU - TREKKING THE HONOLULU MOUNTAINS
OAHU WEST - THE KAIELIA TRAIL and adjoining trails

MAUI'S BEST BEACHES
MAUI: THE ROAD TO HANA
MAUI - HALEAKALA VOLCANO
MAUI - THE IAO VALLEY
MAUI BEST DAYTRIP - LANAI ISLAND
MAUI - OTHER NEAT PLACES



USA - NORTH EAST
NYC BEACHES
UPPER AND CENTRAL LONG ISLAND BEACHES
NEW JERSEY BEACHES


SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ISLAND BEACHES

KAIBOLA BEACH - KIRIWINA ISL - PAPUA NEW GUINEA
MYSTERY ISLAND - VANUATU
YEJELE BEACH - MARE ISLAND - NEW CALEDONIA
ISLE OF PINES - NEW CALEDONIA
NOUMEA BEACHES - NEW CALEDONIA
EASO BEACH - LIFOU ISLAND - NEW CALEDONIA
TOURING THE SOUTH WEST PACIFIC ON LINERS

READERS' TRIP REPORTS
Trip reporter Rachael and Andy on Ko Muk

Read the trip reports or submit your own


THE FORUM


Yon Cassie has a lean and hungry look (image Deco Dermots)

Questions, comments, shoot the bull.


GENERAL

Sammy BinLiner steps out to the hot-tub seminar in The Worry Collective

JUST FOR LARFS - PART 1
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 2: STONES FROM THE JOKER IN THE GLASS HOUSE (1 thru 11)
JUST FOR LARFS - PART 3: THE WORRY COLLECTIVE

ABOUT THIS SITE


THE RANT


LADY TEZZA'S TRAVELLING JAPAN

Sumo grand champion Hakuho.

The basics - Osaka - Kyoto - Hiroshima & Himeji - Takayama - Tokyo - Kyushu - Daytrip to Mt Fuji National Park - Accessing your money - Other helpful stuff







Wednesday, January 9, 2019

THE RANT


THE RANT


At this time my BLOG is changing from its original purpose which was to give travellers info abt places I’ve been they might like to visit. See, at 73 my knees are shot with osteoarthritis, forcing a severe change in my holidaying habits. Previously I’ve always gravitated to places with lotsa trekking particularly with heights involved – but having done a head over turkey on a moderately rough trail in NY STATE last September because my knees couldn’t hack a rocky, steepish but what was previously to me a piece of cake down-slope I now realise any future travel will have to be low effort stuff. Maybe LADY TEZZA’S preferred OCEAN LINER CRUISES (which I have not trouble enjoying).
This means I have to find other uses for this blog. Okay, as I’ve got older I look at world/local issues and trends and definitely form an opinion. Now I”m the last to think others may be interested in my opinion – but this is may blog, others don’t have to read it (and few will)…..SO WHAT THE HELL.
WHO IS THIS GUY?
Perhaps right now it’s time to present my credentials. I’m a retired economics teacher. Well that was my main job, but in my time I’ve been paid to do all sorts of other stuff – steel worker, rock band roadie, calm consultant, travel writer, swim coach, yard man. And economics teacher? Well in my career the shortage of teachers in the NSW system meant I’ve taught virtually everything else – Geography, Accounting, Business Studies, History, Social Science. PE, Maths, English, slow learners, Science, Health, Personal Development: I’ve even been a SEWING TEACHER and I don’t know much about sewing. Plus a COOKING TEACHER.
To some, educational training is important. Okay, I’m an economics graduate of SYDNEY UNIVERSITY, back in the day when only 0.5% of all school starters graduated with a degree. University was hard to get into in those days, even harder to graduate from. So I think my degree has a bit more value than these days of universal “college” education and DUMBED DOWN courses (more later).
My post degree education is not particularly flash – a DIPLOMA OF EDUCATION which all we indentured teachers had to get back in the day.

So that’s my training and work experience. Thing is I reckon I have enough theoretical background and practical life-time experience to have an opinion on what is happening. Or at least to have INFORMED RANT. And there are lots of international and local issues I wouldn’t mind ranting about.



 -JAN 9 2019     GOOD OL’ TRUMP

IMAGE - THE ATLANTIC

Everyone/everything including the pet shop parrot is squawking about OL’ ORANGE right now. Plenty are supporters – currently seemingly more are opponents (yeah I know – even when elected THE TRUMPSTER lost the popular vote; he didn’t have the majority of supporters even then).

ME? Well I think the man is a fool and a fraudster – but I can see why so many people back him.

Let’s face it – the current system is broken for many: GLOBALISATION and its handmaidens FREE TRADE, INTERNATIONAL DERUGULATION yada, while working to lift nearly all income groups in the developing world plus making high/very high income earners even richer in developed countries, has been a bummer for the working class/middle classes in the USA (and in quite a few other "advanced" countries). Many have seen jobs disappear overseas to less expensive workers in Asia, Latin America etc – others fortunate enough to stay employed have noticed wages have stagnated or not kept up with prices. Their first real income decline in the post war era.

Let’s face it: the above is not a new phenomena in economic history – as a matter of fact it is chickenshit compared to the massive displacement of the working class caused by the AGRARIAN/INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTIONS. But the big difference back then was those affected didn’t have the vote - and any other protest was swiftly squashed. Today’s losers have the vote and know exactly how to protest within the law. So along comes some faker says he can fix everything (HE CAN’T) – and naturally the desperates jump on board.

