They are really big on Farmer’s Markets here on Kauai. When we checked in yesterday we were given a list of them – one for every day of the week. Holy mackerel.
After a quick breakfast of cereal and coffee, we set out. This farmer’s market is in the parking lot of Kauai Community Colleges, and not only are there a lot of people selling, there are a lot of people buying. Happily I remembered to bring a reusable bag with us from Colorado and have it today.
There are fruits, flowers, veggies, local coffee, food trucks and a humane society tent. There are handmade jewelry tents, a woman weaving palm fronds into gorgeous baskets, local honey and eggs. Organic, non GMO and “picked this morning”
Do you know what the fruit below is?
If you are the first person to comment with the correct answer, I will bring you some Kauai Kookies (the cookies are very good – I’ve already eaten two bags of them!).
Need more of a clue? Here is a photo of this fruit, sliced open.
We spent a lot of time at the farmer’s market.Here is a photo of our flowers ($2!) and some of the fruit we bought.
After loading all our goodies back into the car we drove around the island for a couple of hours. The scenery is beautiful…. Oh, and we found a WalMart – I’m excited as they usually have postcards and souvenirs less expensively than the tourist shops. We’ll stop there another time. Eventually we made our way back home, unpacked our treasures and headed out for a walk on the beach.
The water is so rough on this side, but it makes for spectacular scenery. We walk quite a long way and back again.
We make a nice salad with lots of fresh ingredients and eat out on the lanai listening to the surf and the birds.
Heading to bed early because we have a big day planned for tomorrow and have to get an early start. Until then…
Today we are leaving Maui and heading for a week on Kauai. Our flight to Kauai isn’t until to 2:30 so we have a leisurely morning. Packing, eating up the few groceries we have left, saying goodbye to our cute little condo right on the beach.
We stop to top off the tank before returning the rental car and arrive at the airport in good time. We check in and need to find a secluded spot as the only thing that we didn’t finish yet is 2 cans of beer! Jeff asks me, “Where are my glasses?” Hmmmm…. He remembers having his prescription reading glasses when we got gas. He heads back outside the airport to get BACK on the Budget rental car shuttle to go back and see if his glasses are still in the rental car. I wander into a semi-secluded spot, smiling cheerfully (and, I hope, innocently) at the passing TSA person as I chug my beer. Jeff returns glasses-less. I hand him his beer and he downs it. Wish we had a couple more! We sit at our gate for about 90 minutes waiting for a flight that will take far less time. We are on the jet way to board. Jeff looks at me and says “Where’s my hat?” Seriously???
He hurries back off the jetway to where we were sitting, eventually returning, hat in hand. It had fallen off the seat onto the floor and he’s very lucky to have found it.The flight is too short to order booze!
Picking up the rental car on Kauai was speedy and since this condo is only 4 miles from the airport we’re here in a flash. We are staying at the Wyndham Kaua’i Beach Villas in a one bedroom condo with a full kitchen AND a washer and dryer (yippee!). We check in, beg off the timeshare “welcome” – you have to talk to them to get your parking pass. I didn’t even sit down and Jeff told them we just wanted to go take a nap (they thought we had flown in from Colorado) so, timeshare rigamarole averted.
The condo is very nice and if you stand in a certain spot and look diagonally you can see the ocean. LOL
We get unpacked and head out for groceries – the usual, except we did not buy any fruit or flowers thinking we can probably get those at the local farmer’s market tomorrow. When we return it has gotten dark but we walk around the complex which has a very nice swimming area and outdoor barbecues. The surf here is high and rough – Kauai is not known for it’s snorkeling but for big wave surfing. We can hear the waves pounding the shore and decide to leave that bit of exploring until we can see what we’re doing!
I am a good swimmer….mmmm, let me rephrase that. I am a very good swimmer. A strong swimmer, I am also a scuba instructor and have taken diver rescue training. In my dive career I have saved 2 people from drowning – one at the surface and one 40 feet down. So, when Jeff gasped out to me “I’m really in trouble” and he disappeared under the waves, my mind seemed to hit overdrive. But I’m getting ahead of myself…
Today we are heading for Malu’aka Beach, one of the best beaches on south Maui and the beach to see turtles. Our book says: “Green turtles here, green turtles there, at Turtle Beach these graceful giants are everywhere.”
