Another morning consumed by conference. As for the afternoon, we planned ahead of time and brought our hiking boots with us to checkout the Iao Valley State Park.
Lunch was at Tin Roof. We had planned to hit this joint after landing in Maui 2 days ago, but they close on Sundays. I had high hopes for this place because Joe read good reviews, but it was just good, not fantastic.
Iao Valley Park is located in the Waikulu area close to the downtown area so it was a short drive to the park. We quickly learned that we could avoid the park fee by parking alongside the road outside the park entrance.
One thing you’ll notice on the island is that wild chickens are everywhere – at gas stations, grocery store parking lots, and of course in state park parking lots.
A view from the parking lot…
We thought we needed hiking boots, but this was completely doable in flip flops as the trail was mostly paved. You can climb a flight of steps to get a closer look of the Iao needle.
Then there’s another trail bringing you closer to the creek.
Both trails were very short and we were disappointed that that was it. However, we quickly realized that there were trails leading away from the designated trail and decided to check them out.
Found a rope tied near a pool of water, and it was very tempting to jump in, but I didn’t have my swim suit with me, so I opted for the next best thing – posing with the rope pretending to swing into the pool.
We started to encounter denser brush, and I was getting a little concerned that we may get lost and end up needing to be rescued like those missing hikers I had read about a few months ago. When we came upon a couple who were heading towards us, I asked if there was anything to see further up, and was told that there were no waterfalls up ahead and it was just the same dense trail. So we turned around.
Checked out the rest of the paved trail and managed to position myself (by going past a warning signage) to get a nice shot of the Iao Needle with Joe standing on the bridge.
Since this park visit was literally a walk in the park we had ample time to kill. We decided to head back to the hotel and do beach stuff. Unfortunately, the waves were just too strong that we couldn’t really do much.
The beach was pretty much deserted.
We did try our best to stay for sunset, but the sandblasts won.
When in Hawaii, one must have Hawaiian ice, even though it’s just sugary syrup on ice.
Dinner was at Miso Phat again…