So far OL’ ORANGE has had a good run economics-wise. TAX CUTS - it’s a no-brainer that the economy and stock market will respond positively IN THE SHORT RUN to lower taxes (just the same as a former high roller responds to a big injection of dope)– the problem is in the LONG RUN; how do you pay for the trillions of dollars of debt being racked up with lower taxes?
Hang on trendsetters – the cut in tax shit is about to hit the fan, the withdrawal is gonna be painful.

Have I a solution to the overall problem? Afraid not – while acknowledging the PRE TRUMP system was broken, I can’t think of better. Maybe the best idea is to accept reality - big changes in the fortunes of nations occur every now and then – perhaps the best message to the losers is SUCK IT UP.
But they ain’t gonna – they are going to turn to far right fraudsters like OL” ORANGE who are expert at identifying false scapegoats and insist they have all the answers. Hang on for an interesting next few years.

Did HILLARY have the answer? Sadly NO - despite claims of a new way, if she had been elected it would have been more of the same.

But here’s the thing – more of the same would have been way better than the crap being dished up right now.


JAN 10 2019    BREXIT.
Ah yes, those BRITS aren’t gonna let the Continentals push them around any more. They’ve told the latter to stick the EEC up their arses – the Brits are gonna do it alone.
Well maybe until reality kicks in. Lotsa stuff SEEMS LIKE A GOOD IDEA AT THE TIME. But in the cool aftermath of evaluation………
So the rest of the world looks on with glee at the approaching train wreck…..the Germans have the prefect word to cover the situation – SCHADENFREUDE.
My prediction – another BRIT vote and no withdrawal. We wait with bated breath (not really).

image - https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/462744930445610257/




Monday, January 7, 2019

HALEIWA

HALEIWA


visited April 2016



PIX http://www.hawaii-vacation-fun.com/haleiwa-hawaii.html

OHPIC https://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/58-002-Makanale-St_Haleiwa_HI_96712_M88483-76046

MAIN BCH OH - https://www.movoto.com/haleiwa-hi/

SURF CONTEST https://www.hawaii.com/event/annual-haleiwa-international-open/

CONTEST PIC = SURFLINE http://www.surfline.com/templates/article.cfm?id=87615&sef=true

I’d been trekking along the WAIANEA RIDGE down the coast from HALEIWA on the MOKULE’LA-KUAOKALA- KEAILA loop, which took over 6 hours, followed by a 50 minute trudge along the beach to the nearest bus stop – bus 76 into town only runs every 45/50minutes which meant a bit of a wait, but I like how it has a stop near the northern end of HALEIWA main street a very short stroll to TEDDY’S. And boy, did I feel like a Happy Hour beer or 3 and one of the excellent burgers.
Thing is,TEDDY’S was a regular afternoon stop in the 3 days I stayed in town and I made a point of calling in on the two other days I visited from elsewhere.
It’s that sort of place – homely atmosphere, usually busy but with folk always moving over to give you room at the bar and greet you in conversation (is this a Hawaiian/US thing? In Australia the average pub is much more impersonal but I found TEDDY’S type of atmosphere at all the other small bars and bar restaurants I visited in Hawaii and earlier in California/Arizona/Nevada). The $2 HAPPY HOUR beers are a steal and the food not bad at all – about a dozen choices of burger (my basic burger did not lack size or taste), a good variety of other meals and snacks.
The bar tends to get crowded during Happy Hour (can’t think why) but I noticed there seemed to be plenty of tables left in the interior dining area – and more outside on the front veranda where patrons could watch the passing parade.
And parade it is – HALEIWA tends to get real busy most afternoons, particularly on weekends. It’s is an old surfer town which has been prettied up in recent years. However it is not like similar places back on the mainland and in my own country, in which renovations have been overdone and businesses are orientated towards RICH POSEURS who want to pay outrageous prices in too many coffee shops, art galleries, clothing boutiques and trinket joints seeling overpriced junk made in Taiwan. HALEIWA is still orientated towards the surfer crowd and to offering eats and snacks to visitors and locals alike. 50% of the businesses seem to be bikini boutiques, surf-wear and board shops, 30% more food outlets covering all budgets.

BACK TO TEDDY’S – Service, both at the bar and for eats is fast and efficient. Seems TEDDY is not shy in employing sufficient staff to adequately cover the busy late afternoon/early dinner period. And as usual the bar-keeps did not lack verbal skills – I got into a conversation with an lady of a certain age had that look suggesting she had been one of those drop dead gorgeous beach babes back in the day, about visiting SURF PROS (one of the half dozen flat screens in the joint was showing live a round of the WORLD PROFESSIONAL TOUR at Snapper Rocks in my own country, Oz) – she told me that back in the 80s Rabbit Bartholomew and his fellow surfers were crazed party animals and HALEIWA was a VERY lively place when the TOUR visited the NORTH SHORE. Alas, she lamented, pros these days are real health/fitness freaks – stay up at TURTLE BAY RESORT at the north point of the island – in bed by 2100. And have dietitians and fitness coaches** in their entourages.
Maybe so, but like Olympic athletes post medal, I bet the pros party hard last night after the tournament. I don’t think I’d like to be a light sleeping Bubba from Biloxi on and expensive golfing holiday (TURTLE BAY RESORT has 2 golf courses, one designed by ARNOLD PALMER whoever that is) when that bunch unwinds.
**pro surfers need to be super fit for the paddle race to get priority in the take off zone and just to survive for up to 2 minutes getting Maytagged underwater after a giant wavel has murdered them.