For some reason we have taken to calling it “Turtle Town” and we’re hoping to see several. Jeff teases me that since we’ve seen turtles everywhere else we’ve used up our quota and won’t see any today. HAH!
We have a quick breakfast and head out. We’re leaving early because the water is calmer in the morning and the turtles are more likely to be feeding.
You’d think that a spot that is listed as one of the best beaches would be easy to find, but NO! We drive and drive ending up on a dirt road that is cut through a lava field. It is beautiful in an eerie way, but definitely not what we are looking for. Turns out we are at the ‘Ahihi-Kina’u Natural Area Reserve – several miles past where we want to be. Turn around, backtrack, go too far in the opposite direction, turn around again, backtrack. Aha! The book says go behind this resort and there it is. Finally! We’ve spent about 45 minutes or so driving back and forth the same 7-8 miles. So much for an early start.
This is a really nice beach area. There are showers for rinsing off, real bathrooms, pretty grounds with picnic tables and the water looks wonderful. I get in to rinse off our masks and come back to tell Jeff how clear and warm the water is. This is great! We get in and start snorkeling. The water clarity is the best we’ve had as you can see from this photo.
But in a split second (it seems) everything has changed. We are snorkeling in an underwater sandstorm. The wind has picked up and the waves have gotten BIG! Not only big, but nearly constant and they seem to be breaking right over us. They ARE breaking right over us. We head back to shore only to feel the current pulling and the waves are truly swamping us both. I’m frightened. Jeff looks at me wide-eyed, says “I’m really in trouble” and the next wave crashes over him and he goes under. I reach out and yank him back to the surface, a wave batters us and we both go under. This is serious. Jeff gasps out “What do you want me to do??” The response I want to make, “Don’t drown”, is inappropriate. I just shake my head, grab his arm to help keep us together and say “You’re all right. You’re going to be okay.” I was sure I was right because he wasn’t in a full- blown panic. I looked under myself and saw a coral outcropping about 5 feet away. I shoved Jeff that way, “What should I do??” He asked. “Stand UP!” I said with as much authority as I could put into my voice.
He did and the next wave knocked him over and under again; I got him back up and on the coral. We are too far out for him to swim for shore, so we head for a big rock outcropping. Not sure we can get from those rocks to shore, but if we can get there and get on them without getting too badly bashed we can make a plan. Maybe someone will see us and help.
We get to the rocks. I see Jeff get slammed into the rocks and he is holding on. I get swept past and finally get my hand onto something solid. I look back at Jeff and I can see a new set of waves cresting. (Waves come in sets.) I shout at him, “Wait….wait….” I know he is getting ready to try and climb those rocks but he needs to wait until the set lulls. Finally, 3 massive waves try to tear us from our handholds. I yell ” Now! Climb!” and see Jeff climbing, but my rock is too steep. I shout out to him that I need to let go and try to get carried a little further in – I do and am able to grab hold again. I see Jeff on top of the rocks, blood running down both legs. A wave slams me sideways – man, THAT is going to leave a bruise. Jeff is working his way across the rocks still wearing his fins. We are in a safe though precarious place. I am finally able to climb up. I reach out and grasp a sea urchin. ****! That hurts and now I know I have spines in a couple of fingers. We get to the top of the rocks…yes, if we are very careful we can get to shore from here and then walk back to the beach. My legs are shaking so badly…adrenaline, fear, tiredness? All of the above. I have an almost overwhelming urge to just sob…great relief.
Jeff looks at me and says, “You know, the problem with all this healthy eating is that the only thing I have to celebrate not dying with is carrot sticks!” I laugh almost hysterically.
As we get back on shore a man and woman come over to us. They had been watching and weren’t sure we were going to make it. He was ready to help but when they saw us heading for the rocks knew we had a better chance than if we had tried to swim for shore. She said they were much closer in when the current and waves picked up and it was very difficult for them to get back.
We didn’t see a single turtle.
Once we were back to our towels, I was DONE! We had planned to snorkel here, walk the wide sandy beach at Big Beach and then hike at a state park. Jeff was still game. It took awhile for my heart rate to get back to normal. We rinsed off, packed up and headed for the car.
