In the 1970’s when we were so much younger, Hawaii was an unreachable exotic island paradise a million miles away from our grey London homes. Over in Honolulu a sharp suited handsome police officer would frequently utter the immortal line “Book em Dano murder one” and the iconic theme tune that has launched a thousand traditional wooden canoes would thunder out from our non-remote controlled 3 channel TV. For one hour a week, we were enthralled by the efforts of the Hawaiian law enforcement officers to capture the bad guys against a backdrop of swaying palm trees, volcanic landscapes, gorgeous beaches and beautiful women. Guess what, 40 years later it hasn’t really changed. Hawaii is made up of 5 islands and we’re staying on one of them, Maui for a week with our family.
Sunsets are incredible on golden beaches of cashmere sand. The Pacific Ocean is crystal clear but the waves and currents are fierce and often take us by surprise. The life guard on Big Beach reminds us frequently of the dangers of the swirling currents and that he can recommend alternative beaches that are safer and less likely to cause damage to life and limbs, eek!
We’re 7,000 miles from home and Maui feels like nowhere else in the world. Maui is the 2nd largest Hawaiian Island in the group and has 30 miles of beaches. It consists of 2 volcanic craters at either end which means that driving around it requires patience as drivers repeatedly encounter switch back after switch back. The road to Hana for example, is a narrow “highway” in the loosest possible sense of the word. One lane bridges and frequent pull ins to enable cars to pass mean its slow progress but more time to appreciate our surroundings. As we climb the Haleka Crater the landscape is lush and green. Creepers and vines at least 15 feet long dangle from enormous trees, palms sway in the breeze and exotic blooms of rich pinks, reds and oranges burst forth rich palettes of color at frequent intervals. Crystal clear cooling water tumbles down the volcanic rock of numerous waterfalls in scenes reminiscent of a Timotei advert.
The stars of the Maui show however, are the graceful Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles who seem to appear every-time we put our heads in the water to snorkel. They’re inquisitive animals and it’s been great fun following them around the reefs at a respectful distance. We’ve also encountered sleeping turtles on the beach just after sunrise and here we were able to appreciate just how big they really are.
We get the opportunity to snorkel in the azure blue waters off Molokini, one of only three volcanic calderas in the world. A fifteen minute boat ride from the Kihei boat dock Molokini rises from 300 feet below the ocean’s surface, is just under a half-mile wide and peaks at about 160 feet above sea level with half of it being hidden under the surface of the ocean. There is an abundance of sea life and the corals are healthy.
Maui has been a fantastic tropical paradise we leave it’s golden sands and lush green landscape and wave goodbye to Mum & Allan and head for 3 days in Mexico City and the next chapter of our adventures.