All this got me thinking. Maybe TEDDY should get a dietitian to design a PADDLE BURGER – something high in protein and energy but low in nasties like fat. Seems to me kangaroo meat does the high protein/low fat thing and for the rest of the health/energy kick, chuck in a few of those ingredients all the rage right now with the diet Nazis – I’m thinking chick peas, slivered almonds, macrobiotic spinach and baby kale.
A sign outside: SUPER SPECIAL SURFER PADDLE BURGER!! or similar. This will probablyl have minimal impact on bringing back the pros, but it sure might drag in some of the many recreational surfer dudes who do a cruise of HALEIWA after a day at WAIMEA/PIPELINE/SUNSET BAY. And those $2 HAPPY HOUR beers won’t hurt.

HALEIWA BEACH PARK
This is the smallest and most northern of HALEIWA’S 3 beach parks. And because it is the first people come to as they head into HALEIWA from the NORTH SHORE or WAIKIKI, it tends to be the most popular. The presence a VETERAN’S WAR MEMORIAL probably helps too. Not to mention it is probably the best launching spot for water enthusiasts.

DESCRIPTION "Smallest" but It is not exactly small – the level triangular grassed area is 250m at its widest from east to west and 200m from north to south. An extended pergola area associated with the memorial runs along most of the area behind the beach. Palms also back the beach and there are some clumps of trees and shrubs throughout the grassed area. There is off-road parking at the north and south ends, outdoor showers and an amenities block. The area is popular with local families, particularly for weekend picnics and with surfers, paddle-boarders, kayakers etc.

PLUSES – the offshore reef seems to shelter this end of the bay most effectively making wave conditions onto the sand very benign. This probably explains its popularity with surfers, paddle-boarders, kayakers. The adjacent still waters in the small boat harbor and ANAHULU RIVER would be great for the paddlers too.
- the offshore reef and PUAENA POINT break a few hundred meters further north looked quite good for surfing. I called by twice and both times there were nice 4 footers being worked over by a bunch of dudes and dudettes. A local told me that in winter when the giant storm waves from the north west Pacific march in, surf can reach 20 foot occasionally. Wow.
- turtle sightings are common. I saw one basking on the sand and the local said it’s common to see quite a few. But they are seasonal – I think she said winter visitors may be disappointed. I also saw a seal.
Some of the beachside rocky areas have tidal pools good for fossicking.
- nice atmosphere – most of the picnickers were native Hawaiian families who had set up big canopies for shade under which were tables loaded with food and other goodies. These people know how to have a good relaxed time. Unlike Australian picnic groups there didn’t seem to be a heap of booze. Surfers and other water sports people tend to take a pretty laid back approach to life (at least back on land).

MINUSES – this isn’t the nicest beach in HALEIWA. It is more yellow-brown than white, quite coarse underfoot and in front of the grassed area quite narrow and has some rocky sections. Note that it widens in front of the main parking area and goes a good 300m south to the harbor breakwall.
- the water off the beach tends to have a lot of rocks underfoot.
- the water is not as clear as further south – maybe because of the outflowing ANAHULU
- it’s a fair haul into town – the shops start abt 700m south. Driving in may not be all that easy on nice weekend days – traffic tends to bank up because of the one lane bridge over ANAHULU and parking in town may be difficult.
- the park’s parking lot seems fairly big but on a real nice Sunday I noticed vacant spots were at a premium. However lots of people seemed to be parking along the main road. On a weekday visit there were no parking problems.
- the amenities block could have been cleaner. The local suggested this may be because the adjacent forested PUAENA POINT BEACH PARK is a haven for the area’s homeless.

LOCATION AND GETTING THERE – HALEIWA is on the lower NORTH SHORE about 55km/30mi from HONOLU – add a few for WAIKIKI. The park is on the northern approaches to town some distance before the main street.
Most tourists will come from WAIKIKI - Oahu’s rabid anti-development “KEEP THE COUNTRY COUNTRY” ethos means there are few hotels, resorts or even motels outside the near-WAIKIKI area. Most accommodation in HALEIWA and on the NORTH SHORE is in holiday houses, rooms or apartments. They tend to be towards the expensive side - but near and around HALEIWA will offer the best deal.
BY BUS - Best bet from WAIKIKI is to get to nearby ALA MOANA BUS INTERCHANGE on any number of buses and then jump on BUS 55 which goes the long but scenic way around the top of the island to terminate in HALEIWA, or BUS 52 which comes across the island’s middle. By using one of the two transfer stubs on your ticket you can make the whole journey for $2.50 either route. On its trip down from the north point of the island bus 55 goes past the 3 iconic NORTH SHORE BIG WAVE SPOTS – SUNSET BAY, the BANZAI PIPELINE and WAIMEA BAY. The BIG 3 beaches are close together (3.2miles/5.2km by road). Just north of WAIMEA is top fossicking/snorkelling/diving location SHARK’S BAY and a few kms south is LANEAKEA BEACH, best known for turtle watching – traffic slows here as people try to spot the critters from cars – I saw one from the bus. Sit on the right hand side for best views.
BY CAR - but MUM and queen -bee daughter KAAAY LA (don’t these millennium names kill you?) will want to rent the so cool canary yellow Camaro convertible for the trip from WAIKIKI (how sweet will that look on FACEBOOK?) – okay it will take 35 mins to an just under an hour depending on traffic, but be aware if the day is real nice the run along the NORTH SHORE and around HALEIWA can be real slow. If the surf is HUGE traffic and parking can be HORRENDOUS. Your car’s navigation device will find the best route but the turnoff into the northern car parking area is about 900M before the northern end of town proper and only 200m on from where the KAM HWY turns right rather than going straight on to the JOSEPH LEONG HWY if you are coming from the NORTH. If you come the shortest route across the island you will be heading NORTH on JOSEPH LEONG – turn LEFT onto the KAM.

