Hawai’i, a résumé, part II
Maui. Yeah. After the big disappointment of Big Island, I didn’t really have high hopes for Maui. But it actually turned out to be a little bit better than the Big Island. A lot of the same problems apply though: Most of the nice beaches are ruined, the US has raped the land and built their resorts and gold courses. Shocking. Did I say that I despise golf? It’s for boring farts only. Lowest level of humanity. I mean, was I was in the Navy, I never met anybody who played golf. That’s just not what men do. I’m proud to serve my country whenever and wherever needed, all I ask in return is for the president to issue a law that requires golf players to wear pink skirts, sport bras, and clown masks at all time when on the lawn.
Anyway. We spend one night in Lahaina, just for full immersion and to be able to fully appreciate all the great aspects of US culture. Piece of advice: Ignore the western part altogether. Nothing to see, nothing to do. We stayed at the Best Western Pioneer Inn, which was really nice, very good and friendly service, great rooms. Lunch was at the Cool Cat Cafe, which was good, good value for money. Apart from that … Lahaina itself consists entirely of tourist shops that sell cheap junk made in China. The best thing about Western Maui is leaving it, literally. Because the drive around the Northern tip, back to Kahului, is really beautiful and well worth it. Don’t be distracted by brochures and guidebooks telling you how stressful or dangerous it is – it is not. That’s just a load of bullshit from people who either want to rip you off and sell another „guided experience“ or never leave their armchair. Beautiful coastal views and jungle. Near the end of the narrow part of the road is stand that sells the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. Killer! At the end of the road is Wailuku, where we stopped at the Wailuku Coffee Company for great smoothies and decent lunch food. Beware of the sudden one-way street! Sounds strange, but believe me, you’ll notice when you get there. 😉
Next stop was Makawao, a couple of meters up the Haleakala mountain. There we found one of the nicest accommodations we stayed at during our trip, a B&B in a restored historic building, the Hale Ho’okipa B&B. This is everything you wish for in a B&B: clean, comfortable, quiet, friendly and knowledgeable hosts, very good breakfast. Makawao turned out to be a good choice of location to: Only a few miles down to the beach a Pai’a and not too far to the top of Haleakala and the road to Hana. Baldwin Park beach in Pai’a was finally a relatively relaxed beach, not the most scenic one, but at least no golf pussies and no hotels, a nice hangout. Pai’a also has an outlet of Flatbread, where we went multiple times for dinner. Why? Because – and I’d never expected this – they serve one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had and great salads too. Truly outstanding, and great service as well. A real highlight.
We followed the advice of our host Cherie and drove to Hana counter-clockwise, which helped us evade most of the crowds (and shitty drivers). The walk (it’s a walk, not a hike) up to Waimoku Falls (Pipiwai Trail) is nice, though crowded, try to be there before 11am. The nearby „Pools of ‚Ohe’o“ are picturesque, but overrated in my opinion. By the way, a very good (and frank/honest) site with advice on Maui is mauiguidebook.com – great site, thank you guys very much! The whole „Road to Hana“ thing is very nice, absolutely worth the drive, very scenic. But we didn’t really stop for too many of the „attractions“ and I was again disappointed because lots of them are on private land and you theoretically need to obtain a bloody permit first before walking through the forest or looking at the waterfall. Other spots are always crowded and stupid people in oversized cars who don’t know how to fucking drive or park block the way. That being said, still worth it. A few miles out of Hana (on the way back to Pai’a) there is a stand on the left hand side of the road (mauka) and this is where you must stop. It’s mandatory. Because the stuff they sell ist just great. Smoothies, cookies, etc., all very, very good. It’s called Hana Farms and not to be confused with the gazillions of other „Farms“ stands in the area. We also did a little detour down Nahiku road and if you want to see how many different shades of lush green there are, that’s the place to go!
Next up was Haleakala of course. And it didn’t disappoint. I’m glad I didn’t go for sunrise because, well, the crowds. Instead we drove of at lunch time and hiked down the crater (the sliding sands trail) and back. Beautiful colors and relatively quiet, most people turn back after a couple of minutes. The Reisebegleitung had some altitude adjustment problems and had to turn back, and she missed the best part. We had brought some baked goods from Pai’a and hung around until sunset and that was truly, truly stunning. You are above the clouds and you the whole sunset drama, shifting mountains of white clouds … all to yourself because everyone else has left already!
Having finally got some decent exercise, I put a short relaxing stroll on the menu the next day. Only downside: you need to leave early, since the clouds will be rolling into the valleys at about 10am. We started at 8am, for slower walkers I’d recommend an even earlier start. What am I talking about? The Waihe’e Ridge Trail (not to be confused with the commercial Waihe’e Valley Tour) – it’s a short trail with beautiful views into the valley and of the coast, absolutely worth doing. Afterwards, back to the Baldwin Park beach in Pai’a and grab some pizza at Flatbreads.
That was Maui in a nutshell. We didn’t even go down south to the other resort area because it would have pissed me off anyway.