Don’t these people believed in signposts??? We did find Big Beach with just one backtrack. Getting out of the car, I reached for the camera, went through my bag. No camera. “I can’t find the camera.” We take everything out of the car…no camera. I’m back to feeling hysterical.
We go back to Turtle Town, to where we had left our towels and stuff. And AMAZINGLY Jeff finds the camera in some very tall grass. I can’t believe it!
Okay, onto Big Beach. It is beautiful, but I think I am in a little shock.
Every time the waves come ashore my stomach clinches. The waves are very high and rough here as well. We walk the beach, holding hands. Neither of us are big on public displays of affection, but I can’t let go.
Before we head to the state park, we go BACK to Turtle Town to use the nice restrooms to change our clothes. Out of swimsuits and into shorts for hiking. I get back in the car…where are my sunglasses?? I say a few words my mother would not approve of and walk back to the restrooms hoping my prescription sunglasses are in there. As I walk away, Jeff blows the horn- he found them in the car.
I could use a handful of Valium!
One of the most photographed sites on Maui is the ” ‘Iao Needle” located in ‘Iao Valley State Park. This is where we are headed and it is a gorgeous drive to the park.
The ‘Iao Needle rises straight up 2,250 feet. It is actually part of a ridge but it was not eroded like the ridge around it. It stands alone. The backdrop of the West Maui mountains makes it stand out beautifully.
There are two walking paths here. We don’t need our hiking boots as both of these little trails are paved and take about 10 minutes each to walk. The smell of fallen guava is wonderful and there are some nice photo places. I’m so happy we came here. It is green and calming…the fragrances are better than any aromatherapy “session.”
If you are interested in hearing about the legend associated with the ‘Iao Needle, let me know and I’ll describe it.
It is time to go home. We return to the car (making sure we have all of our belongings!) and drive back down the valley.
When we get back to the condo, we pour glasses of wine and stand out on the lanai to watch the sunset. Jeff thanks me for helping him today and I thank him for not drowning.
It took me a really, really long time to fall asleep.
Today, we have decided, is going to be our down day – no plans, nothing to do except BE.
We have chocolate macadamia nut pancakes (just add water) and coffee for breakfast – so decadent and so good!
We eat out on the lanai where we can hear several little kids shouting “Big wave! Big wave!” There are three little ones, the oldest is maybe 7. They have boogie boards and are barely in the surf as it gently comes to shore. Every time, at practically the instant the water is under their boards, their arms flail and they topple right off into the sand. Once, the little boy, apparently in anticipation of water touching his board, simply face plants himself into the sand. I am laughing so hard I can hardly stand up. Jeff takes a 6 minute video of these ‘surfers’ and we walk down to the beach to give their dad a note with our email addresses so when he gets home if he writes us we can email the video to him.
Walking back toward the condo, I realize that I do want to snorkel, so we go upstairs where I put on my suit, grab my gear and head out. Jeff settles down on the lanai to read.
The snorkeling is nice, better than the other day in visibility, the water is very warm and, what do you know? There’s a turtle! I watch the turtle for a long while. I keep lifting my head to see if there are other snorkelers in the water to whom I can point him out. Nope, no one around. I try to get some photos but it is impossible to see anything on the screen of our underwater camera. As the turtle surfaces for air he is practically right beside me. Got this great photo!
Eventually he swims further out than I want to go so we part ways and I return to shore.
I rinse off at the outdoor shower and jump in the swimming pool to float around a little bit. It was very pleasant but it is time to get out and continue doing nothing…
Back upstairs, Jeff has read that the Maui Brewing Company brewery and restaurant is in this area so we take a walk to see if we can find it. Yup! It is a less than 5 minute walk from our condo. We check out the menu and decide to have dinner here tonight. Last night’s dinner, after the Road to Hana, was two bags of microwave popcorn. Tonight we’ll treat ourselves.
We relax at home…did a little laundry (by hand since there is no washer/dryer), read and just generally hung out.
Walked over to the brewery for dinner and drinks. I was happy to find out that they make their own root beer and, just for the record, it is not as good as Coopersmith’s root beer!
