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Published: September 19th 2016
We landed in Kalalua airport and picked up our rental car. We drove to our resort, The Royal Lahaina. Our room wasn't ready so we had some food and a couple of beers in the bar. The bar was right beside the pool, and just beyond the pool was the beach. It was very relaxing. We went back to reception to pick up our keys, and discovered they had upgraded our room! They also threw in two free Mai Tai cocktails per day for us. We settled into our room, unpacked, then went back to the bar for some dinner. After dinner, we hopped on a shuttle bus into Lahaina where there was a big Halloween party on the street. The people in Honolulu were telling us about the massive Halloween party in Lahaina, and how it's the biggest party on the island, so we were looking forward to checking it out. By the time we got into the town, the party was already starting to wind down and it was only half ten! Father Noel Furlong and the St Luke's Youth Group would most definitely have found it a wild one! The costumes were hilarious- we saw our fair share
of bare arses- and people were dancing and partying in the street. But most people were walking back out of the town.
We spotted Mick Fleetwood's bar and decided to stop in for a drink but they were closing (at HALF TEN!) so we went further down the main street to Spankeys which was still in full swing. We had a few beers and got chatting to a few locals before strolling back down Front St to get a cab home. There were still a few small parties going on with a few ravers, but overall it was pretty dead.
The next morning we took a drive down to Front Street and did a bit of gift shopping. We also saw the massive Banyan Tree which covers an entire area of the town. It provides shelter for the market-goers and people who want to sit and chill with a newspaper. The town is really pretty. It's an old whaling town. That evening, we went to a Luau, a traditional Hawaiian feast. We got leis of shells as we went in the gate, and the Luau took place right on the beach. We also got a free Mai Tai
Mick Fleetwood's Bar
We didn't go in, it was $10 and only 20 minutes till closing!
as we entered. We were shown to our table and sat beside a family from Canada. The couple's names were Liam and Julie, and their two children were Charlotte and Cooper. Before long, our attention was drawn to the Imu, an underground cooker, where we saw a pile of large leaves. They cleared the leaves away and there was a whole pig after being cooked in the ground. The Conch Shell Horn was sounded and the men brought the pig up on the stage for us all to see. It looked tasty. Afterwards, we were called to the buffet to try the Kahlui pig and other food too. We filled our plates and headed back to our table to enjoy our dinner. The lights dimmed and the hula show started. They began with a hula lesson, which Charlotte took part in, and then the show began. The were lots of traditional Hawaiian dances, chants, songs and stories, as well as dances from New Zealand and Samoa. The show ended around 8pm and everyone filed out of the area. We were pretty surprised it all ended so quickly. We were beginning to get a sense of Hawaiian drinking/party culture. We headed
to the hotel bar, and that was pretty quiet so we didn't stay long.
We chilled on the beach the next day. It was great to relax and soak up the sun. That evening we went to Bubba Gumps (of course) which was right on the waterfront in an old boathouse. After Bubbas, we went for a walk up and down Front Street, and called into an art gallery just to look at some of the paintings. The lady who was working there asked us what ones we liked, and I pointed straight to an autumnal scene which I really liked. We ended up in another room, she took the painting with her, and told us all about the artist and the painting, before telling us the price. So we just nodded politely and left, thinking we didn't want the painting that much!
The next day we planned to drive the Road to Hana, which we heard was a very dangerous road. We went to Debbie at the concierge to get some advice. She gave us some great tips as to where to stop off and where to eat. She recommended a restaurant called Charley's that did a
great breakfast. We drove straight to Paia which is the town where the Hana Highway begins. The highway is famously called "Honeymoon Highway" on the way up and "Divorce Drive" on the way back. The town of Paia was a very hippy-ish town and had a very relaxed atmosphere. We parked the car and went for a stroll. We arrived at Charley's at 11:05 to find that breakfast had finished at 11:00. So we had a salad instead which was definitely healthier but I reckon the breakfast would have been nicer! We got back in the car and started our journey. The road was not dangerous at all. We wonder what some of these people would think if they came to Ireland!
We drove first to Twin Falls, which was just off the main road, on private farmland. We took a short hike to one of the many waterfalls, but couldn't go any further because they blocked the trail due to heavy rain the night before. We had a swim in the icy cold water and took a few photos. We saw lots of different kinds of birds and plants. Our next stop was Ke'anae Arboretum which is a
Well, we had no costumes..
botanical garden. We strolled among the plants spotting some very small birds. After that, we drove to Ke'anae peninsula and took in the spectacular views. Next stop was the Black Sand Beach. The sea was extremely rough so we didn't get in. We hiked up to a cliff top and took some photos of the beautiful views.
Finally, we made it to Hana, but it was getting late so we just grabbed a coffee, had a quick look around and began our journey back to Lahaina. We stopped at Mama's Fish House as we had planned, and had healthy portions of Mahimahi, mine was pan-seared, Dave's was in a Panang curry. Tony, our driver in Honolulu had recommended the restaurant to us. We had passed it on the way to Hana and decided to stop in on the way back. We were a little underdressed after hiking all day. But the restaurant was great and the food was spectacular. The drive back to Lahaina was a long one, and we were really tired by the time we got back.
