Crazy hikes

My CS host Ashey in Kihei, Maui

My CS host Ashey in Kihei, Maui

The only option to explore the different Hawaiian islands is in general by flight.  You can choose from several airlines and I chose for Go Airlines.  Keep in mind that you will always have to pay an additional fee for your luggage once you check in at the desk.  But I wouldn’t recommend Go Airlines.  I took 4 flights in total with them and every single one of them was delayed.  From 1h up till 7h!  Furthermore the customer service is really bad as they don’t answer your questions or e-mails in any way!  So be warned…

That being said I arrived in Kahului, Maui with a 7h delay.  My host Ashley was very kind & flexible and received me with open arms upon arrival in her beautiful home in Kihei, close to the ocean.  It was already late at night so after chatting a while, we hit the sack.   Kihei is the unplanned outcome of South Maui’s explosion of popularity during the 70s & 80s and doesn’t try to be anything other than what it is… a beautiful but regular beach town south of Kahului.

Mia @ Haleakala sunrise

Mia @ Haleakala sunrise

The following day I recevied an e-mail through couchsurfing from Mia, a girl from Cape Town, South Africa asking me if I was intrested to do some activities together on Maui.  When she told me that she just stayed the night in a hostel but would stay tonight with a host in Kihei, I remembered that my host Ashley told me she would host a South African girl.  What are the odds…  And so I met Mia later that evening at Ashley’s.  I loved the fact that she spoke Afrikaans and it was really intresting comparing her Afrikaans language to my Dutch.  Andy, a friend of Ashley joined us too but we didn’t stay up long because we were planning to do the Haleakala sunrise.

Ahinahina aka Silversword

Ahinahina aka Silversword

Haleakala is a shield volcano built from the ocean floor by countless lava flows.  The summit once towered high above the current elevation but during a dormant period wind, water and ice eroded Haleakala, creating large valleys.  Two of those valleys cut into opposite sides of Haleakala and merged at the top.  Later, lava flows partially filled the valleys, forming the large basin below commonly known as Haleakala ‘Crater’.  Experiencing the sunrise here was simply unique!  Haleakala is also home to the unique ‘Silversword’ or ‘Ahinahina’.  This plant with a cold, frost silver glow is unfortunately an endangered species.

Hiking the 'Commando Trail'

Hiking the ‘Commando Trail’

After the beautiful sunrise at Haleakala we drove down for ‘The Commando Hike’.  This incredible hike is a well known secret among hardcore hikers and adventurers here on Maui.  The hike is set on the northern lower slopes of Haleakala, on the road to Hana. We started off on the rolling hillsides, through a pasture populated with some rather large cows, into a small creek, through some intense vines, across a pool, up a waterfall. At the top of the waterfall the river bed shoots up and closes in.  The water is coming out of the mouth of a tall cave!

We survived the 'Commando Hike'

We survived the ‘Commando Hike’

An underwater light is necessary in the cave but some surprises still are in store.  Once through the cave I had to shimmy out of a grate, then a short rock hop brought me to a beautiful swimming hole complete with private waterfall that is perfect for some cliff jumping.  So in one hike I experienced hiking, creeking, boulder hopping, vine swinging, spelunking, rock climbing, cliff diving and swimming.  I must admit it was one of the craziest thing I did and from time to time it didn’t feel very safe but what an adventure!  We ended the day at the famous windsurfing spot Ho’okipa beach where we spotted some turtles. Later we strolled around in the cozy beachtown of Paia before heading home.

Me @ the Nakalele blowhole

Me @ the Nakalele blowhole

Mia planned to explore Lahaina the next day and asked me to join her.  Lahaina is a beach town in the southwest of Maui with a lot of history.  But before that, Ashley and her boyfriend Dominic wanted to show us some things in West Maui and brought us to ‘The Nakalele Blowhole’.  The ocean has undercut the shoreline here and pounds underneath the lava shell where it spits through a man-sized hole in the lava.  The blowhole varies tremendously with the tide and size of the surf and can shoot up to 70 feet high into the air!  Besides the unique rock formations, Dominic showed us a hidden corner that most people never noticed.  The rock here contained a hole in the shape of a heart…

Climbing 'Chutes & Ladders'

Climbing ‘Chutes & Ladders’

Next stop were ‘Chutes & ladders’ & the ‘Olivia Pool’.  Only a handful of locals knew this place because we had first to cross public land even if there was a sign ‘Keep out! Private property.  No tourists –  this means you!’  But being the fact that it was public land, Dominic & Ashley brought us to their hidden pool.  We walked along green fields, had to climb down a 30-feet cliff and hike our way along the cliffs to the pool.  Again a touch of craziness but I didn’t expect anyting else from those crazy hikers!  The pool encrusted in the surrounding lava & sandstone had a beautiful blue color and provided a ‘safe’ place for swimming while the ocean pounded on three sides.  Great was the surprise when suddenly some dolphins were spotted.

@ Luiz' '4th of July' BBQ party

@ Luiz’ ‘4th of July’ BBQ party

Time to take it easy so we drove to have some of Maui’s best banana bread at Julia’s. Once enjoyed the tast banana bread, we  drove to Lahaina. Note that we were July 4th, meaning every genuine American has to celebrate ‘Independence Day’!  Mia & me were invited at her hosts’ BBQ in Lahaina followed by the unevitable fireworks on the beach later that evening. Luiz, Mia’s host could only host one of us so Meric, another local from Lahaina was so kind to host me at his place where I met his 4 roommates, all sharing a house and enjoying life on this idyllic island.

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Comments
One Response to “Crazy hikes”
  1. C.X. says:

    You’ve got so many great pictures!!!!!

    Wish I were there.. .hahaha

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