Time for bed…tomorrow we are going to “Turtle Town”. That’s what Jeff calls it anyway. I’ll explain next time.
We actually got up early as planned and after a quick breakfast of shredded wheat, bananas and coffee, we head for the car and out for adventure.
Jeff did some research on the Road to Hana and discovered “there’s app for that.” Unbelievable! The app is an audio tour, tied to the GPS location of your car along the route. We splurge, spend the $4.99, download the app to my phone and we’re off.
Let me preface this post by saying it was a great day and I hope never to do the Road to Hana again!!
The Road to Hana is famous not only for the incredible scenery, specifically waterfalls, but for the fact that it is a dramatically serpentine road (the book says “600 twists and turns) with 54 one-lane bridges. What you don’t know starting out is that most of the road is slightly wider than a normal sized sedan or maybe a little wider than normal driveway. There isn’t a centerline because the road is not wide enough to divide in half. Of course we didn’t realize this starting out.
It took us about an hour to get to Lahaina and to begin our drive. We switched on the the audio tour and off we went. The audio tour was wonderful and specific to the point that the narrator pointed out the cows in the field we were passing. We couldn’t believe it.
There is is a LOT to see on this 60 mile trek and I’m going to describe some of our stops in no particular order.
Our first stop was at the Huelo Lookout Fruit Stand (it was mentioned in our book). I had crepes with fresh coconut, almonds and Nutella. Jeff had a hunk of freshly baked banana/pineapple bread.
Both were delicious. Here is a photo of the young woman who was at the stand which, by the way, is in the middle of nowhere.
Because we were driving up into the rain forest we weren’t surprise that it started to sprinkle. One of the most famous things about the Road to Hana is the number of waterfalls. Unfortunately it began to rain in earnest and though our cheery narrator told us to look here and there to see spectacular cascading waterfalls, all we could see through our steamy windows was dense foliage and the narrow winding road.
After a bit, and just in time, the weather cleared as we were approaching 3 Bears Falls. So pretty!
But soon we were driving in the Ko’olau Forest Preserve where the jungle seemed to take over and the road seems, is it possible? even more narrow. This area gets 200-300 inches of rain a year! Our narrator pointed out and we saw a stand of painted eucalyptus that have brilliant rainbow colored bark.
After what seems like hours of white knuckled driving, (how are you to yield to oncoming traffic on a one-lane bridge if you can’t see through the jungle to the other side of the bridge??), we get to the Ke’anae Peninsula. This peninsula was created by a late eruption of Haleakala and is oddly perfectly flat. Unfortunately its topography, or lack thereof, was the reason for a terrible tragedy. I forget the date but think it was in the ’40s that a tsunami swept Hawaii and completely washed over the Ke’anae
Pennisula. Of course this was before the tsunami warning systems were in place
Many, many people died and the peninsula was wiped cleaexcept fo
The Ke’anae Congregational Church was built in 1860 of lava rock and coral mortar. It is a pretty little church in a beautiful setting, and that it survived the tsunami is amazing.
Opposite the church is the Ke’anae Beach Park. The coastline is jagged black lava rock and the waves pound into the shoreline. It does make for some nice photos.
Ke’anae is one-half way to Hana and it seems we have been driving forever!
We are getting hungry and though we packed a lunch and healthy snacks we want to try a restaurant listed in our book. Actually, it isn’t a restaurant but a series of three roadside stands in Nahiku that comprises that village’s commercial district. We drive a bit and then realize the little shacks we passed a few minutes ago were where we wanted to stop. We make our way back to discover that 2 of the 3 stands are closed and the third is heavy into meat. Happily there is a little coffee shack serving nice 100% Maui coffee. I get a cup, buy a yummy (and huge) shortbread cookie and chat with the young barista. She is from Montana and next week will have lived in Nahiku for 2 years.
We visit the tiny gift shop which had some nice glass work – no way to get that home in one piece – and we were on the road again.
We take a short diversions to ‘Ula’ino Road to visit the Hana lava tube but when we realize it will cost $12 each and takes around an hour to tour we decide to go back to the Road to Hana.
Van tours that take folks on The Road to Hana and back typically take twelve hours. We are on our own and already are realizing twelve hours might be possible if we spent very little time at each site. Happily, we are in no big hurry.
