On our recent vacation to Hawaii one of our stops was the island of Maui. Maui was kind of frustrating. We signed up for a couple of excursions and neither one of them turned out the way we planned. We signed up for a snorkeling excursion that was scrubbed because of fuel pump problems with the boat that was supposed to take us but that may have been a good thing the locals told us because swells were kind of high and it would not have been a pleasant boat ride. So, okay plus we booked the excursion through the ship so they refunded everything 100%. I think we may have dodged a bullet, more to come on that in a later post.
The other excursion, we didn’t go through the ship, we signed up online through “Hike Maui” a local Maui outfit that does excursions independent of the ship but that coordinates the timing of some of their excursions with the schedule of the ship’s coming and goings. Well we signed up way ahead of time and the way it is that there are no refunds. The trouble was that after we signed up, Logan badly sprained his ankle and had to wear a big ole “boot.” A medieval torture contraption updated with hard plastic and numerous velcro straps.
So anyway we thought we would go to the pickup spot at the designated time and talk to the guide. He looked pretty hesitant and talked about how muddy it would be and the rocks, boulders, and roots we would encounter and that we would have to walk through water a lot and climb and that we need to think of this as more of an adventure hike because it definitely a walk through a city park. Of course the more he talked about how tough it is the more I wanted to go. He capped it off by saying that if it were him, he would not go. Oh. So Heather said, Alan you go, we’ll stay here. I was reluctant but I got on the van.
And then the guide went and talked to Heather and Logan some more then next thing I knew they got on the van also. The plan was that the guide thought there would be a couple of waterfalls that they could go to without going the rest of the trip. So off we went
It seemed it was about a half hour drive or so to the parking lot through a lot of interesting landscape. Lots of cane sugar fields and other things to see. Our guide a very engaging young man gave us a running commentary of everything we saw. He talked about the heavy environmental cost of cane sugar growing and a lot of the natural history of area and good restaurants and bars to try. He was definitely environmentally minded and had a lot of insights.
We got to the parking lot and it started raining. Not too hard but pretty steady, the kind of steady that tells you that is not going to quit any time soon. We got out of the van and he passed out the lunches for later and off we went. He stopped quite often to point out a tree a tree, bush, or plant and explain what it was, whether it was indigenous to the island or where it came from. He was a walking encyclopedia of plants. Many of them were edible and we’d try them. After a short while he pointed Heather and Logan to a gate and said that where they needed to go was that way.
Right after Heather and Logan split off we entered the above kind of obstacle. There is no way that Logan could have done that with his bum ankle. I started worrying right away about them two because we were going to be gone for about three more hours and that is a long time to wait in the rain.
But as we pressed on ahead we rain into a canal. Maui’s extensive canal system was installed starting in the 1870’s by the sugar can growers of the central valley to move water from the windward side of Maui where there is lots of rain to the valley where it is arid. It is an engineering marvel but very controversial locally. It was basically built by hand. It is known as the “East Maui Irrigation System.” I thought the whole thing is fascinating. The sugar industry dominated Hawaii for over a 100 years but no longer with the rise of international business and corn syrup sugar cane is a dying industry.
Anyways we journeyed on sometimes walking on two track roads or single track paths and often up streams like this. Those dang rocks were often pretty slippery and again I was glad Logan was along because that would not have worked out. Our hike took us to five waterfalls and they were all beautiful. In some the water was deep enough for people to dive in. The scene was all very exotic for this guy from Oklahoma.
The owners of the land leave the trails open to public which is exceedingly generous. There are no signs though and the trails are maze. I wouldn’t attempt to hike this without a guide unless I knew where I was going because it would be easy to get lost. Besides our guide kept up a walking commentary on everything we saw.
More of the trails. It was a lot of hard work. Somewhere along here, or actually before this I lost my eyeglasses. That’s right I suddenly noticed they were gone and even though I backtracked a ways I couldn’t find them. Oh well.
Hiking along the canal system. The sporting people got in the canal and went through the tunnel walking in the canal. I took the path the left around the tunnel.
Another one of the waterfalls and pools. These are such a treasure and again very generous of the landowners to allow people to see them. No admission charge or anything.
Another waterfall. I don’t think that it was this one but at one of them, a girl in another group showed up with one of those thong or g-string bikinis with her butt just out there for everybody to see, women, men, children everybody got a view whether they wanted to or not. I guess she was proud of it or something. Generally at these pools there was a lot of talking going on but everybody stopped talking while she paraded around. Our guide had a look of “seriously girl” on his face. I generally feel free to take a picture of everything I see in a public place but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I’m not a prude but “seriously girl?” is my attitude also. Of course maybe I am a prude. Later on in the trip on the island of Kauai I saw mothers of young children wearing the same type suit. Or lack of suit.
And this was the next to last pool of the day, Twin Falls right by the road. By this time I was really concerned about Heather and Logan because the rain was still falling and there wasn’t any shelter. Still no bars on the cell phone, and no sign of them and this was where they were supposed to be hanging out.
So I walked around and around and talked to people. Suddenly my cell phone found a bar up popped a some text’s. They were already back at the ship. With the rocks and stuff Logan could’t get down to the pond he supposed to go to so they went back to the parking lot and got a ride home from the same guide service but a different guide. I should have known that Heather was resourceful.
So I was able to relax a little bit.
The last pool of the day. The guide was talking about how almost everybody misses it even though it is right by the parking lot. Like I said, one can hike these trails by themselves but you will miss a lot. The trails are a maze and it is easy to get turned around. While I was looking for my crew some lady stopped me in the parking lot and told me should couldn’t find any of the falls even though she could hear the river. I pointed her down the trail to this pool. I hope that she made it.
All in all it was quite an adventure we had a great guide that paced things to make sure that everybody was keeping up, pointed out a lot of the local natural history to us and made things very interesting. I would recommend Hike Maui to anybody except I would say that this particular hike is a lot more strenuous than what they put on their web site. If I were to do it over again I would bring along some sturdy hiking sandals or something that could get soaked and muddy and cleaned off as well along with some tech clothes to wear in the rain because cotton is not what is needed.
Or if you want to go hike it yourself here is a map. Just look for the Twin Falls fruit stand on the road to Hana about thirty minutes or so east of Kahului, the major town in Maui.