timistravels

My job allows me to visit a lot of Alaska on a yearly basis. I wanted to capture the trips in one location!

Pohaku Park (aka S-turns); Two Turtles Sunning Themselves

On all our visits to Maui we had not stopped at the Pohaku Park before (just down the hill from Maui Brewing Co Restaurant) but someone said I might be able to find some beach glass, so we went to fine it.  During the walk  I only found 3 smallllll pieces of beach glass but we had a better experience!

As we approached one end of the beach (it is broken into 2 parts in a way, divided by big lava rocks) we watched as a turtle walked out of the water and walked to the corner of the cement wall where he decided to nap.  We had to run back to the car for the cameras because we didn’t bring them on the glass search.  IMG_2731

We knew we had to keep a significant distance and we tried not to bother him.  IMG_1619

After pictures we decided to explore the other half of the beach and to our excitement there was another turtle that had beached himself to get some sun and rest.

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this one was asleep quite quickly

Enjoy the pics, I know it was a great experience for us.   IMG_1626 IMG_1628    IMG_2740

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Maui’s Honolua Bay (snorkeling) and the Blow Hole; Fun plan for a day

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poor turtle had only one front fin, but it didn’t seem to bother him

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this is from above looking down on the cover; this is the view on the way BACK from the blow hole

On our ongoing trips to Maui we have discovered that a drive around the NW end of the island is a must.  We try to snorkel as much as we can while we are here and today’s snorkel was one of the best ever and it occurred in Half Moon Bay.  Turtles, moray eels, and all sorts of fish highlighted the day.  To get to this bay you simply drive NW out of Lahaina and go along the shore line, past the last of the resorts and housing areas.  About 4 miles later you will wind down into the base of a valley and see a parking space for about 10 cars, and typically there is a local selling fruit and drinks.  (We bought a yummy papaya from them)  The trail in is about a 5 minute walk through a beautiful rain forest canopy with chickens and roosters talking to you the entire way!

Getting into the water is more of the challenge here, there is no ‘easy entry’ as there is no sandy beach.  Once you make it in, head towards the right and after about 1/4 mile you will start to see the coral and the beautiful sea life!  Often there are boats with tours on them, and lots of folks snorkeling off these boats.  You can NOT go onto the rocks on the shores as it is a protected area.  They also ask you not to wear sunscreen because it damages the coral.  This is the turtle we saw while snorkeling here, sadly he was missing his front left fin?  Who knows why, but it didn’t seem to bother him!

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blow hole

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starting to blow

Once you are done snorkeling hop back in your car and continue to head away from Lahaina for about 5 more miles.  When you see mile marker 38 you will see a pull out  with about 5 car parking spaces, you DON”T want to stop here, you want to go another 1/2 mile to a bigger parking lot.  Park and head down the trail to see the blow hole.   The trail is rocky and can be slippery (wet or dry) so don’t do it in flip flops, instead wear hiking sandals or tennis shoes.

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my favorite spot on the island!

An added treat to being down at the bottom to view the blow hole is the opportunity to see my favorite site on the island, the natural Heart Shaped Rock that is cut out of the rock.  To find this rock, as you are standing looking at the blow hole, take a share look over your right shoulder and head that way.  You can’t see it from there Blow Hole, but if you head that way you should find it.

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It was a great way to spend the day, and because it was Sunday we also stopped at the Art Under the Tree in Lahaina, which highlights local artists each Sunday.  To end the day we stopped at the Maui Brewing Company for some munchies.  Food was okay but the beer is yummy!

PS during the drive we saw a bunch of tents and such on a point, so we stopped to investigate.  It was a women’s surfing championship sponsored by Target?  Who knew!IMG_1609

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Driving the Hana Highway

11/21/13

Some people say this drive is not worth it, we could not DISAGREE more, we LOVE this drive.  I do say however, if you are prone to car sickness simply offer to drive.  I have driven it 2 x’s and would recommend it to anyone visiting Maui.  I am sure this won’t be the last time we drive it.