OTHER ATTRACTIONS – you will probably want to see some other nearby places of interest after a few hours at the park. Both HALEIWA and areas close-by to the north and south have plenty. To save space, I won’t rewrite what I wrote in my report on nearby HALEIWA ALI’I BEACH PARK – you can find this easily on TRIP ADVISOR.
Look it up for priceless info. I kid you not.
On:
- THE OTHER 2 BEACH PARKS – one is way better from the point of view of strolling to the main street.
- NEAT LOCATIONS IN THE MAIN STREET – want the best shave-ice in HAWAII? Or a $2 HAPPY HOUR beer? No supermarket near your accommodation? KAAAY LA need a new bikini?
- NEAT LOCATIONS TO THE NEAR NORTH – bet you didn’t know one of these is one of the best dive locations in the world according to a popular dive magazine. The WORLD baby! Not just HAWAII or OAHU!! SO WHAT, you sniff, DON'T DIVE. Okay the tidal rock pool there is probably OAHU’S best location for little kids. Not whelmed? OK2 - find out why big wave hell hole WAIMEA is my BEST BEACH FOR FAMILIES WITH (normal) TEENS.
- NEAT LOCATIONS TO THE NEAR SOUTH – keen naturists among you might possibly be interested in NUDIE BEACH. Turned off by naturism? Maybe you need to get out more, kemosabe.
- NEAT LOCATIONS GOING HOME – the kids will love the free samples after the pineapple peeling demo at the DOLE PLANTATION. Hell, I loved that and I’m a geezer.

KAIAKA BEACH PARK
Whoa!, This, the southern-most and biggest of HALEIWA’S 3 beach parks is one nice location, trendsetters.
We have a big flat rectangular grassed area between road and sea, with scattered palms/conifers/shrubs, a nice section of beachfront, an amenities block and plenty of parking on the serpentine access road in from HALEIWA RD. There is plenty of room – it’s an average of 650m from the public road to the sea (east and west borders respectively)- and around 350m from the housing area which denotes the northern park border to the estuary (known as KAIKA BAY) of the two small streams (names unknown), which is the southern limit. So there is plenty of room for Ber-nard and buddies from Barbaste to have a game of boules (petanque fer all yu pedants out there).
Actually the biggest users of the park seem to be native Hawaiians. They sure are into the picnic routine, setting up big sun shaded canopies under which are tables groaning with food and drink. I was staying on a beachfront lani only 50m north of the park and passed by often – weekdays were pretty quiet but on a real nice Sunday there had to be 30 family groups set up. And native Hawaiian families tend to be BIG families.
A lot of kids were enjoying a dip off the 150m long southern-most section of town beach (after this there is about 300m of rocky ocean frontage – not so great for swimming but I did see a few guys with fishing rods. And rocks usually attract some fringing coral and fishies so it might be okay for snorkeling. I snorkeled off the beach area – coral sand-affected close in, getting better further out. Lots of fish all areas.
The sea is pretty benign where it reaches the beach – there seems to be a series of 3 protective reefs, the furthest over 400m from the sand – which knock down the ocean swell so that only ankle/shin ticklers were making it thru to the silica.
I’m not sure if any of the picnicking kids were surfers, but the outside fringing reef had some nice waves over my stay with quite a few surfer dudes taking the long paddle out there.
Hey, during my 3 days I saw quite a few turtles and seals taking it easy on TOWN BEACH.

SO WHAT’S THE DOWNSIDE?
- I can’t remember any lifeguards at this far southern end of the curved 1000m TOWN BEACH but as said the sea is pretty benign. Nevertheless, KEEP AN EYE ON YER KIDS folks. Kids get into trouble in swimming pools which are way calmer than KAIKA BAY.
- The interesting main street area of HALEIWA is beyond easy walking distance.
- Although the bus stops on HALEIWA RD outside the park it is a bit of a hassle getting there on public transport – see below.

