After our Vacation in Maui, I learned one thing: There is ALWAYS a way to transport a surfboard. I was never quick enough with the camera, but we saw a guy on a scooter puttering down the road with a surfboard tied to the side, a barefoot bicycle guy barely balancing a board under one arm, a board sticking out in the back seat of a convertible, and lots of makeshift car racks. Maui was awesome, and you should go. We only had four full days there, but we really got to see a lot. Before our trip we bought this guidebook: Maui Trailblazer: Where to Hike, Snorkel, Surf, Drive.
What We Did:
On the first day we picked a full-day driving tour in the guidebook and drove up and down Highway 30, explored West Maui, and stopped a bunch of times for short hikes and beaches. We drove almost all the way to Kahakuloa, and turned around when the dirt road got super narrow and windy.
Then we went back down the highway and stopped at Ohai Loop Trail. We also stopped at a couple others. There are several little unmarked trails along the side of the road that have some really stunning views.
After that we stopped at the Nakalele Blowhole, which is a sea geyser wonder. Apparently it can be pretty dangerous, and there were several signs warning people to stay at a safe distance. There have been several deaths there when people have gotten too close at high tide. I have read that the water can spray up 20 feet into the air! Even when we were there at low tide, it was really cool. If you do go, please be careful and don’t get too close. It is a short little hike to get to the blowhole.
The hubby spotted this heart-shaped hole in one of the rocks while we were walking back to the car! We think it was probably carved by someone, but still cool nonetheless!
We climbed up around the steep side to the top. There are ropes to help you get up the muddy slope. We found out that people sometimes jump off the top into the pool below. The water didn’t seem very deep, there is no way I’d jump off it!
At the trailhead there is a fruit stand. The property is actually privately owned by a farm, and they let people go through to see the falls (donations welcome). We bought pineapple banana smoothies at the stand before we left. Twin Falls is popular, an early start let us enjoy it without a crowd, but the crowds started heading in as we were leaving. Since we got an early start, we still had the greater part of the day left and decided to pack a lunch and head up to Haleakala National Park and see the crater. We drove up a steep winding road (think Pikes Peak steep) to get to the top, 10,000 feet above sea level! When we got there we hiked two miles down into the crater and two miles back up. It felt like we were on Mars!
The third day we were there we went on a snorkeling trip through the Pacific Whale Foundation. They put on a great all-day trip, and served two meals. We went during whale season, so we also got to see some Humpback whales up close!! One of them even decided to put on a show right next to our boat, flapping its tail against the water over and over again and raising its fins out of the water!! We got to snorkel in Shark Fin Bay, Lahaina and Turtle Town, Maui, and saw lots of fish and sea turtles! I didn’t bring my camera, so I don’t have any pictures from this day.
Where we stayed:
We stayed in this little town in Maui called Paia, at the Nalukali Lodge. It was pretty basic accommodations, but was also pretty affordable. As the hubby and I were starting to lose hopes about going to Hawaii since everything seemed booked up, this little hotel popped up on one of the travel sites. It was basically a room with a bed and and mini fridge. The bathroom had no door, just a curtain! We aren’t really resort type people, so it was perfect for us. The place also had a grill in the yard that we could use, along with grilling utensils and some dishes. We ended up really liking Paia. There are just enough restaurants, a really great coffee/breakfast shop down the street, and awesome gelato right by the hotel. Its also right on the beach, which we went to everyday!
Paia is a great little town for eating sustainably! They have a little grocery store that sells local meat and veggies. One night the hubby and I bought grass fed steaks, local squash, and a huge local avocado (big surprise there) and grilled them up for dinner. Most of the restaurants source local meat, fish, and vegetables. The gelato place uses local dairy farms. I think we got gelato almost every day…oops! And just check out these sunsets in Paia!