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.