GETTING THERE
HALEIWA is on the lower NORTH SHORE of OAHU, 49km/30mi from HONOLULU – add a few for WAIKIKI. Most tourists will come from WAIKIKI. Oahu’s rabid anti-development “KEEP THE COUNTRY COUNTRY” ethos means there are few hotels, resorts or even motels outside the near-WAIKIKI area.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT - Best bet from WAIKIKI is to get to nearby ALA MOANA BUS INTERCHANGE on any number of buses and then jump on BUS 55 which goes the long but scenic way around the top of the island to terminate in HALEIWA, or BUS 52 which comes across the island’s middle. By using one of the two transfer stubs on your ticket you can make the whole journey for $2.50 either route..
On its trip down from the north point of the island bus 55 goes past the 3 iconic NORTH SHORE BIG WAVE SPOTS – SUNSET BAY, the BANZAI PIPELINE and WAIMEA BAY. The BIG 3 beaches are close together (3.2miles/5.2km by road).
Just north of WAIMEA it passes top fossicking/snorkelling/diving location SHARK’S BAY and a few kms south is LANIAKEA BEACH, best known for turtle watching – traffic slows here as people try to spot the critters from cars – I saw one from the bus. Sit on the right hand side for best views.
Both buses get to a HALEIWA stop where you can transfer to BUS 76 for the beach park – trouble is this goes on a circuitous route way down to an residential area of WAILUA, a small beachside settlement south of HALEIWA, only passing by KIAKA BEACH PARK ON ITS RETURN JOURNEY. So you have spent 35 minutes to go about 3km from your starting point. Jeez kemosabes, that’s as bad as Sydney.
SO IT’S A BETTER BET TO COME IN BY CAR. MUM and queen bee daughter KAAAY LA (don’t these millennium names kill you?) have already decided that and will want to rent the so cool canary yellow Camaro convertible for the trip from WAIKIKI (how sweet will that look on FACEBOOK?) – okay it will take 40 mins to an hour depending on traffic to get to KIAKA, but be aware if the day is real nice the run along the NORTH SHORE and around HALEIWA can be real slow. If the surf is HUGE traffic and parking can be HORRENDOUS.
Note another advantage of a rental is that you can cruise up and check out the MAIN STREET and get to those neat places down south of HALEIWA with few problems.

SOME MORE INFO
Listen up., To save TripAdvisor some bandwidth I won’t repeat extra stuff I wrote on my report of nearby HALEIWA ALI’I BEACH PARK which is about 1km north of KIAKA. Look it up for priceless info (I kid yu not) on:
THE OTHER 2 BEACH PARKS – one is way better from the point of view of strolling to the main street.
NEAT LOCATIONS IN THE MAIN STREET – want the best shave-ice in HAWAII? Or a $2 HAPPY HOUR beer? No supermarket near your accommodation? KAAAY LA need a new bikini?
NEAT LOCATIONS TO THE NEAR NORTH – bet you didn’t know a certain location is one of the best dive spots in the world according to a popular dive magazine. The WORLD baby! Not just HAWAII or OAHU!! SO WHAT, you sniff, AINT DIVERS. Okay the tidal rock pool there is probably OAHU’S best location for little kids. Not whelmed? OK2 - find out why big wave hell hole WAIMEA is the BEST BEACH FOR FAMILIES WITH (normal) TEENS.
NEAT LOCATIONS TO THE NEAR SOUTH – keen naturists among you might possibly be interested in NUDIE BEACH. Turned off by naturism? Maybe you need to get out more, kemosabe.
NEAT LOCATIONS GOING HOME – the kids will love the free samples after the pineapple peeling demo at the DOLE PLANTATION. Hell, I loved that and I’m a geezer.

HALEIWA ALII BEACH PARK
This is confusing – HALEIWA actually has THREE BEACH PARKS – from the north: HALEIWA BEACH PARK about 700m before you cross the ANAHULA BRIDGE coming into town – then HALEIWA ALI’I BEACH PARK on the town side of the bridge just south of the neat small boat harbor and on the north end of town beach – finally KAIAKA BAY BEACH PARK about 1km south at the southern end of the town beach.
Unfortunately this website’s map has labelled the latter as the ALI’I park – hopefully it will be corrected by the time you read this report. No matter really, all are nice locations with good facilities and nice sections of beach. If size is important, they get bigger going south. However I think ALI’I’ has an advantage in being close to main street. The gang might want a diversion after the picnic and beach.

SIZE AND FACILITIES
The flat grassed area is about 800m north to south, 200m at its widest, 100m at its narrowest.
There is an amenities block at the northern end of the park – close by is a reasonably big PARKING LOT: turn off HALEIWA RD soon after turning right at its intersection with the KAM HWY just south of the bridge. The nearby boat harbor also has plenty of parking, When I strolled by on a real nice weekend a lot of native Hawaiian families had set up big sun shelters for picnic tables etc: quite a few people had actually parked on the adjacent grass, more roadside.

THERE ARE TWO BEACHES – starting just south of the boat harbor entrance is SPOT X BCH (I don’t know its proper name) which is fairly short at maybe 250m – then after a small low mini-mini headland is the TOWN BEACH proper – longer at a curving 1000m (it continues south of the park behind HALEIWA residential areas). I thought SPOT X the nicer – the sand seemed to be whiter and It was backed by those iconic swaying palms.
Both were protected from big ocean swell by a series of offshore reefs so that waves getting thru to the sand were mainly ankle/shin slappers. However in my 3 days in the area (I stayed in a room at the far end of TOWN BEACH) I saw SURFERS catching quite good waves on the outer reefs. Bit of a paddle for the unfit. Ain’t too many unfit surfers.
I didn’t SNORKEL up near the park, but found central and southern sections of the beach had sand affected coral close to shore, getting better further out. Lotsa fishies in all areas.
For the nervous, there are LIFEGUARD TOWERS on both beaches.

