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Published: March 28th 2012
After a long 20 hours of travelling we arrived at our Hotel in Maui the Plantation Inn. We Sunday afternoon and arrived Sunday afternoon due to crossing the dateline. After checking out our lovely rooms in the we walked the short distance to the front street of Lahaina which dates back to the 1820s. The street runs along the waterfront and is filled with lovely historic buildings housing restaurants and shops. We found a restaurant overlooking the water to have our dinner and enjoyed watching the sunset over Lanai.
After dinner we bought some ice creams and sat in the Banyan Tree Square which features an exceptionally large banyan tree, planted on April 24, 1873 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the arrival of Christian missionaies. Lahaina was once an important destination for the 19th century whaling fleet, whose presence at Lahaina frequently led to conflicts with the Christian missionaries living there. On more than one occasion the conflict was so severe that it led to the shelling of Lahaina by whaleships.
Day two saw us having breakfast by the pool before taking a boat to the nearby island of Lānaʻi. After a pleasant crossing sitting on the back
deck we were met at the harbour by our guide, Garrat. We had arranged a private tour with Garrat who was born on the Island. In 1922, James Dole, the president of Hawaiin Pinapple Company bought the entire island of Lānaʻi and developed a large portion of it into the world's largest pineapple plantation. In 1985, Lānaʻi passed into the control of David H Murdock.
Lānaʻi is is also known as the Pineapple Island
because of its past as a large pineapple plantation. As tourism has increased the pineapple and sugarcane industries have been phased out due to the high cost of labour. Garrat showed us the only pineapples now growing which were two small rows in the town. It was sad to see small pieces of black plastic covering the roads, apparently when the last crop of pineapples were harvested the normal process of burning the area was not undertaken and now the island is covered in the pieces of black plastic that had been layed betwen the rows of pineapples.
The island has only two large hotels, both Four Seasons and both very beautiful. We had a tour of the Lodge at Koele which is based
on an English Hunting lodge. Lānaʻi is also home to two golf courses, one at each Four Seasons resort. "The Challenge at Manele" borders the ocean and was designed by Jack Nicklaus. "The Experience at Koele" is located in the mountains of Lānaʻi and was designed by Greg Norman. Bill Gates was married on the 12th hole tee-box at The Challenge at Manele and apparently had booked out all the accomoation on the island. Garrat also told us he had recently been Oprahs personal driver while she was staying on the island.
In Lānaʻi City, there are no traffic lights, no shopping malls, and public transportation is supplied by a hotel contractor. Most attractions outside of the hotels and town can be visited only via dirt roads that require an off-road vehicle. We were lucky our guide had a very comfortable off road vehicle for us to tour in. After driving down a dirt road for a short period we arrived at the Garden of the Gods, these beautiful and unique rock formations were formed by thousands of years of erosion creating pinnacles and buttes in a remote canyon area. Colors of red, purple, and ochra earth and crusted
lava create a striking lunar landscape. The area is mostly dry and often windy, when we were there Margie said she felt as if she was going to be blown away.
After a rougher return boat trip back across the from the Island we arrived to the hotel to receive a message from Lauren and Simon. They had arrived a day earlier than we expected and so we caught up for dinner at our Hotel in the french restaurant Gerrards.
Day three, Margy and Alex went shopping in the morning while Ron played with his new MacBookAir. In the afternoon we drove part way up Heleakala, the East Maui Volcano that forms 75% of Maui. We stopped at a lodge for afternoon tea, where were surprised to see an open fire. We have had perfect weather for our whole visit, apparently the weather is good all year here. We will be sad to leave, as we have all enjoyed our stay.
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