Thursday, August 13, 2015

Maui - Part 4


Our last full day and suddenly Ron was thinking of all kinds of things he still wanted to do. Six days on Maui just isn’t enough!

We spent the day exploring Iao Valley National Park and Lahaina. First stop was Iao Valley, a lush valley in Central Maui and the second wettest place in the state, getting an average of 380 inches of rain a year. Ron and I both loved it! We got there early enough that there were few other people, and it was so peaceful, breezy and cool. We walked up the short lookout trail and then followed the mountain stream back down, climbing around on the rocks. I spotted some more yellow ginger so Ron had a “drink”. It took less than an hour to see the whole park but it was well worth the visit.

Iao Valley

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Maui - Part 3


We had booked the Short Waterfalls Walk with Hike Maui for the morning. At 9 o’clock Jenny, Gretchen, Reid, Charlie, Ron and I all piled into the van and drove to the Park and Ride spot in Kahului, where we were met by our tour guide Kate and the rest of the group, a family of five. We would be doing a 1-mile hike at Twin Falls, near the beginning of the Road to Hana. As Kate drove, she told us about the history of sugarcane in Maui and how it had impacted the island, from bringing in new cultures to changing the landscape. When we got near Twin Falls, the air started to have a wonderful scent. It was so fresh and sweet, I couldn’t stop sniffing. It must have been the smell of the rainforest.

Twin Falls is privately owned by four families, but Hike Maui has a contract to allow tours so we were able to go into areas of the property that aren’t normally open to the public. The hiking part of the tour was pretty tame because we stopped a lot as Kate pointed out various edible plants. We sampled the “ice cream pods”, ate the flowers off of the Indian Head Ginger (they tasted like green apples) and sipped nectar out of the yellow ginger. If you get lost in Maui, you don’t have to worry about starving because there is food everywhere! Kate cracked us up by telling us that she likes to eat off of the flower displays in hotel lobbies. She said everyone stares at the crazy lady eating the decorations. :-)


Maui - Part 2


I woke up at 2:30 and couldn’t go back to sleep. Argh! I hate jet lag. My body just does not like going west. For some reason, I find it much easier adjusting to the time change in Europe.

Our plan for the day was to explore West Maui since we hadn’t seen that part of the island before. Jenny suggested that Ron and I take the Mini Cooper so we could put the top down. The Mini Cooper was adorable, blue with the Union Jack painted on the side mirrors, very Austin Powers. We zipped along the coast, deciding to start at the farthest point, the Nakalele Blowhole. The Nakalele Blowhole is kind of like a geyser, a hole in the cliff where the waves shoot through. The hike down to the blowhole turned out to be a lot trickier than I was expecting. It was very steep with large boulders and some slippery, sandy spots. I had stupidly forgotten to put on my hiking sandals and was wearing flip flops, but I finally made it to the bottom with much help from Ron. Unfortunately, the blowhole was sputtering more than blowing that day, which was disappointing, although the rocky cliffs were scenic and we did find the heart-shaped hole in the rock. But then we had to climb back up! I am definitely not the most coordinated person so I was crawling my way carefully up the rocks, using my hands for balance, when some man marched right past me like he was walking through the mall. How embarrassing… :-)

view from the lanai
morning on the lanai

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Maui - Part 1

Our last trip to Maui was in 1999, and one reason it had taken so long to go back was because it was such a pain to get there. As we sat in the Dallas/Fort Worth airport for the fifth hour, I remembered why we waited 16 years. Our connecting flight in DFW had come in late and then during an inspection, they discovered a leak in the brake fluid lines. We didn’t know if they could fix it or if we’d be spending the night in Dallas. Finally, the announcement was made that the leak had been repaired and we would be boarding shortly. Nine hours later, we were banking towards Maui and heading into Kahului Airport with beautiful views of Molokini crater, south Maui and Haleakala’s upcountry.

Jenny greeted us with leis at the airport and drove us to the condo at Wailea Point. Since we’d gotten in so late, Jeremy picked up dinner at Da Kitchen – delicious kalua pork with rice and other Hawaiian fixings. We ate out on the lanai while we watched our first Maui sunset.  We made it!

Wailea Point sunset