EXCURSION INTO TOWN.
The main street starts at that junction of the KAM HWY and HALEIWA RD less than 400m north of the park. It runs down the HWY for over a km to the romantically named WEED CIRCLE – a big roundabout junction of incoming roads. Businesses tend to be clumped in several discontinuous sections along here – the northern section closest the park has no shortage of interesting joints.
HALEIWA is an old surfer town which has been prettied up in recent years. However it is not like similar places back on the mainland and in my own country, in which renovations have been overdone and businesses are orientated towards RICH POSEURS who want to pay outrageous prices in too many coffee shops, art galleries, clothing boutiques and trinket joints selling overpriced junk made in Taiwan. HALEIWA is still orientated towards the surfer crowd and to offering eats and snacks to visitors and locals alike.
CAVEAT – this place is so popular that traffic can get pretty bad on nice weekend afternoons.
When you hit the main drag from the park you will run into a section of surf shops, bikini boutiques and food joints. The iconic MATSUMOTO’S SHAVE ICE is on the right abt 150m from the corner. This place is supposed to have the best shaved ice in all HAWAII – let alone OAHU or HALEIWA. I didn’t have the time to do a comparison but it sure was yummy and reasonably priced.
Closer to the corner is TEDDY’S BIGGER BURGERS – yep they were big and real nice, not outrageous in price to this budget traveler. Even better is their HAPPY HOUR BEERS (my kinda hour from 1400 to 1630) at $2 in a sports bar like setting. Seemed popular with locals – can’t think why.
If you accommodation hasn’t got a nearby supermarket (note the WAIKIKI HOTEL AREA doesn’t, although there are seemingly dozens of those smaller ABC variety stores), HALEIWA MAIN ST has the mid sized MALAMA MARKET on the left about 350m on from MATSUMOTO’S.

GETTING THERE
Most tourists will come from WAIKIKI. Oahu’s rabid anti-development “KEEP THE COUNTRY COUNTRY” ethos means there are few hotels, resorts or even motels outside the near-WAIKIKI area. Best bet from WAIKIKI is to get to nearby ALA MOANA BUS INTERCHANGE** on any number of buses and then jump on BUS 55 which goes the long but scenic way around the top of the island to terminate in HALEIWA, or BUS 52 which comes across the island’s middle. By using one of the two transfer stubs on your ticket you can make the whole journey for $2.50 either route. Both buses stop near the north end of the park.
On its trip down from the north point of the island bus 55 goes past the 3 iconic NORTH SHORE BIG WAVE SPOTS – SUNSET BAY, the BANZAI PIPELINE and WAIMEA BAY. The BIG 3 beaches are close together (3.2miles/5.2km by road).
Just north of WAIMEA is top fossicking/snorkeling/diving location SHARK’S BAY and a few kms south is LANIAKEA BEACH, best known for turtle watching – traffic slows here as people try to spot the critters from cars – I saw one from the bus. Sit on the right hand side for best views here abd around the island.
But MUM and queen bee daughter KAAAY LA (don’t these millennium names kill you?) will want to rent the so cool canary yellow Camaro convertible for the trip from WAIKIKI (how sweet will that look on FACEBOOK?) – okay it will take 35 mins to an just under an hour depending on traffic, but be aware if the day is real nice the run along the NORTH SHORE and around HALEIWA can be real slow. If the surf is HUGE (you are just coming for a look right?) traffic and parking can be HORRENDOUS.
**btw ALA MOANA BUS INTERCHANGE has an associated giant shopping mall including a big supermarket. This may answer your shopping needs on the way home. The complex also has a big parking area for people with cars.

