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Maui = Wowwi

Posted by Dave / July 26, 2006

IMG_4781.jpgIf I had to sum up Maui in one phrase, it would probably be "Makes Oahu look like Disney Land". To expand on that sentence, Honolulu/Waikiki is the U2 of Hawaii. Maui is the Arcade Fire. The Big Island is Wolf Parade. What does that make the other Islands? Probably your friends band that only the really dedicated will go to see.

Well ahead of time, I had booked two extra days in Hawaii after work ended. However, it wasn't until I was actually there that I started to look into what I would do on my time off. After checking out a few Oahu day tours online, I went to the Hawaiian Airlines web page to check out how much it would set me back to fly to Maui early in the morning and return that night. To my surprise, with only two days advance booking, a flight to Maui was a whopping $39 ($89 return after taxes). I spoke with a couple of colleagues, and it turned out they were already going to be in Maui on that day, so I went ahead and booked.

IMG_4778.jpgMy Hawaiian Airlines Boeing 717 departed Honolulu at 6:25am and a short 30 minutes later we were touching down in Kahului. Flights on this route depart almost hourly, begining around 5am. Kahului is Maui's largest city with a population of 20146. It is connected by air to most other islands in the chain as well as Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, San Diego, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Dallas, Oakland, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Chicago, Orange County, Atlanta and Vancouver by a wide range of airlines. Not bad for such a small city in the middle of the Pacific. Hawaiian airlines was quite a treat. Even with the flight being so short, we were still served a small cup of juice by the mainly Polynesian flight crew. Hearing the announcements in Hawaiian before Englsih was also quite a treat, even if the Hawaiian version was recorded. Next time I fly to Hawaii, I will try my best to fly Hawaiian I highly recommend this airline.

IMG_4771.jpgI was picked up in the rented Mustang Convertible and our road trip along the Hana Road began. The road to Hana is a winding road reminiscent of Northern Scotland, with areas with only one lane, leaving one of the two directions with the right of way. Around every turn is a small waterfall, pond, or incredible view of the ocean. Although there are a lot of tourists on the road, it was impressive how very little of the area had turned into a large tourist trap. The only real touristy things you come across are small shacks at the side of the road selling BBQ chicken or Coconut candy. Halfway through the trip we stopped at a small waterfall and pond for a swim. You can't see it form the road, so very few people were there. This was possibly the most refreshing swim I have ever taken. 15 minutes later, we were back on the road.

IMG_4804.jpgAlthough the road from Kahului to Hana is only 50 miles or so, the trip can take you up to at least three hours. The small roads and the constant stopping really make it a full on day trip. We eventually made it to Pailoa Bay in Waianapanapa State Park. This was the first time I had laid my eyes on a Black Beach, it was a beauty to see. In Pailoa Bay, you can walk out on the rocks and what the waves splash up through small holes as well as get a nice view back of the beach. The beach itself was a bit rocky for my own taste, but the waves that day were the largest I had experienced on my trip, at eye level. After being thrown about by then for about 30 minutes, we headed back to the car for the drive back to Kahului.

IMG_4841.jpgIMG_4851.jpgSitting at the Kahului Airport, the sun setting, I wondered if I'd ever make it back to Maui. The thought of never seeing that island again actually made me feel sick. This was something I had never really felt before about a location/destination. It is for that reason that every day since my return, I have checked priced online for prices to Hawaii. From Montreal, it runs around an average of $1100. So....start saving.
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