We stop at Wai’anapanapa State Park. Very cool! There is a black sand beach, a cave to swim in (hope the video here will work for you) and a nice coastal walk past a burial ground, a natural sea arch and a blow hole that roared out as we watched. This was a nice relaxing spot.
On we go…happily our audio guide told us right from the beginning that taking the Road to Hana is the point – not Hana as a destination! And he was correct. There was a small general store, gas station, restaurant and not much else, though I readily admit that we didn’t explore this area. We stopped in the parking lot of the general store to eat the lunch and snacks we packed and were soon on our way. After Hana the road is okay – at least it is big enough to put a stripe down the center!
We drive out of Hana to the ‘Ohe’o Gulch or Kipahulu area which is actually part of Haleakala National Park – which is a totally different section from the Haleakala Crater part of the park (you can’t get there from here). We are on this side because we want to do some hiking. We go to the Kipahula Visitor Center to get oriented, back to the car to change into hiking boots, get backpacks and water and here we go.
We take the Pipiwau Trail – it is 2 miles to Waimoku Falls. These are the falls you see at the beginning of the old Fantasy Island TV show. You’re supposed to allow a little more than 2 hours round trip. At 1/2 mile we get to Makahiku Falls. They drop about 200 feet into a deep gorge. We pass a ginormous banyan tree (the photo does NOT capture its immensity) and we walk through the most beautiful, seductive bamboo forest. I feel truly transport to someplace mystical. Through the bamboo forest we are on raised boardwalks (it is very muddy here) and making good time.
Finally we see the falls and, honestly, they are breath-taking. Absolutely beautiful. To get a closer look we need to cross a stream – more like a raging stream – with really big rocks in it. Jeff scampers across leaping at the end to the other side. It takes me several minutes to figure out how to cross as I don’t scamper OR leap. Jeff’s extended hand helps me off a big rock and safely onto the other side. A wonderful view! (sorry that the photo is sideways!)
We watch the water pouring over the top..400 feet down a sheer rock face. Even standing back quite a ways we feel the spray. Ahhh… We admire the view for a long time before turning to head back down. I do better crossing the stream, but Jeff’s ankle gets caught between two rocks – that’s gonna leave a bruise.
Hiking back to the car we see guavas that have fallen from their branches and split open on the path, their fruity scent is quite nice. I stop to smell some pretty white flowers, I think they were plumeria. They smell soooo tropical. I pick one and put it behind my ear – the fragrance accompanies me all the way back to the car.
It’s time to head home. Instead of retracing the Road to Hana back down – in which case I guess it would then be the Road to Lahaina – we decide to take the Pi’ilani Highway. As I’ve done all the driving so far, Jeff takes over. It was a darn good thing. Used to be that rental car contracts forbade driving this highway, but we didn’t read ours closely and they didn’t tell us NOT to…
Our book refers to the “untamed Pi’ilani Highway” and describes it as “the road winds like a drunken cowboy.” That is an UNDERSTATEMENT! The damn thing wasn’t even paved for most of the way! By now night has fallen, we are on this rutted dirt road where the signs say “Safe speed 10 mph” and it is like driving a roller coaster track. WHAT have we gotten ourselves into?? Oh, and it is also open range so there is a likelihood that we will turn a corner into a herd of cows. Nothing to do but forge ahead.
You always should focus on a positive aspect and ours was that since it was nighttime we would be able to see the headlights of oncoming cars (as though anyone else was dumb enough to be out here in the dark!) and the stars were really pretty. I told Jeff this as his eyes were glued to the road so we didn’t miss a turn and drive off the cliff into the ocean. I finally just closed my eyes and tried not to whimper.
Our Road to Hana adventure was about 15 hours, and like I mentioned at the start, it was great but I hope to never do THAT again!
You have been such a sport to read this whole post and here is your reward….to the first person who will comment telling me the name of a famous “Road to” movie and the name of one of the male leads who appeared in them…I will bring back some Kona coffee.
Seriously, can this be only the 2nd full day of our vacation? Island time, slow and laid back, is wonderful.