MAKE A DAY TRIP OF IT.
You could easily spend a day at the park, beach and main street but after 4 hours or so the gang might be raring to see something else in the area. There is no shortage of good options, kemosabes,
HEADING NORTH:
-LANIAKEA BAY (aka TURTLE BEACH) is 4 km north of HALEIWA. The possibility of spotting a turtle is quite good (although I saw them and a seal basking on HALEIWA town beach).
-WAIMEA BAY BEACH is the BEST on OAHU in my opinion FOR FAMILIES WITH TEENAGED KIDS on account of the fabulous JUMP ROCK there, plus the fun shore-break when the swell isn’t too big. But DON’T GO THERE when the surf reports say the swell is 4 ft or more.
- Spend some time at SHARK'S COVE rock pool which is only 2km north of Waimea. As a matter of fact if you have sub-teens in your posse this may be a better overall destination than WAIMEA or HALEIWA – a nice tidal pool to explore and older kids can swim and snorkel in the deeper water towards the cove proper. Coral and fish good.,If any of the family is a qualified diver, the cove is rated one of the top dozen dive sites in the world. Good grief – THE WORLD baby, not just OAHU or HAWAII!! A fairly big FOODLANDS supermarket across the road.
- Also across the road is a very popular FOOD TRUCK PARK.
- If any of the family is a surfer they would enjoy a wave at the other big wave spots, PIPELINE and SUNSET BAY. But unless experience big wave riders, stay away when the swell gets big.
HEADING SOUTH.
The coast south of HALEIWA is more or less one stretch of sand to the end of the FARRINGTON HWY 18km away.
- If you feel like a trek there is a 4km track along the coast south of the hwy’s end to KAENA POINT, the western-most tip of OAHU.
- If you are into ISOLATED, PRISTINE SECTIONS OF SAND with azure water, okay snorkeling and the high possibility of basking turtles and seals, there are many places you can pull over between DILLINGHAM AIRFIELD (14km from HALEIWA) and the end of the hwy.
- If you are a naturist, NTH POLO/MOKULEIA BCH (known by the locals as NUDIE BEACH) is 10km south – looked for the parked cars on the hwy opposite the public access track to the beach.
- I took a closed access road a little north of NUDIE’S access track which goes to the top of the WAIANAE RANGE from where a proper bush track, the KUOAKALA TRAIL took me along the ridge top and doubled back to where I could descend to DILLINGHAM AIRFIELD. Great views of the lower NORTH SHORE and upper LEEWARD (DRY) COAST. But this is a major activity – 5 to 6 hours – you would need to leave ALI’I BEACH PARK REAL EARLY to fit it into the day. Not suited to little kids.
CAVEAT – you really need a car for these destinations. BUS 76 heads south from HALEIWA but terminates about 50 minute’ walk north of NUDIE.
TO THE EAST
-Going back across the island the kids might enjoy touristy DOLE PINEAPPLE PLANTATION store/restaurant/train tour - particularly if they catch the store's pineapple peeling demo after which there are free samples of yummy pineapple.

MATSUMOTO SHAVE ICE
Whoa! Hang in there trendsetters.
My first call-by was on a real nice Sunday afternoon - I'm telling you HALEIWA gets real popular at such times - the line coming out of MATSUMOTO's was maybe 30m long. Thing is I'm adverse to lining up and knowing I would be back in town later in the week, I didn't bother. I dragged myself maybe 250m north on the main street to TEDDY'S BIGGER BURGERS which is a real nice bar/restaurant - they had the top value $2 HAPPY HOUR beer deal going - which kinda kept me occupied.

Later in the week (I think it was Wed 1530) I returned to MATSUMOTO'S. Listen, this place is so popular the line still went out the door. But it was decidedly shorter so I decided to join it - they have a efficient system inside and I moved along real fast - before I knew it I had a SMALL shaved ice in hand at a very reasonable price (listen up - I'm a budget traveler: was staying at HOSTELING INTERNATIONAL WAIKIKI - so when I say REASONABLE I ain't exactly coming from the point of view of a HIGH ROLLER).
BTW I was told by people in the know that the SMALL option was way big enough - I concur. And I went the basic route, ignoring the host of yummy sounding extras you can order on yer ices. Despite this seemingly cut rate approach the resulting shave ice was totally excellent.
I took it outside to the big courtyard - plenty of seating on picnic type tables. Even on the busier weekend I noticed there were vacant pews along here.

PARKING? Apart from on street parking, there is a sizable lot behind MATSUMOTO'S accessed from abt 70m further north. Even on the busy weekend there were vacant spots in this lot.

THE REST OF HALEIWA MAIN STREET
You could do worse than take a walk along the main street. This is one of those old towns which have been done up to attract the tourist trade - but not to the extent of many back on the mainland and in my Australia. These overdone places seem to be aimed at pretentious poseurs from the big city. So instead of 50 overpriced coffee shops, art galleries and "gift shops" selling exxy touristy trinkets mainly sourced from Taiwan, Haleiwa's main street is more orientated towards surfers (gotta be a dozen surf shops and bikini outlets) and the average tourist wanting a meal or snack. MATSUMOTO'S is towards the north end of the main street which leaves you another km down to the romantically named WEED CIRCLE to explore.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

NEW JERSEY BEACHES

visited Sept 2018


Part of CAPE MAY'S beached coastline.

THE JERSEY SHORE
From what I can see New Jersey's Atlantic Coast is one continuous strip of sand. It stretches from SANDY HOOK within sight of NYC to CAPE MAY just north of Delaware (abt140m/225km),  interrupted many times by streams or by tidal exits from lagoons. In places this sand borders the mainland, at others it becomes a barrier beach on a slightly offshore barrier island with lagoons between them and the mainland. In some areas these lagoons seemed to have filled in - in others partially filled to leave coastal marshes and similar. Where near-beach land is solid or reclaimed there is quite a lot of settlement - there has to be several dozen beach towns along this strip, often a continuous conurbation for many miles. Look for LONG BRANCH, ASHBURY PARK. SEASIDE HEIGHTS, SURF CITY and others.
It's no mystery why the JERSEY SHORE is known as a bit of a summer playground. To do it justice a beach blogger would need a vehicle and multiple days to tour the shore - but now I'm in my 74th year I'm OVER such detailed inspection and reporting. There were many other places in the north-east I wanted to check in my limited time - so I confined myself to 2 locations only, ATLANTIC CITY and CAPE MAY.



ATLANTIC CITY



ATLANTIC CITY takes up the northern quarter of a former barrier island which now is semi-landlocked by marshes and swamps. The city is about 2/3rds down the JERSEY COAST from the north.


I have no idea what this former barrier island is called but as you can see ATLANTIC CITY shares it with a few other urban areas. The whole island is urbanised, including some reclaimed swampland/marshes.


