Saturday, March 13, 2010
Today we went to the zoo, where we saw many monkeys, birds, and turtles, along with giraffes, a rhinoceros, hippos, meerkats, and, most marvelously of all, two gorgeous cheetahs. When Gary saw them, he immediately announced that he wanted to take one home. I believe the airlines would balk at that, however, and I don't think the situation would be very safe for our beloved housecats.
No pix today, alas, because my BlackBerry was in the hotel room recharging while we were at the zoo.
Ogling the cheetahs, we met a young guy who's volunteered at the zoo for years. He has a degree in computer science, but his real love is wildlife conservation. He's working to save two endangered bird species in the Philippines. Very interesting fellow.
After spending several hours at the zoo, we hiked what felt like several hours to the nearest Snorkel Bob's. There's a dive shop close to our hotel (we're staying at the Hyatt, for those of you who were wondering), but they didn't have a corrective mask strong enough for Gary. The clerk there very kindly called SB's and learned that they did have strong corrective masks, so she drew us a map and sent us over there. It was quite a trek!
But we got a mask that works for Gary, and because I already have corrective goggles, I only needed a snorkel and flns. We hauled our gear bags back to the hotel, changed out of our sweaty clothing into swimsuits, reapplied thick layers of SPF 50 sunscreen (no tans here, but with any luck, no skin cancer either) and went down to the beach to test the equipment.
The conditions were pretty lousy today -- overcast skies, murky water -- and this section of Waikiki's notoriously poor for snorkling. Even so, we saw fish, as I have the previous two days. The most magical moments were finding ourselves in the middle of huge schools of bait fish, being surrounded by constellations of silvery bodies flashing and turning as one. Even the most ordinary fish make snorkeling an amazing experience. We can't wait to check out better snorkeling beaches, starting tomorrow!
On Monday we'll buy four-day bus pssses and start exploring places we can't get to on foot. Tomorrow we'll snorkel nearby and then walk to the Ala Moana Shopping Center, where we hope fo find more dining options -- we had delicious but expensive sushi tonight -- and where Gary hopes to find a cinema, since he's jonesing for a movie fix.
I'm so glad he likes snorkeling. He's the hiking guy and I'm the water woman (I joked today about how maybe I'm a selkie, since I'm more comfortable in water than on land), so I'm delighted that we've found a water activity he likes as much as I do.