This morning’s breakfast was darn good. We had saved one of our 2 baked potatoes from last night – shredded it, added some chopped onion and tomato and made hash browns. Accompanied by scrambled eggs with onions, toast and juice (and of course Kona coffee!) it was a nice way to start the day.
Today we are going to explore some other places to snorkel. We pack up water bottles and snacks, snorkeling equipment and cameras, put on a boatload of sunscreen and hop in the car. We are heading for Honolua Bay which, according to our book, has excellent snorkeling. Honolua Bay and Slaughterhouse Beach are right next to each other separated by narrow Kalaepiha Point. Together these two areas make up the “Honolua-Mokule’ia Bay Marine Life Conservation District” and we’re hopeful that the water will be clear.
Here is a photo of the walk down to the beach…it was beautiful.
When we got to the water we were surprised to find not a sand beach but a very rocky one. And chickens – lots and lots of chickens! Do you know the history of the chickens in Hawai’i? We were told that years ago a hurricane hit the Islands and most of the domestic chickens were set loose in the storm. What we have now are a LOT of wild chickens – talk about free range! 🙂
We find a little shade in a less-rocky spot for our towels and head for the water. I’m heartened because there are two snorkeling tour boats anchored out on the right side of the bay. Getting into the water is tricky because of the rocks but the bay is so sheltered that there is virtually no surf. As I lowered my head into the water my heart sank – it was murky, sandy. I tapped Jeff and pointed out by the tour catamarans. “Let’s head that way. The boats always drop off at the best spots.” It was a longer swim than it looked and I’m so proud that Jeff did it. He has never been very comfortable in the water, but he is doing awesomely.
Oh, MUCH better snorkeling out here! The coral was spectacular! Colors I’ve never seen before – blue coral? Who knew. There was a lot of fish life as well. This is a trumpet fish
I had started taking underwater photos when a snorkeler tapped me and said “Come look at this ” I followed him and a very large free-swimming green eel was moving through the water.
Turns out that Jeff was right behind me and he got to see it too. This was great!
A few minutes later a woman swam up and very excitedly told us that she had just seen the biggest turtle of her life. It was “out past the catamaran”. Jeff and I decided to head further out. It seemed to be taking forever to get there. Then Jeff called out to me to “hang on – that catamaran is sailing away!” No wonder we never seemed to be getting closer. Hahaha. I saw three scuba divers surface and swam over to ask about turtles. Yup, they had seen one about 150 feet further out along the ridge, so we followed the underwater wall for awhile. No turtles.
Time to go back closer to shore and to the coral. I swam ahead and a little ways along heard Jeff calling very loudly and excitedly, “Octopus!!”
“NO WAY” I shouted back and began swimming to him in earnest. He had seen the octopus walking on all 8 of its legs and more amazingly than that he had watched until it attached itself to some rocks, so by the time I got there he could point it out to me! WOW! Once it was camouflaged it was very difficult not only to see but also to tell it was an octopus. I did repeated surface dives trying to get down close enough to get a decent photo. We called to two passing snorkelers to come see the octopus. The four of us hung around it for a bit and we told them to keep an eye out for the turtle.
Okay, now we really are heading back closer to shore. Oh, wait. The two snorkelers we had been talking too called out to us that they found the turtle! We swam out to them and there was a huge green sea turtle calmly eating. This turtle was missing its left front flipper. I wonder how that happened? We watch the turtle so long that it surfaced twice for air. The second time it swam up It came to the surface almost under Jeff.
Here is apretty good photo of the turtle diving back down and Jeff in the background.
We stayed out by the turtle a long time, just hanging in the water until we both started to get cold.
This time we headed for shore and went all the way in.
It was so much fun to sit on our hot rocks drying out and talking about the octopus and turtle. I cannot believe we saw an octopus! This bay is known for spinner dolphins, but we didn’t see any. It’s probably a good thing because I don’t think I could have taken much more excitement.
We’ve spent more time than we planned to spend here and we decide not to go to the next beach we had planned to visit, Malu’aka Beach – also known as Turtle Beach – because it is about an hour drive away. We’ll do that later this week instead. We walk back up the path to the car and drive to an overlook to see Honolua Bay from above. It is pretty, isn’t it?