AC occupies the northern 7x3km section. Interestingly the famous BOARDWALK extends the full coastal range of this image....labels may be clearer if you can click-expand.
 I have a tongue-in-cheek TRIPADVISOR review of the boardwalk HERE.


....to give some idea, it extends south past that arrow. Shot from adjacent BALLY'S CASINO (where I spent a night thanks to gambler-subsidised rooms - TRIPADVISOR report here) about 2 km from the northern end. Total length of boardwalk - 7miles/11km
Note several of the coastal towns further south and to the north have their own boardwalks.


STEEL PIER from my BALLY'S room.


Like CONEY ISLAND, I found the BOARDWALK more popular than the beach. The usual attractions of food/drink, amusement parks and a whole bunch of merch sellers - the latter had excellent deals on clothing etc (I'm not sure if this was a permanent thing or simply an end of season sell-off).


Shuttles were running a fair length of the BOARDWALK between casinos - push cart at right was also a popular mode of transport. This bottom-budget traveller walked.


I checked under the boardwalk - no members of THE DRIFTERS crooning away down there.


THE BEACH - nothing to get excited about. Pretty typical of north-east beaches - sand could be more white or yellow, surf pretty rubbishy onshore (wind-wise) slop. Long and pretty featureless but at least here interrupted by the occasional pier of groyne. And also WIDE enough which the beaches of mid and northern LONG ISLAND were not.
Marked lack of beachgoers indicative people come to ATLANTIC CITY to gamble, not swim or sun. Or maybe it was the season - EARLY FALL - although conditions were sunny and not cold.


At least the gulls were still enjoying the sand. That's the famous STEEL PIER in background.


Not all is lost - the LANDSHARK (shot from the STEEL PIER) attracted an okay crowd this fine early Saturday afternoon. 

So did BALLY'S BEACH CLUB a few hundred meters to the left - live music helped.


Wouldn't be an American Beach without the usual list of DON'TS. 
Land of the free?


I also spent a few nights at CITY HOUSE HOSTEL far end of background street only a few hundred meters from the boardwalk. My TRIPADVISOR report is here.


CAPE MAY



CAPE MAY is the southern most tip of the JERSEY coast. Past here DELAWARE BAY separates NJ from....um, tricky one here....DELAWARE!! Closest points are only 11mi/18km apart.
Straight line distance from Atlantic City is 39mi/63km -by road a few more.


The town and adjacent wetlands take up the bottom of the peninsula - the beaches have a much more southerly orientation than most of the JERSEY SHORE.


I concentrated on the TOWN BEACH above, which had a reasonable number of people on this nice mid September day. NOTE that my visit after LABOR DAY meant these people didn't have to pay the beach entry "tag" (fee). I have to admit there I have visited several hundred better beaches without entry fees. 


The town beaches were the nicest I visited in the north-east. Nice and wide, sand fairly clean, and enough changes in direction with intervening groynes to give them some character compared to endless straight expanses further north. It helped greatly too that the more southerly orientation saw prevailing winds blow off the shore rather than onshore - resulting in way less choppy slop.


However there was a bit of swell around and the offshore wind helped smooth the face, resulting in some nice little waves. These dudes had the clues - all the other groynes had a least half a dozen surfers working them over.
BTW it is this section of coast where it is possible to see the sun rise over the sea in the morning and sink into the sea at night - at least in mid-summer when it reaches its southern most azimuth.


CAPE MAY is one of the oldest seaside resorts in the north-east and has many period pieces like those old buildings in background or the shade tents mid-ground left.


This is the beach immediately west of the TOWN BEACHES - I'll call it WILDERNESS BEACH because it is backed by the CAPE MAY WILDERNESS OR WETLANDS. As you can see it's pretty long - GOOGLE EARTH says 2.6km/1.6mi. Arrow background points to the famous CAPE MAY LIGHTHOUSE,
As you can see, this beach attracted a number of people and surfers close by in the corner because of the proximity of town. I only walked a few hundred meters along the sand and beach users dropped markedly.

BEACH SUM UP -even though the best I saw in the north-east I still would not rate CAPE MAY's in my top 1000. They were ABOVE AVERAGE by north-east standards (well at least the ones I saw) but VERY AVERAGE by world standards. Add the fact that in high season they have an ENTRY FEE and I'm beginning to think them very very average.
But CAPE MAY township is a different proposition - it is similar to my home town which is a fishing, surfing, holiday spot with some pretentions to history - so to is CAPE MAY (although the history stuff is more the real deal) but it would show the civic fathers in my town how things should be done. There seems more emphasis on preserving the fantastic old buildings and town central's WASHINGTON MALL would put my hometown's main drag to shame.


Old house buffs will get as much out of CAPE MAY as beach nerds like me.


3 blocks of WASHINTON ST have been converted into a MALL with lotsa cafes, bars, restaurants, antique shops, art galleries and other trendy touristy offerings. Not a bad crowd for FALL - I reckon it might be pretty congested high season.


In the interests of research, I had to grab a locally brewed at one of the street-side cafes and watch the passing parade. Research found the beer a step up over brand names and passers-by likewise compared to those on the ATLANTIC CITY BOARDWALK.


The northern end of the mall had this terrific old church where some local dude was making a big mistake.


Classy


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