THE BIG BOYS COME IN AT NIGHT
The first thing we do in a trip is to check out local sources of information. That's where you can often find something you never thought of, or get a better price. Time share condos almost always have someone who does a presentation, and we went. Usually we don't because this is where they try to persuade you to buy into more time shares. In Orlando we did, because they gave us $150 which we happily used on the kids for goodies. Here, we learned about the Van trip to Hana, and we knew that was a much better deal than driving ourselves, because that's one windey-ass road. And after I'm home I'll give you a more detailed account of that trip, which was truly wonderful. I'm still mad about that battery on my brand new camera, because that trip should have been photographed the entire distance.
There's also insider information. The presenter told us all beaches on Maui close one our after sunset because
"The Big Boys come in at night". A shiver went up my spine. I knew instantly what she meant, and if you don't, just imagine what swims in the ocean and has a fin that sticks up out of the water. Most of the sharks in Hawaii are harmless to man, and I could easily see that at the aquarium tanks where small sharks swam through all the other fish and even a diver who was working in the pool. But there are also the Tiger Sharks, in particular. I don't think even the professional divers go into the ocean at night.
I also was thinking of the other kind of "Big Boys", the sharks of the human kind. We're pretty good at avoiding them, but more and more, they are finding new ways to fleece tourists even in low traffic areas. We're learning we can enjoy those high traffic areas and just walk away from the sharks. Maybe I'll blog later on that subject, but not now.
Yesterday was perhaps one of our most favorite days. We just dinked around. A drive down to South Maui is short, intriguing. That's where the really rich Maui property owners live, and where some fantastic up-scale condo rentals are. I can see why. It's away from the really heavy tourist areas, and an excellent place to make a secluded retreat.
The beaches were not heavily populated because the surf was pretty high, and winds very gusty- about 20-30 miles per hour. Sand really stings when it hits your face at that speed. Wherever you are on the Islands, if there's a wind it's very nice. Because it's been mostly from the south, it's brought the vog (volcanic gases) up from the Big Island's volcano, Kilauea, over a hundred miles away. That worried me since I have lung problems, but I seem to have done all right. Staying in an air-conditioned car is good in that case. But it's really not bad, not even enough to catch an odor in the air.
The aquarium is definitely worth a trip. Sure it's expensive, but really quite reasonable considering costs of maintaining the facility. Cheaper than Sea World, but then they don't have jumping dolphins or Orcas or any kind of show.
And the beach? Well maybe today. We haven't even planned anything yet. Maybe if I wrap a pareo around my body, no one will notice how odd my swin suit is...
Monday, October 3, 2011
PART 1: THE SWIMSUIT STILL FITS IF I LEAVE ONE BOOB OUT
We've actually been here several days. By the time I get in, my back aches like fire and my ankles have swelled like logs. And here we are, constantly meeting Young Things who would have put my hiking abilities to shame back when I was their current age.
Yesterday in our drive to the top of Haleakala- up the steepest highway in the world, we came up to a hiker pick-up area, and there stood a young couple not looking too hopeful. We never pick up hitch-hikers. We did anyway. What a joy they were! Manchesterians transplanted to California, eagerly hiking the very trail I had dreamed of doing fifteen years ago. We took them up to the trailhead just short of the crest, and they began their trek across the crater.
Funny thing how I've always thought of Maui as a place where only the young people came. I don't know why- perhaps I'd heard descriptions from other people who love the Valley Isle. From those impressions I have always pictured it as the Party Isle. We've been to all the other major islands, though, so Maui had things that were on our Bucket List. Well, no, you know me, I'm not one to let a little age difference intimidate me. Just makes me wish I could still do some of those things I used to do. So we went to Maui.
Imagine my surprise then, when I saw more people with wrinkles and bags than taut physiques. More gray hair than blonde, and any woman who wanted to, wearing a Maui sundress.
|sunset over the harbor from the condo|
Second impression: those aren't just the tourists. Maui-ites have no intention of hiding from the sun once they're over the hill. They're in paradise, and age has nothing to do with it.
|clouds at 8,000 ft|
|tiny flowers at 9,000 ft on Haleakala|
Today we took a helicopter over the crater and down on the rainy side, two other couples, both young, one from California, one from France. We all had a wonderful, exciting adventure. I've never done a helicopter ride before but even I knew the supposed scary sudden altitude drops were actually pretty wimpy. Don't care. It was thrilling.
I'm getting brave in this Wild Over-the-Hill world called Maui. Still haven't stuck a toe in the water yet, though. Still wondering what I'm going to do with the other boob. And I finally got the pictures posted! Some of them anyway!
|one of hundreds of waterfalls in windward side|