March 23, 2011

My husband and I are not the type of vacationers to just go and sit around and relax. In fact, our trips tends to be busier, and more jamb packed than our normal day to day. Originally, we were planning to go to Argentina. But our lives have gotten the best of us lately, and we just didn't have the time to plan a two week expedition through South America. But when we heard our friends had a condo booked in Maui for a week? That sounded like something we could handle.

My mom warned me before we left, to please take the time to relax and just enjoy ourselves. The last 6 months have been some of the craziest we've been through. Instead, we started the trip in our usual fashion.

We flew into Maui late, and spent that first night in an overpriced hostel close to the airport, with an exceptionally hard and squeaky mattress. It didn't take much to motivate us to get up for our 7:00 am wake up call to hit the road.

Our first two days on the island were spent driving through lush tropical rainforest on a windy narrow road, otherwise known as the Hana Highway. We had rented a convertible (yay!) as we heard that it helps with the car sickness on all the twists and turns. It also provides a full panoramic view of all the incredible flora and fauna.

There were lots of great places to stop, to see incredible waterfalls and the amazing lava formations along the rocky shoreline.

We think there must have been a lot of rain in the days prior as all the waterfalls were in full form.

Our big splurge was a night at the Hotel Hana Maui, which is an incredible spa resort on the east coast of Maui. Were were greeted with kukui nut necklaces, fresh pressed juice, and a refreshing scented towel. Who doesn't love those sweet scented towels?

This was our little bungalow.

After driving all day, we were keen to relax with some tropical bevvies, with little umbrellas, of course.

The next morning, we took an early morning yoga class overlooking the Pacific, followed by a dip in the pool. I wish every morning could start that way.

Then we continued along the highway, ending up at the Ohe'o Gulch, or the Seven Sacred Pools. While the pools are the most popular attraction along the road, we were much more interested in the hike up the mountain.

The hike starts with a trek through the tropical rainforest, following the valley and overlooking the water as it flows down the mountainside.

At one point in the trail, you emerge to find this most incredible Banyan Tree.

Halfway up, you cross a bridge, and are submerged into a richly dense bamboo forest. It seriously felt magical in there. The best part was when the wind blew, and bamboo would sway and knock together. It was absolutely enchanting.

And then at the top, there's this huge waterfall.

On the way out, we stopped to see the seven pools, which seemed to lose their sacredness when packed with tourists.

From this point on, the road changes as you move to the south side of the island. For about an hour you navigate an even narrower road against a rocky cliffside. At some points the road isn't even paved. A good opportunity to take it even slower and just enjoy the scenery. Eventually the road straightens out, and heads across the mountainside, where you can see the formations of the lava flows as they head towards the sea. Absolutely amazing. I swear my mouth was just hanging open for two hours in awe of it all.

If ever you go to Maui, I highly recommend the round trip. It should be on your life list.


Post a Comment