Posts Tagged With: Turtles

Exploring South Maui

We woke up early…I’m not sure why I even bother writing that now -but whilst my itinerary planned to have us take it easy around Lahaina today, we were eager to go abit further afield. We’d had some advice from our friend Joe, who comes regularly to Maui, that his favourite spot on island is right down on the south west coast at a place called Ahihi. specifically, there is a small offshore nature reserve called Kanahena that’s great for snorkelling…like swimming in an aquarium.

So after our lovely breakfast we headed off down the scenic coast side road. As you drive out of Lahaina there are great stretches of beach where, even this early, the dudes were out either paddle boarding or surfing, depending on the wave break. In places the waves even splash onto the road itself.

We took the road through Wailea, which is a golfing resort area with top of the range hotels. The golf courses looked lovely but the hotel’s all looked rather bland (at least from the outside). I must say I’ve been v pleased that we chose to go with Air BNBs.

Our first stopping point was a tip from our host Christian, called Makena Landing. This was a lovely spot – a little sandy cove, surrounded by lava rock, trees and with a grassy area to sit on. But first we needed to go to the end of the car park, find the fence and go round to the left of the fence. Here Christian told us to look down into the pebbly cove as often there would be turtles. So we did and OMG there were two HUGE turtles just resting up. But as we watched two more turtles swam up out of the water to join them. These turtles were all nearly two feet across! You are supposed to stay 20 feet away from turtles to respect their space but I’m afraid some dozy tourists had gone down on the beach here to take their selfies with them.

We kept our distance and then found a spot on the grass to put up our beach chairs (clever Air BNB provided these along with your choice of body/surf or paddleboards! ). We sat  relaxing and watching the scene. We were surrounded here by wild chickens and roosters so we nicknamed the spot ‘Chicken Beach’. The weather was going off now abit and the waves in the cove were quite forceful but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to get in the water with my snorkel and mask and see if I could find any turtles swimming about. Jane was very sensible and decided to see how I got on first.

Well I got in ok but the water was very murky and the swell was pushing me around a lot so I didn’t stay in more than 5 mins. We’d been talking over breakfast about the rare (very) shark attacks here..which tend to happen when the water is murky with rain run off and the shark mistakes a human for a tuna fish.

I told Jane this was not the snorkelling place for us and whilst it was a lovely picturesque place for a sketch, we decided to keep moving on south. Next stop was Big Beach or Makena Beach which is as it sounds , a massive two mile stretch of beautiful sand and wild waves with a huge break onto the beach. Lifeguards here were pretty much telling people to stay out of the water but it was beautiful to stand ashore and look at the turquoise colour of the waves in the sunlight.

Now we decided to get a shift on and drive to Joe’s spot but unfortunately the weather was turning a bit wild with ominous dark clouds. The road down here is single lane as it winds through some lovely scenery in the volcanic rock. There are some lovely looking big houses down here behind closed walls too.

By the time we got to Joe’s spot it was pouring but we walked out over the trail to the black rocky beach. It’s not too bad walking about in the warm rain but the bedraggled few people coming back from this secret spot said that although the snorkelling was good , it was better to do it in the sunshine. The sea was very choppy and we decided that this wasn’t for us today. We were a little disappointed which felt wrong really after seeing four turtles, as we drove all the way back to Lahaina.

On the way back we stopped at the large Safeways just around the corner from us. This is the Waitrose of the supermarket world over here and you could tell this by the walk in, temperature controlled wine store! And the Deli was something to behold in terms of choice but all we wanted was a sandwich, Maui Potato chips and some Firerock beer (what no Lava Man? ) This was for our late lunch and to stock up our fridge.

We chilled out on the balcony with the other guests from Ohio enjoying the sunset with cocktails from Gwen and Christians Tiki Bar! Fresh home made cookies were on the menu also, what a treat.

Oops, now it was time to go out to dinner! We got ready and as we went to leave we realised that there had been and still was a massive downpour. We ended up driving down to Mala Wharf again and eating at Frida’s , the Mexican . It was very good especially the deep fried cactus.

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Categories: Hawaii | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Julie’s Tours are the Best!

Hello everyone, this is Jane, I’m your guest blogger for today.  I offered to do this task today because I’ve had such an amazing day that it felt like I needed to share it with you all.

So, I woke up really early like before 6 o’clock and was wondering when we could get going. I knew I only had less than 20 minutes until sunrise and then all the parakeets  would be leaving our palm trees and making the most horrendous noise that not even Julie could sleep through.

Yes, that worked so we were both awake very early then we decided that the best thing to do when you’re both awake at that time in the morning, is go snorkelling!

We packed up all our snorkelling gear in anticipation of being able to put our heads in the water. However, the waves were going to thwart us. Too big.  We decided it may be too dangerous to go snorkelling with such big waves so alternatively, Julie had researched that there was a possibility that we might see turtles on one of the beaches near Poipu.  Obviously, I was all in favour of that option.

When we arrived at red knickers beach, oops that should be “Brennickes beach” but Siri did not recognise my Brummie accent. It was  very wild, this is because there is another hurricane skirting the island and the waves were really big and crashing.   Great for photography but not for snorkelling and little chance of seeing turtles. So my attention turned to chickens. Yes, chickens there are lots of them here in Kauai, they are feral chickens and they are everywhere.

So, I’m taking a picture of chicken and baby chickens minding my own business when Julie taps me on the shoulder and says “Jane look over there”.  Julie said she had spotted quite a little group of people all taking photographs of something on the beach, early in the morning, which didn’t seem right until she realised what they were taking photographs of. Green sea turtles. Oh yes, two of them on the beach-happy days. We spent the next 10 minutes watching them, because that was all it took, for both of the turtles to push themselves from the sandy-shore into the water. I took photo’s and Julie videod the event and we were both near to tears. This was for the first time today. You will see that this is a common theme, throughout this blog.

After breakfast, the next part of our day was heading off to the Waimea Canyon via the Spouting Horn.  The Spouting horn is a blowhole in between rocks where the waves crash in and then all the pressure pushes the water up like a geyser.  Had my camera set to sports for this event.

The canyon was a  40 mile round trip. You go up 20 miles and then back down the same track 20 miles. You are treated to some of the most fantastic scenery and views that can be seen on the whole island, if not in the whole of the Pacific.  It’s always a sign of whether or not something has caught my imagination as to how many photographs I actually take of the event. Let’s say that when you get to see the chosen photos today, we have had to be very very selective!!

On the way up we passed several lookout points which were all amazing. What was more surprising to us both, was that near the top, we got a view of the Napali coast. And at the final stop 5700 m above sea level, we arrived at the scenic view point that had an edge. This was an edge that  Julie decided she didn’t need to look over.  However, there were a couple who were having their pre-wedding photographs taken on the edge by a professional photographer.

“Okay, hold hands, look into each others eyes, take a step back, NO, not that far”!!

The breathtaking scenery was the second time today that Julie and I might of turned on the water works.

Now we arrive at the last part of the day, this included food and drink, my favourite.   We went back to the Garden Island Grille to see our new friend Sofia. Sofia is only 19 still at college, but a bundle of fun and a really nice girl who waited on us the first time we came into the bar. We turned up this time in time for the live music and it was Hawaiian night hurrah.   The singer was really quite good, he played lots of songs that got us both either singing along, or over-emotional.  Yes, you might of picked up on the theme but that was the third time we’ve been in tears today. This is called being overtired.  Both had a lovely meal and cold white wine which was a perfect end to it absolutely perfect day.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Hawaii | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

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