Sunday, October 05, 2008

1 day in Maui

From two volcanic eruptions emerged an island home to the warrior god Maui. He climbed Mt Haleakala and cast a fish net around the sun to pull it closer to his land. Yet, Maui island is the second wettest place on earth.

Alaska Airlines Flight Attendant Juli and I jumped plane on a whim to Maui Tuesday. We lodged at the North Shore Hostel in Wailuku for $25 per night.

Juli poses in our dorm room at the Northshore Hostel

After interpreting public transportation schedules, we found a stretch of beaches in Kihei by two $1 bus rides. Juli plopped on Kamaole Beach III and I dropped my towel to run into the surfless ocean. It was overcast and early evening.

We walked the coast to scout out dinner and found a couple friendly beach volleyball games to jump in. We enjoyed happy hour Tequila Sunsets while waiting for our half price Hawaiin pizzas and Hawaiin Island on tap.

A snap of the ocean from Kamaole III in Kihei our first night

Previous to the trip, I reserved an Advantage rental car at $11.80 for two days. After taxes it came to about $35. I was prepared for a "young driver's fee" that was mentioned in the confirmation, but not a $25 extra per day fee! The new rental bill came to $126 (that included a prepaid $33 bucks of gas). To top it off the Advantage Agent swiped my credit card before letting me know about the huge increase.

To the dismay of all parties, I declined the service. We came back the next day to rent the car for 1 day. I waived all insurance and prepaid gas "deals," got the car for $24 a day and paid $25 for young driver fee. When it was all said and done I paid $60. Not by any means a bargain, but it was personal wheels for 24 hours in the form of a Chevy Aveo.

A serene pit stop on the road to Hana.

Our North Shore Hostel roommate Junko tagged with us on the road to Hana. It's about a 50 mile coastal stretch of historic, scenic highway. We hiked to Twin Falls, stopped off at Blacksand Beach, snacked on coconut macadamia brownies and pineapple banana smoothies at the roadside fruit stands, and jumped in the calm ocean at Hana Bay.

The view from the highway on the way back.

Upon returning to Wailuku we enjoyed Thai cuisine with Junko at a restaurant across the street from the hostel. After green curry and thai ice tea, we set out for Lahaina, known for its "nightlife." Front Street was a cutesy tourist strip of art galleries, restaurants and shops paralleling the beach. It reminded me of Downtown Disney with a Hungington Beach Pier flavor. Live music in open bars could be enjoyed walking the streets below as we perused the shops.

Front Street Lahaina.

The car return was due at 11:30am and our flight home was at 1pm, so we packed early and hit the beach near Paia. Lifeguard flags were up warning of shallow breaking waves, but a few of us jumped in anyway. The tropical wave pool entertained me for a few hours, until it was time to say goodbye to Maui.

My hair was still a little wet upon landing in Seattle :)

Below is our Maui road map. Our footprints are in blue.
A: Kahalui, Maui Airport
F(B)(D): Wailuku, North Shore Hostel
C. Kihei, Kamaole Beaches
E: Hana
G: Lahaina, Front Street


Bridget Beth said...

I love the spontaneity! I love the adventure! You are so incredibly cool.

Stefanie said...

Nic, both times that I have been to Maui, I stayed in Kihei! We lounged at the very same Kamaole Beach Park 3! Looks like you had a great time...wish I could have been there :)