Sunday, 2 March 2014

Aloha Again

I'm not sure if anyone is interested in more Maui posts but, bad luck, I'm writing some. Feel free to skip anything with the words 'Aloha', 'Hawaii', 'Maui', etc in the title if I'm boring you to the point that pulling out your own fingernails is a more enjoyable way to pass ten minutes.

Day Two dawned grey and drizzly. Thanks for that, weather gods. We were up early again as the time difference of GMT -10 hours was playing havoc with our body clocks; but at least it meant we were up and about in plenty of time to make the most of our day. We started with breakfast in the hotel's cafe-cum-grocery store, quite a neat idea as it was open all day and well into the evening and gave hotel guests a very relaxed option when it came to food and drink - you could eat in or take away a variety of items including Starbucks coffee (guess who was rather pleased?), croissants, muffins, cereal, fruit, bagels, pizzas, cold drinks (including alcohol), crisps, ice cream, and much more. Of course, it all came at a price ($6+ for a coffee) but luckily we had the money from hubby's company to cover it.

Then we collected our brand spanking new Oakley sunglasses
and headed off to get our hire car from the valet (doesn't that sound fancy? 'the valet'; as it happened there were no other parking options, so we were pleased to learn that hubby's company had secured a rate of $12 a night rather than the usual $30 [having never used valet parking before I've no idea if that's expensive or simply the going rate, but it seems a lot to me]); it was a nice touch to find that two ice-cold bottles of water had been put in the car for us. I was so impressed (sad, but true) that I even took a photo.
 We headed north towards Kahului again, with the intention of our first stop being the old sugar cane plantation town of Pa'ia, up on the coast. But then we drove past Old Navy and had to pull in and do some shopping. Yes, again.

After an hour or so (there may also have been a stop for coffee...) we finally got the show on the road and set off for Pa'ia. Once we'd managed to find a parking spot (not an easy task), we headed straight for the beach. It was nice to finally enjoy the coast, even if the weather was still a little on the grey side. We walked from mid point to the far end and back again, watching some of the surf dudes doing their thing.


We then took a walk around the town; hubby was intrigued by how Australian it all seemed - the architecture of wooden buildings, the 'sidewalks' plus the general feel and layout of the place is reminiscent of small town/old time Oz. I think this is what we were hoping/expecting Lahaina to be like, lots of speciality shops, interesting restaurants and cafes and a general laid-back feel. This is the only photo I took of the town, and it's not a very good one, but you might be able to get an idea of what it's like.
We had a lovely lunch in The Flatbread Company which serves some very interesting takes on pizza, all cooked in a massive wood-fired oven right in the middle of the dining area. Luckily we weren't sitting too close as I can imagine it might get a tad toasty.
Once our (not-so little) tummies were full we set off on the next part of our journey - The Road to Hana (a.k.a The Hana Highway.) It's possible that Chris Rea had this particular route in mind when he penned his famous little ditty, The Road to Hell. The Hana Highway connects Kahului with Hana, which is 52 miles away in east Maui, passing through lush forests and past numerous waterfalls. Luckily, since we were in Pa'ia, we'd already put a few miles on the clock without even realising it when we decided to set off on this trip which the guide books rave about. It takes 2.5 hours to drive the 52 miles, without making any stops, due to the road being VERY bendy (approximately 620 curves in total) and rather narrow. It passes over 59 bridges, 46 of which are only one lane wide. The other issue is that when you get to Hana the road sort of peters out into a dirt track (and some rental car companies don't allow their cars to be taken on this stretch) so you can't really make a round trip, you have to double back. So that would mean 1240 bends in the road, 118 bridges, 92 of which are one line wide.

We set off with such great intentions, looking forward to a road trip along the coast. However, what we didn't realise is that mostly the road is inland and, to be perfect frank, once you've seen a few tall trees and been round more than a few bends, it all starts to feel and look pretty same-y. Not to mention a bit annoying.
Oh, and the locals who know the road like to drive quite fast, so there was a constant feeling of getting in the way as we crawled around sharp bends and over one-lane bridges with a 4x4 bearing down on us. It didn't take long for us to decide that we would get to the halfway point and then turn back. I have to say I'm glad we made it as far as we did, as Ke'anae (the halfway point) was rather a nice spot to stop for a while, very dramatic with the waves crashing on the craggy lava rocks.



And then we turned round and did it all again. Poor hubby was VERY pleased when we reached the unbendy road back near Pa'ia.

We pulled in at the Ho'okipa Beach Park just before reaching Pa'ia, to admire the views and watch even more craaaazy surf dudes doing their thing out in the waves. Apparently this spot boasts some of the best waves on the Maui coastline and is the "home of contemporary surfing" (whatever that is.)


You can't see from my photos, but there were actually a lot of people out catching the waves. And just as many watching them from a safe distance.

After all of this we were feeling rather weary so, after dropping off the rental car and having a quick bite to eat in a restaurant near the hotel (the class-ily named Chesseburger Island Style, where I went for the Hot Dog, of course)
we headed back to our room, ready to drop.

But before we could, look what we found on the bed...
Day Two, Gift Number Two. An invitation to stop by the Tiffany stand being set up in the lobby the next morning. Oh, go on then, twist my arm.

8 comments:

  1. Crikey they spolit you! It must have cost the company a fortune. I've never seen an umbrella on a hot dog before lol.

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  2. I know! Believe me, I've spent many brain cells trying to work out just how much it must have cost them (considering there were 750 employees, plus guests.)
    Isn't the umbrella a totally tropical touch?!?

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  3. That's exactly how we did the road to Hana too! By the 2nd waterfall we turned around.

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  4. Oh it all looks blissful. So glad you had this wonderful break.

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  5. Can't wait for the Day Three post!

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  6. Another gift? Wow! And I'm loving that hot dog!

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  7. Don't know which photos I'm enjoying more - the amazing scenery or the yummy food!

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