Hawaiian Journeys Continue: Way of the Honu and the Magic of Maui
After a majestic inter-island plane ride all along the northwest side of the Big Island that then took us to the Southern edge of Maui, Karen, Orion, and I arrived to spend two fun-filled majestic weeks on Maui.
My daughters Katie and Tara moved to Maui a few years ago with their mom. While it is sad to have them so far away, we have definitely gotten used to spending spring break with the girls and welcoming them to Washington for fun-filled winter and summer breaks!
Our times on Maui have never disappointed, and this visit was awesome as well. We spent the first part of our time in Kihei near the sunny, warm dry beaches of Kamaole 1,2, and 3. Kihei is one of the main tourist spots of the island, but there is quite a bit of fun and charm amidst the busyness. We found secret spots on the edges of beaches as we explored tidepools, snorkeled, and swam with turtles often.
Near the northern edge of Kam 1, there are some exceptional lava rock formations that our family often found ourselves playing, exploring, and swimming in and around. Tara really enjoyed checking out the tidepools there looking for little creatures and even managed to find a small sting-ray. It was quite the find! It had gotten trapped and passed away in one of the upper pools, and it was a delight and surprise for all of us to find. Tara the Explorer was quite pleased with herself!
Katie, Karen, and I took turns watching Orion and Tara on the beach, and we also snorkeled around the really lovely lava rocks getting to see them from the underwater view. There weren’t tons of fish, but there were very large and friendly sea turtles quite often hanging out in the coves provided by the rocks. It was deeply connective, sometimes overwhelming and stunningly beautiful to repeatedly come face-to-face with very large sea turtles underwater!
We also explored other beaches and found an amazing tree-filled sandy refuge on the way down to Makena. We only spent a little while in the water at the beach that day due to the strong winds but even more so due to the amazing trees that we were all able to climb and play on including Tara and Orion. Tara and Katie found their inner-monkey as they climbed repeatedly all over the Keawe trees!
The second half of our stay there we spent on the north side of the island in the tiny town of Kuau which is just outside of Paia. We discovered this lovely spot last year where we can easily walk to the secret protected cove of Mama’s beach, go munch on gluten-free crepes in town in Paia and Cafe Des Amis, or head to nearby destinations like Baby beach down the road. We also managed to squeeze in a day hike with an old friend of mine Cat Deboni. Our journey with her took place in the West Maui Mountains which we also learned were sometimes known as the mountains of the waters. This hike was an epically fun mix of mist-filled mountain drainages, bamboo forests, deep muddy trails, and rocky outcroppings with magnificent views.
Later on, a high point of our time in the north happened on a Saturday night when we gathered with some of our Maui friends, and also a visitor from the mainland Rachel Cernick. Rachel had been Tara’s instructor at summer camp the previous summer in Washington and it was quite fortuitous that she was on the island at the same time we were. We all gathered at Ho’ookipaa, a north Maui site famous for its sunsets, as a refuge for turtles, and for spectacular surfing. We had a blast sharing food, watching the sun go down, and even getting to see up close a Hawaiian monk seal resting on the beach along with dozens of turtles.
It was for sure a magical two weeks filled with deep nature connection and wild primal experiences. There’s nothing like seeing large animals up close underwater or swimming against with the wild currents and waves of the Pacific ocean. Even the simple experience of watching the sun go down with dozens of other people, relaxes the mind in a way rarely experienced on the mainland. Seeing the myriad varieties of fish and coral with their brilliant colors soothes the senses, and I really valued the simple joy of finding snails in tidepools with Tara.
Thanks for your magic yet again Maui! We will be back to explore your primal wilds again and again.