The beauty starts off almost immediatly.  At the 2 mile mark there is the busiest hike of the road, and is certainly a fun easy hike into a waterfall and pool.   At about the 6 mile mark when you see the Rainbow Eucalyptus Forest on your left. IMG_1816 IMG_1825 IMG_1822 IMG_1821 IMG_1820 IMG_1819 IMG_1818 After leaving there, continue along the highway slowing at each bridge to #1 make sure no one is coming the other way and #2 (an most important) to see if there are any waterfalls in these valleys.  Sadly during this trip there had not been much rain in recent history, so a lot of the river beds were dry.IMG_1827

At 19 mile you will see the Three Bear Falls, though again, if there has not been much rain they will not be flowing as much as they will during the wet season.IMG_1826 IMG_1830  Wailuaiki Falls is located near the 21 mile marker, but it can be very hard to find a place to park around here, though we parked up hill and walked back down to view them.  Some of the best falls are up near mile markers 43 an 45.IMG_1832 IMG_1834 IMG_1835 IMG_1836 IMG_1839  However, the highlight of our day was once we arrived to the National Park and decided to hike the 2 miles up and through the Oheo Gulch to the Waimoku Falls.  The 2nd mile of the trail is mostly going through bamboo forests which in itself is interesting.  It is 400 feet tall and the tallest falls on Maui.  We took a dip in the pool in front of it.  IMG_1867 IMG_1868 IMG_1869 IMG_1871 IMG_1873 IMG_1874

Once we were back at the Park Service area we decided to walk towards the ocean (below the main road) to view the  Seven Sacred Pools.  There are many falls along this short walk and of course pools that you can swim in and cool down after hot hikes!

During our day we also did 2 other highlights that are noteworthy.  We stopped at the Lava Tube (caves) which were worth the $12.50 entry fee.  There are a lot of interpretive signs and I feel I learned a lot while walking through the cave.  It is fascinating how it was formed.

Lastly as a highlight to the day we stopped at Nutcharee’s Thai Food in Hana.thai  We have had a lot of Thai food and traveled in Thailand for a month, so we can be a bit picky, let me tell you this was authentic and so worth stopping by to eat.  We had the 2 specials of the day, red curry with chicken and an extra special treat, fresh ahi and green curry.  No words can describe how good the green curry ahi was.  The ahi melted in my mouth.

The only bummer of the day is that we ran out of time.  We ended up driving back on the Hana Highway in the dark missing so much of the beauty that we viewed on the way down to Hana.IMG_1892

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Drive around North end of Maui

11/19/13

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there are a few valley’s like this on the N end

We have driven this before but wanted to highlight a few standouts this time.Though many people go from Lahaina around, we start the other way so that we can end in Lahaina for dinner and drinks at the Maui Brewery.  For all purposes the drive starts in Kahului.  Turn as if you were headed to the college (where the Saturday flea market is held, another must!).  Heard North along the highway 340.  As the road begins to elevate and get curvy be sure to stop at a pull out and look back at Haleakala which towers just over 10,000 feet.

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yellow plumeria, so pretty

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Hibiscus are so dang pretty

Last year we did a great hike along this route that took us a few miles into the rain forest, but this year we had other plans.  If you want to do that hike watch for the telephone pole that has #174 on it and remember that that trail head is at the bottom of that hill.  Hence if you are going the direction we are, you’d have to turn around after you see #174 and go about 1/4 miles back down the hill.  This pull out near pole 174 is also a great one to view back towards the rest of the island.

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this is at the 2nd Mile marker 38 AFTER the blow hole if you come the way we came OR the 1st marker if you come from Lahaina. Don’t start your hike to hole from here.

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the quaint church in Kapalua

We continued around the point stopping for construction near the small town of Kapalua.  Near the town the road is VERY narrow and it is one lane most of the way.  Each time we drive this there seems to be a hold up b/c someone freaks out as they drive this road and stops traffic until a nice Samaritan helps the scared driver pull over far enough so others can pass.  DON”T drive this drive if you are not comfortable with tight spaces.

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found this heart shape in a lava rock as we were climbing down to the blow hole

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so happy to find the natural formation of this heart in the lava rocks near the blow hole

We got to the mile marker 38  (there are 2, one at each parking lot for the blow hole), and headed out to find the natural heart cut out in the rock formations.  We hiked down the steep, rocky area towards the blow hole, but then veered to our right to find the rock!  Score!

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we snorkeled in this cove and it was so beautiful. You can see people in the water if you look close.

After this hike we headed to our favorite snorkeling area, DT Fleming Beach Park.  After a short walk into the beach we were quick to get on our gear and into the water.  Amazing fish that I will blog about next.

After an hour or so of snorkeling, it was off to Maui Brewery for some IPA’s.  But the real treat of the night was trying a new eatery, Star Noodles.  A new ‘dont miss’ on Maui.

All and all a great day and well worth the trip around the tip!

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