The day after we hiked 13 miles into and out of Maui’s volcano, we navigated the island’s eastern edges, checking out a couple places we had gotten rained out of in 2009. We were all a sorry lot. My right foot was so overly-adorned with blisters that it was actually swollen, and all our calves would shout vociferously that we ought to just never stand up again.
But we are intrepid. Or at least we are wise enough only to tackle minor adventures. We stopped several times along our “backwards” drive to Hana (all the guidebooks tell you to go the other way for some unknown reason), but our first real outing was at the Seven Sacred Pools. The pools are closed to swimming if it’s been raining heavily, on account of the rushing water would flush you quickly right into the Pacific. Also, they are closed if there hasn’t been enough rain on account of the water gets fetid. Okay, maybe fetid is a bit strong, but you get the idea.
After the brief (1/2 mile?) hike to the pools, we were all grateful for the cool, fresh water. The typical wind pattern was disturbed while we were there, so the area around Hana was quite a bit hotter than normal. Tony and I swam over to the lower waterfall and took turns dousing our noggins. Even though were were enveloped in the high canopy of the jungle, this place felt like home, if only because the water was colder than the ocean and unsalted.
After the pools we grabbed lunch at a Thai place that I would not have given a second look to if Meg had not been there. We opted for the specials, which were served out of sterno-heated pans. Meg says the actual kitchen set-up is possibly even less awesome. Regardless, my panang curry with seared ahi tuna was just what the day called for, and with Meg’s blessing, I wasn’t even concerned about food poisoning 😉 Seriously, if you like Thai food and you’re in Hana, drop by the tent across from the ballpark.
After lunch, we walked over to the red sand beach. If there aren’t other people already going there who you can follow, it’s a hard place to find. A lower trail follows around directly at the ocean’s edge, but that’s not how you get there. Instead, you follow the upper trail that looks like it heads off up a steep hill. Keep going up the hill, and then around, and you will descend to the secluded beach. And by secluded, I mean it’s tucked back in a cove from the churning Pacific. It’s actually quite well known, and also at least semi-nudist. We all prudishly kept our clothes on, but I saw a couple of free-range tatas on display 😉
So that was our trip to Maui. Maui is a land of extremes: sea level / 10,000 feet, dessert / rain forest, inland / underwater exploration. We really had a great time, but if our great friend didn’t live there, we wouldn’t have gone back for a second trip. I’m not denigrating the island. There are just so many cool places in the world I’d like to see. Maui’s just lucky Meg lives there 😉 If you’re simply looking for a place to spend a week on the beach in the sun, I’d opt for a cheaper location. If you want mountain/dessert/rain forest/coral reef fun all in one place, then book your ticket. And see if Meg will show you around.