One of the snorkelers we chatted with on the beach suggested we try Napili Beach and since it’s on our way home we stop there. The beach is gorgeous! But being so late in the afternoon it has gotten windy and the waves are rough. We decide we are too tired to deal with the surf and sit on the sand, a welcome relief for our butts after the rocks at Honolua.
While we sit a young woman and an older woman come out of the water together. It was quite clear that the older woman had never been in the ocean before – she had an excited, semi-terrified look on her face along with a huge smile. She shouted “Isn’t this great?” at us as she walked by. We agreed.
We got back to our condo, washed up and had dinner. A repeat of Friday night’s fare – pasta and salad.
Tomorrow we are planning to drive “The Road to Hana” so we pack snacks, swim suits, hiking boots and backpacks, unsure as to what all we will need. We are hoping to leave no later than 7am so it is time for bed.
I hope you will come along on our road trip tomorrow….
Happily we slept great on our Murphy bed last night and woke up at a “normal” time of 7:30am. Getting that jet lag under control…
We ate breakfast (cranberry juice, bananas, shredded wheat, and lots of coffee on our lanai (pronounced lah-nigh) or balcony. It is impossible to sit out and not look into the mesmerizing ocean. Unbelievably, from nine floors up we spotted a large turtle lazily swimming past our building. We are excited to start snorkeling, but first we want to do a little exploring. Time for a walk to check out the area.
First we walked north – not much to see that way and the sidewalk soon ended. We were gone long enough that we returned to the condo to grab water bottles and hats. Did we think of sunscreen? Nooo…
We walked south for about 1-1/4 miles and ended up back at the grocery store we visited yesterday. We took this opportunity to buy some fresh flowers…here is a photo of Jeff carrying them back.
I also picked up a bunch of postcards hoping that if I get them in the mail soon I won’t beat them back to the mainland.
Finally we got home, slathered on the sunscreen, and it was time to hit the water. Before we could get out the door we heard one of our neighbors calling down to the shore “There’s a turtle right behind you!” We rush to the balcony and looked down. Sure enough, a turtle was swimming past and this one was huge!
Our location is so wonderful. We go down to the lobby and out the back door to the surf and sand. We headed down right away. It took us only seconds to gear up and get in.
It was AWFUL!!! Some of the worst snorkeling we’ve experienced! The water was terribly murky and I told Jeff that the only way I was going to see a turtle was if it swam up and introduced itself. We snorkeled out further from the shore – still murky; we swam south toward some mossy rocks – murky and rocky; we headed back toward the sandy area where we had seen the two swimming turtles from above. Nada. We had been in quite a while. Jeff got out and I snorkeled a little more. When I raised my head once a nearby woman called to me ” Did you see the turtle?” “No! I didn’t.” She pointed at me and said “it’s right in front of you!” So I stuck my head in, looked down, looked around and around, up and down. No turtle. Stupid amphibians.
I got out, very reluctantly. We sat on our towels to dry and later noticed a woman frantically waving to someone on shore. Yes, she has spotted a turtle. Well, by now we were dry and we knew by the time we geared back up and got into the water the turtle would be gone.
We watched for five or seven minutes and the woman was still hovering in that same spot. Then we noticed her companions on shore waving to her and pointing very close to shore – there was another one! Okay, this got us up and moving!
We got into the very rocky area…big, slick, moss covered rocks, and, holy mackerel, THAT rock just moved!!! Huge turtle! The water was still terribly murky so the turtle just popped into sight and we were WAY to close. Jeff tried to turn and his foot made contact with the shell. As the surf pulled me out, the turtle, who was feeding, swam forward. Suddenly it and I were practically nose to nose – and I have the picture to prove it!
Talk about a close encounter! I can’t believe I had the presence of mind to swing the camera up and click – no viewfinder check, just wild clicking. Then there was another turtle – this one was massive – probably 5 feet across. Now I seriously can’t tell what is turtle and what is rock. Raising my head I see both Jeff and our mystery turtle-spotting lady gesturing below themselves at other turtles. Because of the poor water quality it was impossible to see las tortugas unless you were within 6-9 inches of them – exhilarating and a wee bit frightening at the same time.
