12 February 2008

Hawai'i 2008: Highlights from Maui

Road to Hana waterfallFrom The Big Island we flew to Maui where my friend Keith lives with his girlfriend Colleen. The two of them left Orange County about six months ago for island life. Keith also manages a dive shop, so we had more good diving in store!

It's really absurd that people visit Hawaii and don't scuba dive - or at least snorkel. The water is spectacularly clear and the diversity of underwater life is amazing. I know this sounds jaded, but there's only so much in the Caribbean Sea. It's a just sea for godsakes. Hawaii is in the middle of the biggest ocean in the world. All kinds of cool stuff swims by.

But I digress . . .

Cessna plane we took to MauiI found a cheap island-hopper flight (only $39 per person) on Pacific Wings Express. The airplane held eight people and had big windows. Plus, you could look over the pilot's shoulder and right out the windshield. It was like a helicopter tour without the exorbitant price!

* $45 total with taxes and fees

For island transportation, Keith found us a place where we could rent a used car. The company is called Word of Mouth Rental Cars and they're not far from Kahului Airport (OGG - the main airport for Maui). If you call ahead they come pick you up. Ours was $25/day with unlimited miles. Better yet, there's no charge to add an extra driver. We got a 2002 Nissan Sentra. It wasn't perfect or shiny, but we're hauling scuba gear, who cares?
Cathedrals I Lanai
We dove with Extended Horizons which is an eco-friendly, green dive operation. I swear the dive guides were marine biologists. The boat runs on bio-diesel and they have onboard recycling. Oh yeah, and the dives were killer. At Cathedrals I literally forgot I was underwater.

I don't know if I mentioned this in my Big Island post, but it rained a lot while we were there. Parts of Hawaii were under flash flood watch and schools were even closed. Luckily we had sunshine most of the time in west Maui. On the other side of the island it was another story.

The waterfall (pictured left) is normally three waterfalls. Crazy, eh? The normal view is over to the right. Different POVs, but you get the idea.

All the waterfall shots in this post are from the Road to Hana, by the way. If you've never done it, don't let some jaded dumbass talk you out if it. It's AMAZING.

If you can, stay in Hana for the night. You can get a room at Joe's Place for something like $50 (shared bathroom and kitchen). Get your dinner at the Hasegawa General Store which, I promise you, has the most random selection of stuff you've ever seen. Want some organic Hemp Granola? It's next to the sarongs. Lettuce? It's across from the hammers (and it costs $4). Hawaii may be the US, but they still gotta import everything.

Hey, while we're on the subject of food, I'd like to recommend:

Kahuna Kabobs
It's in the Lahaina Marketplace just off Front Street. For $8 you'll get a killer kabob plus rice and veggies. They even have tofu kabobs. Cheap eats and wicked good.

Thai Chef
Save room for the coconut ice cream. Even if you don't save room, get it anyway. Your friends will help you eat it, I promise.

That was pretty much it, I guess. Eating. Driving. Diving. Napping on the beach. What more do you want?

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