Sunday, June 25, 2017

More Maui adventures

Our second morning in Maui we got up a little bit later and went to La Parouse Bay, which our kayak tour guide said was a hangout for dolphins in the mornings.  It is also the site of Maui's most recent volcanic eruption, which may have concluded as little as 200 years ago.  What looks like a recently turned over field behind me is actually a vast lava field.  
 We didn't see any dolphins, and the rocks + surf made for inhospitable swimming conditions, so we went back up the road to a sandy beach at Makena Beach State Park.
 We found some boogie boards in our condo, so we decided to try them out.  Right after we got there, a lifeguard went up and down the beach posting signs that said "dangerous shore break."  We ignored the signs, since there were a lot of people in the water.  After we got tumbled by a few waves, we got out of the water.  As we came up the beach, we could hear an announcement being repeated from the lifeguard station. "Stay out of the water, especially if you are beginners.  Common injuries in dangerous shore break include broken arms, broken necks. . . "  Oops.  For some reason the announcement, which had been repeating, stopped as soon as we were a safe distance from the water.  We must have looked pretty terrible.
 After lunch we went ziplining at the Maui Plantation.  Believe it or not, this was Annette's idea.  The island adventure bug really bit her.  When I asked if she was sure she really wanted to go ziplining, she accused me of being unadventurous.
 Of course our legs started to feel weaker and weaker as we climbed up and up and up the first tower.  We all had second thoughts about plummeting along a skinny cable, including the other members of our ziplining group, Gloria, and her father, Shin, from California.
 We did five lines over the plantation, learning about some of Hawaii's plants and exports in the process.  By the end we didn't have any fear about leaving the platform.
 To celebrate our survival of the zipline, Colette took a nap.  She was battling a cold for the whole trip.  Annette and I walked a short distance down the beach to Kihei proper to get some shave ice.
 That evening we drove half an hour to Lahaina for the Old Lahaina Luau.  Before dinner we walked around to see demonstrations of native Hawaiian arts.
 Colette and I learned a hula.
When we sat down at our table for dinner, we found that we were seated at the same table as Gloria and Shin, our friends from ziplining!  Maui is a small island, but not that small.  It was quite a coincidence.  Being seated with them, and another fun couple from Alabama, made our dinner experience much better.  We got to try lots of island foods, and then we enjoyed a performance that told some of the history and mythology of the islands through dance.  
On the way out, Colette found a new boyfriend.  Sorry, Jacob.  Who could resist this guy, though?
 The next morning I was up bright and early again.  I think the trip was too short for me to really adjust to the time difference.  I did wake up later than I had on the previous days.  As a consequence, I had to do part of my morning run in the sun.  Ugh.
I think finding this black sea star on the beach was my consolation for doing my longest run of the trip in daylight.  I think living in Seattle has turned me into part vampire.  
 Based on the recommendation of the other folks at our luau table, we decided to spend most of Saturday driving the famous road to Hana.  The Hana highway has 620 hairpin turns and 59 one lane bridges over 50 miles of road.  After a morning stop in Kahului at the Saturday morning swap meet/souvenir fair/sauna, we hit the road.  After driving the road from the Nakalele blowhole to Kahului, I was pleasantly surprised that the Hana highway seems to have been designed with actual cars in mind.  It was a bit nerve wracking to drive, especially on the way home when the sun was at the worst angle, and I was frequently blinded as we rounded curves, but we made it.  The drive is through rain forest all of the way, and almost all of the bridges we crossed were accompanied by a view of a waterfall.
 We went on a short hike through rain forest before lunch.
 There were lots of places to stop and admire waterfalls.  We made a short side trip into Keanae where Colette found a leaf as big as her whole body.
 The shoreline was made of lava rocks.  The contrasts between the micro-climate zones on Maui are striking.  A very short distance from these rocky beaches are soft, sandy beaches.  A relatively short drive from the rainforest is a dry plain.  Haleakala volcano towers 10,000 feet above sea level on this island that is only 48 miles long and 26 miles wide.
 Keanae is the site of a stone church that was built in 1860.  When the rest of the town was wiped out by a Tsunami, this church remained standing.
 It had a very interesting derelict graveyard.  I thought of Cheyenne and her love for interesting cemeteries when I saw this.
 Here are some of the beautiful Hana Highway waterfalls that we saw.

 When we needed a longer break from the road, we stopped at a wayside park to take a dip.  This water comes down from the mountains, and is much colder than the tropical ocean water on Maui's beaches.  It doesn't have anything on the shocking cold of our Cascade Mountains snow melt streams, but it was hard to get into at first.  Colette and I walked out the waterfall over the slippery rocks, but we decided it would be easier to swim back.
 We ended our drive at Waianapanapa State Park, famed for its black sand beaches.
 We climbed through a lava tube where the ground was made of uniform black stones, rolled smooth by the surf.  At the water's edge the stones had turned to a coarse sand, and, as we went up the beach, the sand turned to pebbles, and then loose rocks.
 Colette and I used our new boogie boarding skills to body surf on the black sand beach for a little while before heading back around the island the way we had come.
This was a fun adventure that I am happy to have done without kids along.  The rental car we had on the island was nothing very impressive, but it definitely got good gas mileage.  We got back to Kihei worn out from a long, interesting day.  We picked up a pizza, watched a movie (thank you previous condo renters, for staying signed in to Netflix on the condo TV), and went to bed.

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