Maui – Day 4

Today’s the big day.  I decided to skip the morning conference so that we could get a jump on our drive to Hana.  The main objective of this trip was to get a better picture of the rainbow eucalyptus tree (we saw this on the roadside back in 2016, but didn’t get a good photo of it as we just drove right by it), check out the black sand beach, and hike the pipiwai trail to see the bamboo forest.  I’ve always wanted to see the bamboo forest ever since I saw a photo of it at a gallery years ago.

The plan was to leave the hotel at 6AM so that we would reach Kaenae Arboretum (for the rainbow eucalyptus trees) by 8AM and then grab some banana bread for the hike at Aunty Sandy’s when they open at 8:30AM.  We ended up making real good time, but missed the stop for the arboretum and got to Kaenae point, where Aunty Sandy’s is, before 8AM.  We walked about checking out the scenery and waited for Aunty Sandy’s to open.

33 (2)
The banana bread was good, the coconut chew was even better.

After getting the provisions, we doubled back to find the arboretum, which luckily was just right before the turn for Kaenae Rd.  There were 2 small parking spots around the bend, and easily missed if one drove too fast, which is what happened to us (slow down once you pass the 16 mile marker and the YMCA to your left).  Once parked, we crossed the highway to enter through a cattle gate.  The walk was about a half mile on paved road before we reached the big Chinese bamboos, then it was a short walk on trail to get to the eucalyptus trees.

33

The colors are formed when the bark peels away.

34

We were told that depending on the season, the colors would vary.  Some would have blues, purples, and reds.  We only got to see orange, lime, and dark green.

35

Once I was satisfied with my photos we were off, but not without stopping for photo ops of the waterfalls along the way.

36

There were a couple of places where we could actually stop and park, but a lot of the waterfalls were only to be viewed as we drove by as no parking was allowed.

We almost missed the turn for Wai’anapanapa State Park where the black sand beach is located (again, drove too fast).

37

Here’s a view of it from the walkway above the beach.

41

You’ll need to take a flight of stairs down to the beach, and right at the bottom of the stairs to the right there’s a opening to a small cave.

38

The black sand is formed from lava rocks.

40

Personally, I still prefer the powdery white sands you’ll find in the Caribbeans, but this was interesting to see.

39

Finally, we were off to the hiking trail, but not without stopping for another waterfall.

43

By the time we got to Haleakala National Park (where the Pipiwai trail is located in), it was approaching noon (5 hours after we had left the hotel) and we had already polished off 1 loaf of banana bread (Joe ate most of it), and the coconut chew (I practically had all of it).  The entrance fee was $30 per vehicle, which was higher than the usual NP entrance fees, but what are you gonna do?  Turn around and call it a day?

There are 3 trail heads starting at the visitor center.  The Pipiwai trail is a 2-mile trail that ends at the Waimoku falls.  The Ohe’o Gulch trail is a 0.5 mile loop trail that brings you to the seven sacred pools, which was closed to swimming the day we went due to strong water flow from all the rain.  The Kuloa Point trail is another 0.5 mile coastal loop trail.

We decided to hit the Pipiwai trail and then the Ohe’o trail afterwards.

The initial section of the trail wasn’t as shaded, but we got some respite as soon as we got to the bamboo forest thanks to the dense cover.

Here’s the entrance into the bamboo forest after crossing the foot bridge.

44

Here’s a set of falls at the foot bridge.  Water was murky due to the volume of rushing water churning up the sediment.

44 (2)

This is the view as soon as you cross that bridge and enter the bamboo forest.

45

My photos didn’t turn out like the ones I saw at the gallery, and that’s why my photos are not displayed in galleries.

46

47

We spent a good deal of time hiking through the bamboo forest.  The key was to keep moving, otherwise we’d be eaten alive by mosquitos.  Once through, this was the view that welcomed us.

Waimoku falls…

48

Unfortunately, we couldn’t continue past the warning sign to get to the base of the fall.  People have died in the past from falling rocks when they got too close.

49
Next best thing – taking a picture at the warning sign.

More photos of the bamboo forest on the way back.

50

51

We had passed this huge banyan tree on our way up, but since kids were playing around and climbing the branches we decided not to stop for a photo op.  However, on our way back there were very few people, and I managed to capture this to show the immense size of the tree.  If you look closely, some of the prop roots (dropping down from branches) are as thick as a grown man.

52
A prop root is seen to the right of Joe.

Note, in order to get the entire tree in the shot you’ll need a wide angle lens.  Phone cameras will not be able to capture the whole tree, unless you do a pano, but we all know that panos tend to distort the image.

It took us about 2-3 hours to finish hiking the pipiwai trail, and then it was on to the Ohe’o Gulch loop.

Thanks to the swift current, we were not able to swim in the pools – we had worn our bathing suits for nothing.  The greatest concern was getting washed out to sea where the great sharks await.

53

If only we had developed suction discs on our bellies like the Oopu.

55

A close up of the waterfall.

54

By the time we were done, it was time for ‘lunch’.  We had polished off the last loaf of banana bread.  We had seen a huli huli chicken place at Koki beach on our drive in, so we decided to check that out.

One of the reasons why it takes hours on the road to Hana is because of all the winding narrow roads with one lane bridges.  Combine that with cautious slow drivers up ahead, you’re looking at a whole day spent in the area.  However, you also don’t want to be the first car, because then you’ll become the slow driver watching for oncoming cars.  On our way back, we were stuck behind someone driving 10 miles an hour.  The locals behind us got impatient and yelled at us to pull aside.  I let him pass and when he got to pass the slow driver I followed closely.  The local obviously knew the roads well and I felt comfortable enough to follow him and go as fast as he did.  It didn’t hurt that I’m used to driving winding roads all the time.  Just wish we were in our own car that eats curves instead of our rental Toyota Corolla.

Thanks to the local driver, we got to Koki beach in no time.  This guy has his huli huli chicken stand right on the beach.  Chicken was good, but it was mostly for the experience of eating lunch from a chicken stand on the beach.

56
Can’t beat the view.

 

Towards the end of our meal it started to rain, and all of us were running for cover with our plates of chicken.  It was actually quite a hilarious sight.

For dessert we had ice cream at Coconut Glen’s located at mile marker 27.5.  Ice cream was less creamy, more gritty.  Interesting tastes, but hard to pinpoint the exact flavors.

58

Finally, we made a stop under the same tree we had stopped at 4 years ago just to duplicate the pose…

59

Back in 2016…

59 (2)

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was well past 7PM.  We had spent 13+ hours on the road, but it was all worth it.  We were too beat to go out for dinner and called it a day.

Object of Desire

Shoes.

There are some women, like my sister, who value comfort over style, so they’re OK living in cloggy Merrells.  For the rest of us, shoes are pieces of work – to be admired, appreciated, and desired.  My Stuart Weitzmans are all coming with me, along with my passport and birth certificate, if there is ever a need to evacuate the house.  There’s something about shoes that men just don’t understand.  On the flip side, the equivalent of shoes for men are cars.  Women, we don’t get it, but something about a shiny sports car grabs their attention like no other.

During our trip to Sedona, Joe’s car was a head turner.  I said to Joe, if you want to stay incognito, drive the Yaris, but if you want men flocking to you like flies to poo, then drive your new car.

Park attendant: What do I need to do to get one of these?

Joe:  Sell your soul to the devil.

Joe saw a couple of young men posing next to his car taking pictures.

Valet attendant (admiringly): That’s a 2018 right?

Joe: Yeah it’s a 2018.

Even the old guy driving the much more expensive car couldn’t take his eyes off the shiny new one.