Jeff called out that he was getting bashed and scrapped up by the rocks; I was pooped trying to maintain my equilibrium in the surf – we headed for shore. Back to our towels to sit in the sun and dry. We sat and talked about our fun when someone called out. Looking up we saw a turtle coming on shore! Unbelievable!
Naturally we walked over (no need to scurry, because, you know, it IS a turtle. LOL) we got some wonderful photos and I have a very short video of it’s movement up the sand.
We chatted with a local person and learned that the turtles often come ashore on this beach to sleep during the afternoon and at night. Lucky us!
Back upstairs to shower off and make dinner. Jeff took some salmon (yes, I know…we are in Hawaii and eating Alaskan salmon…) down to the grill while I baked our 2 potatoes in the microwave and steamed some broccoli. Dinner with a glass of wine was the perfect way to wind up our day.
Tomorrow we are planning to snorkel at some other beaches and we might make a serious attempt to find the converter we need to move photos from our cameras to our IPads so you will be able to enjoy our photos.
Between the walk this morning and the snorkeling all afternoon we are beat. A 9:30 bedtime doesn’t seem too early at all.
I hope you are enjoying reading about our trip and will come back tomorrow to see what we have been doing.
4 a.m came much too early this morning, but up we were. Last minute chores: feed the cat, take out the trash, turn off the water heater, make coffee -> not necessarily in that order.
The doorbell at 4:50 told us that Tom had arrived. It takes a very good friend to offer to drive you to the airport at dark:thirty in the morning. Thanks, Tom!
Our flight to Phoenix left Denver International Airport on time, wonder of wonders, and was just long enough for me to start and finish Lois Lowery’s novel “The Giver.
The time between our arrival in Phoenix and our connecting flight to Maui passed very quickly. We had time for a bathroom stop, to purchase a salad to eat later and we were boarding. Here is a picture of Miles. He is 6 and all we know about him is that he was traveling with his mom and (slightly older) sister. We know this because by the time they boarded they were getting the last 3 seats on the plane and those seats were not together. To make a long, quite funny story short, Jeff and I rearranged two rows of passengers to get Miles into our row and within arms reach of his mom. So, I gave up my aisle seat on a six hour flight to voluntarily sit next to a six year old – do I get a prize? Don’t let this photo fool you. Miles was WIDE awake until literally 10 minutes before we landed! We and his mom laughed and laughed that NOW he fell asleep! Seriously though, he was a good little guy.
Arriving in Maui we quickly got our rental car and after getting lost for only a short time made it to our condo at the Kahana Beach Vacation Club in Lahaina in less than an hour.
When we checked in I asked if we would be able to see the ocean. Here is the view from our balcony!! Whoopee!!
Our condo is a studio with, get this, a Murphy bed! The kitchen is minuscule with a two-burner cook top and teensy sink. It is perfect. 🙂 Though we are exhausted we head out to the grocery store for provisions like wine, beer, and microwave popcorn along with real (and healthy) fare.
Because we are four hours behind Colorado we know we have to stay awake until our regular bedtime or wake up and be raring to go at 4 am…so, we make dinner. We had a yummy fresh salad and rotini with diced tomatoes, onions, carrots and broccoli. The “kitchen” is too tiny for both of us at the same time so we made shift work of chopping and sautéing.
After dinner we stood out on our balcony and looked out over the ocean. I am in HEAVEN. As I stood looking down at the sand something caught my eye. Yes, that big rock DID move. OMG!!! There is a sea turtle coming ashore right below us.
We grab our cameras and go charging down to the sandy beach. Really, think about it – we are dashing around trying to outrun a turtle? Yep, we’re tired. Anyway, we get to the beach and there’s the turtle – resting. We got some incredible photos. And let me apologize here – we forgot to pack the converter that moves photos from our cameras to our iPads, so no turtle photos for you unless we can think of a solution.
I can NOT believe we saw this turtle. If I had to go home right now, I would not feel cheated. Well, okay, maybe a little bit because I haven’t been in the water yet…
Finally, mercifully, it is 9:30 and I declare it close enough to a normal bedtime…we’re folding down the Murphy bed and going to sleep. I hope you enjoyed our day of travel and arrival. We haven’t made plans yet for tomorrow – please come back and vacation with us.