Out of Town Guests from Nepal and points west

Out of Town Guests

So I have some out-of-town guests with an unusual (for me) request: to find a place to surf. Oahu is the place for this, obviously……

You would think it would easy to accommodate such a request. It would, if I myself were a surfer. I would rummage through my (imaginary) quiver of a dozen or so boards, choose the ones we’d use, strap them on to the ol’ woodie, and away we’d go.

But today:

A) the surf report is “flat.” ( Okay, one to two feet, strictly speaking).

B) I don’t surf, myself. Out of shape but even if I was at my peak I could not pop up on my right knee, reliably.

C) consequently, I don’t have any boards. My friends arrived here via Nepal, New Zealand and Australia, carrying backpacks, but alas, they did not bring their own boards. 

D) How do you transport it when you have one?  I don’t know for sure but I would imagine that theft of a board would be treated like cattle rustling here – frontier justice meted out if you are caught in the act.

D) the surfers in this town are almost a cult, and despite the internet surf reports, the best way to find out what’s happnin, is still, to talk to knowledgeable locals.

Surfing in Galway!

This was the topic of conversation partly because my friends are “stoked” – these two are both surf instructors in – Ireland. Yes, that’s right – the Emerald Isle. They tell me that til now, they never had even one session where they were not wearing a neoprene wetsuit. And yes, they have surfed the Irish coast in January. I took them to see Waikiki Beach and the first comment they made was “how crowded the waves are! we usually have the break to ourselves in Ireland!” (not a surprise when the water is fifty degrees there).

Yikes. Not sure that the vikings would have even attempted surfing the west coast of Ireland; even if surfboards and neoprene suits had been available in the 7th Century I suspect they would have stayed on shore. Katrin and Evelyn tell me that there is a hardy band of locals in Galway who do it though, and one of their friends circumnavigated Ireland in a kayak last year. so – these two are athletic and hardy.

The upshot is, they also planned to go to the Big Island to see the volcano there; they will return here in ten days when maybe the conditions are better. Sunday morning I brought them to catch the inter-island flight to Hilo. At that hour of day it took just twelve minutes to get to the airport.

I enjoy being with people who don’t have pretentions, and it was nice to feel as though I could just be myself. We could have gone out to eat but instead stayed home listening to Prairie Home Companion and Thistle & Shamrock on NPR. There was a  bit of hustle and bustle in the kitchen as we chopped the ingredients for a Cabbage Stew. We teased Evelyn about peeling the potatoes – my peeler is broken and she proved her expertise at using a plain old knife for the purpose.

Cabbage Stew recipe?

What ever you happen to have. Purple cabbage, russet potatoes, kielbasa, sauerkraut; pepper. Dill sprinkled on top. The whole thing washed down with beer. Tea and strawberries for dessert, then pleasant conversation on the Lanai. We got a laugh when Katrin translated the Schnaps song that’s in the Royal Elephant Brass Band songbook.


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