Honolulu LandscapeView of Honolulu from Diamond Head It was finally time to embark on our adventure down under. Mollie and I planned a fair amount and saved up even more to get ourselves to the land down under and bum around. We spent 10 weeks in Denver, painstakingly, at jobs that caused more stress then they did fulfillment. But we kept pushing through, telling ourselves that “soon, we will be doing exactly what we want to do – every single day.”
That statement is a big motivator for us. So when we had the opportunity to have a planned 1 ½ day layover in Honolulu, we chose to take it. Why not have a little vacation before our vacation!
We hopped on the number 19 bus that leaves the Honolulu Airport and rode it for an hour and fifteen minutes – to go 10 miles. We crammed ourselves in a tight back bench of the bus and sat while we stopped and stopped and stopped some more. We could not be any more excited to get to our hostel, Pacific Ohana Hostel. We needed a rest from the holiday travels and needed some time to get our last minute things organized before we went international.
Our stop finally arrived so we grab our things and hopped off and went to find our hostel. We turned down Lemmon Road, which resembled more of an alley way then a street, and saw in the distance some international flags. We walked towards them but when we got underneath them, they were not outside our hostel. We double checked the address and backtracked to our building.
From the outside you wondered if you were walking into an international hostel or an inner-city slum; you wondered if you were getting the chance to interact with other foreign travelers or contract some sickness; you wondered if you made the right decision.
We found a manager, checked in and then he took us up to the 3rd floor to show us our room. As we walked up the circular outdoor stairs we began to take it all in. Instead of passing young and active international travelers and trying to guess what language they were speaking we were passing tired and old degenerates and trying to understand what mumbled words came from their weathered and worn bodies. We got to our room number, where we had the semi-private room (i.e. the bedroom of a 1 bedroom apartment) and others slept in the bunk room we were attached to (i.e. the living space of a 1 bedroom apartment). He showed us the room, we obliged by saying that it would do and then a red flag occurred. He thanked us. Profusely and with relief – an odd insight into this place of business. As if no one says yes. As if no one had made it this far and agreed to stay here. As if all the people staying at this hostel lived here and no one agreed to stay here as guests. We agreed, though.
The manager left us and we were finally alone in our room. We closed the door. Locked it (something I have never felt necessary but I felt was pertinent in this establishment). It wasn’t until we were laying on our old and outdated mattress for the first time that we stumbled upon the tripadvisor.com reviews. They did not disappoint and it was if we were there with the authors as they commented on the lack of hospitable accommodations, the abnormally high number of bugs in the rooms and the can of Raid that was issued with your key (to be fair, we weren’t given that can of Raid when we got our key. Our room already came stocked with one). We knew we made a mistake in staying here but frankly there was nothing we could do about it. We spent the next day and a half spending as little time in that hostel as possible. We could not ask for our money back for they had a strict no refund policy (I wonder why?) and at $70 a night, it was just a bit too much to leave behind and find a new place to stay.
It was quite the adventure, to say the least. Even one of the numerous cockroaches in our room found its way into our bag and into the Sydney International Airport. We came out of it alive, with all of our things still in our possession and didn’t contract any communicable diseases.
And in the end, isn’t that what all adventurers want in the first place? An adventure that doesn’t end in some sort of communicable disease? I would be hard pressed to find anyone who did not agree.
Until the next adventure.