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Published: December 12th 2007
We're always ready for an adventure, so we traveled almost 6000 miles to experience a FL style hurricane in Hawaii! Here, in Maui, it's called a Kona Low and did it ever pack a punch. The locals are saying that it was the worse storm that they have had in 30 years!! A Kona Low is basically the reversal of the jet stream and causes some horrific weather systems. This one proceed to travel over all the islands, hang over the Big Island for a day and then come back and hit all the islands again. It rained for 6 days straight, put down 5 inches of water an hour during some of the storms, generated wind gusts of 60-80 mph, and created a power outage that lasted for 32 hours. Trees fell down over the highway and houses were washed down the mountain sides.
Our condo complex was flooded from the water running down the mountain behind us. It was really a flash flood. Ron and I had just returned to the condo totally soaked and walking through ankle deep water and very high winds. By the time we got dried off and looked out the balcony doors, the
water was up to about 2 feet deep and rushing through the driveway like a waterfall. The first floor condos were totally flooded and the occupants were sweeping and pushing the water out of their units with brooms, shovels, and boogie boards. All traffic was stopped in front of our complex as the run-off gushed into the street and the waves threatened to break over the highway. It was quite spectacular!!! One more adventure for our travel stories.
We've returned to Hawaii to finish the Maui portion that got cancelled last year. The island has changed considerably since we were last here 10 years ago!! Many roads are now 4 lane highways, the traffic has vastly multiplied, the little motels/hotels are now big, expensive resorts, and the strip malls are everywhere. Still, the wild sides of the island remain the same with the narrow, winding roads to Hana and the far north coast.
The first few days on the island we had a car and did the drive to Hana. It's a fun drive along the coast and through the rain forest. There are numerous waterfalls, a beautiful bamboo forest, and scenic coast views along the route. Since
Haleakala was clouded in (due to the approaching storms) we next did the trip to Lahaina and the far northwest coast. That drive eventually led to a one lane road that was barely hanging on to the side of the steep cliffs that descended into the ocean. It was close to dark so at the first turn around point we decided we had seen enough of the spectacular, but somewhat scary scenery.
We are staying in the town of Kehei on the southwest coast of the island. This is supposed to be the desert side of the island!! It has a nice mix of shopping, restaurants and 3 public beach parks all within walking distance. There is local bus service, so we are able to get around the island quite well. Wailea, the upscale neighborhood and resort area is a few miles south of us. It has a great mile and a half beach trail that winds along the coast and passes in front of many 5 star resorts. It has become our favorite hang out. We are able to use their restaurants, go to the public beaches, and get in a beautiful walk. All for the price on
a $1.00 bus ride.
We will be here through Christmas, so this will be our Christmas card to everyone. As before, please refrain from sending us cards since our mail is going to a friend's house. However, emails and e-cards will be greatly appreciated. On Dec. 27 we will be returning to Kauai. Princeville, Hanalei, and the Napali coast were so enjoyable that we have decided to return there for the last portion of our Hawaii trip. We will keep you updated with news and photos. Have a wonderful Christmas and we hope to hear from you through cyberspace.
Best Wishes for a Happy Holiday,
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