The next day we woke up late and decided to do a surf lesson. Dave gave the instructor, Robbie,
a call and we arranged to meet him that afternoon. We had a couple of hours relaxing on the beach at the resort then we drove to the meeting place where we grabbed some lunch before catching up with Robbie. He had trouble pronouncing my name so he stuck to calling me "Ola" which means "wave" in Spanish. He called Dave "Big Wave Dave". We followed him down to Kahana Beach where he gave us our gear and gave us a quick "safety briefing" which consisted of "Ok guys, when you wipe out, land on your feet. At the very least, land on your butt." We where then asked to sign a very questionable disclaimer which had a hundred or so signatures of other students unkemptly scrawled all over it.
Robbie carried my board, Dave carried his own and we walked down on to the beach. We took some photos before a quick 5 minute lesson on the sand. We then took our boards in and started surfing. Every time we caught a wave, we tried to land as Robbie told us, but one time I didn't and whacked my leg off a very sharp rock. We surfed for
an hour or more, each time Robbie gave us little tips on how to improve. We caught over 50 waves.
That evening we went to a steakhouse in Lahaina that was right on the water. We peered over the fence beside our table and saw shoals of fish. We even saw a pufferfish. The next day we decided to drive up to Haleakala, the big dormant volcano. We hoped to see the sunset there at 5:45pm so we went into Lahaina first to buy any other gifts we needed to get. We stopped in the Maui Swiss Cafe for some crepes and coffee before driving to Haleakala. We arrived at the base of the volcano and it looked pretty foggy. A heavy cloud had settled over the mountain. We decided to go up anyway, which was a bit scary since most of the road had no crash barrier and we were driving further and further into the fog. Eventually, we were above the cloud and parked the car at the visitors centre. We took a short hike to a viewpoint before driving to the summit at 10,000 feet. We kept our eyes peeled for Nenes, the native geese of
Hawaii, but we didn't see any. It was freezing cold, windy and wet at the summit, and we pulled on layers of clothes before going out to watch the sunset. It was so windy that clouds were appearing and disappearing around us. We could see a star observatory across the mountain but it was not open to the public. We took a few photos and as soon as the sun went down we ran back to the warmth of the car!
We drove back down the mountain and stopped at the Kula Lodge Restaurant for dinner. We each had a bowl of soup to heat ourselves up before tucking into a Hawaiian pizza. We headed home and went to bed early as we were tired from surfing the day before and we had to get up early the next day for a snorkel trip.
At 5:30am the alarm went off. We sleepily got dressed and drove to Ma'alea Harbour. We were greeted by Jacob,the first mate, then Dan, the captain and Brian the SNUBA instructor. Ana was behind the bar serving breakfast. We grabbed our fins and snorkelling equipment, found a seat and then got some breakfast. Jacob
A Red-Crested Cardinal
and Ana sounded the Conch horns and a Hawaiian chant was played as we sailed out of the harbour. It was great to see Maui's coast from the sea and Dan told us a little history. We sailed to a partt of the island that has the youngest lava flow, just over 200 years old. It's estimated that the last eruption of Haleakala was in 1792. But since Hawaiian people have no written history, no one knows for sure. We also passed a nudist beach called Makena Beach, which Dan pointed out to us. He also told us that they have their very own volley ball team called "The Danglers".
Dan hoped to take us out in to the Channel into deeper water, but as we approached it, the wind picked up and the sea got really rough, so he had to turn around. We sailed to Molokini crater next, which is a crater that's partially underwater and sits on a caldera. We put on our gear, sprayed anti-fog solution onto our masks (we were told it was made of Dan and Jacob's spit!) and went off the back of the boat. The water was so clear, the visibility
The Banyan Tree
This is all one tree.
was 150 ft. We had flotation devices tied around our waists which meant we could snorkel for ages and not get tired. We saw so many fish. We saw parrot fish and pipe fish as well as colourful tropical ones. The water was about 20 degrees Celsius so it was lovely and warm. We spent a good 45 minutes or so exploring the crater. When we got back on the boat there were snacks waiting for us. We nibbled away as the boat to us to our next snorkel spot.
Ana had spotted some sea turtles, but by the time we got in to the water they were nowhere to be seen. We snorkelled for about half an hour before getting back on the boat where Jacob was cooking burgers and hotdogs on the BBQ. We decided to have a "Maui Wow-ee"- a patty with a hot dog on top, a slice of pineapple and cheese, all on a burger bun. It was really tasty, although we couldn't eat it in comfort as the boat was rocking and the wind was blowing strong! We sat back and relaxed with a couple of beers as we sailed back to Ma'alea
When we got back to the hotel we crashed for a couple of hours before dragging ourselves out to the beach at 4pm to catch the last of the Hawaiian sunshine. We stayed on the beach till sunset and later that evening we went to the resort restaurant for dinner. There was a musician and a hula dancer who gave me flowers for my hair. We went to bed early as we were up the next morning for the next leg of our journey: San Fransisco.
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