We left the Big Island and flew to Oahu today, landing in Honolulu, then driving our rental car to Waimānalo Beach on the windward (eastern) side of the island. Although we’re just a short distance from Honolulu, there’s a mountain that separates the windward coast from that city, so it’s pretty rural here.
To drive to Waimānalo Beach from the Honolulu airport, we had to take Interstate Highway H-1 to Interstate Highway H-3. I’m still trying to figure out how you can have an Interstate Highway on a island – wouldn’t that make it an Intrastate Highway?
Anyway, it was a bit of a shock for us, coming from the sparsely populated, rural Big Island of Hawaii to the urbanized, heavily populated metropolitan area of Honolulu that we had to drive through to get to the windward coast.
We were told on the Big Island that all of the other islands would fit within the land area of the Big Island. We also learned that there are 1,500,000 people living on Oahu, whereas the Big Island of Hawaii only has 100,000 inhabitants.
Here’s a map so you can see for yourself (the blue dot is where we’re staying on Oahu; the Big Island, where we have been staying for the last week, is at the lower right on the map).
Waimānalo Beach is the longest contiguous beach in Oahu with a length of over five miles. But, because it’s a bit of a drive to get here from Honolulu, it’s not crowded at all, the city folks just go to the beach at Waikiki in Honolulu.
We’re staying at a Bed & Breakfast, right across the street from Waimāmalo Beach. After we got situated in our room, we spent the rest of the afternoon reading on the beach.
Tomorrow we’ll explore the rest of the island of Oahu.