This post used to contain pictures, but due to new storage limitations from WordPress, I had to fix the problem and decided to create a new blog that works as an archive for all the posts from my two years in California. This full post can be found here.
Wow! What a day!! I take back every bad thought I had about Maui yesterday. I am so glad we came to this hostel on a Monday around noon so we could sign up for this tour, it was amazing!! We saw lava rocks, turquoise water, black sand beach, red sand beach, bamboo forest, waterfalls, whales and swam in a freshwater cave. I will explain everything better under these headlines.
This road was seriously ridiculous! You can compare it to Pacific Coast Highway 1 in California between Los Angeles and San Francisco. But this was crazier! It was sick! I just read online that it is 60 miles of scenic coastal road. It is extremely curvy and has around 620 curves and 59 bridges! I don’t get carsick but I was close today. I was very grateful that I didn’t have to drive that road and could enjoy the beautiful view. Bamboo were growing next to the road, palm trees, banana trees, beautiful red flowers. Big mountains on one side and the blue ocean on the other. It was amazing! On the way back we saw a lot of cats on the road. Someone in the van said that there are at least on cat per person on Maui. I should probably move there. The Seven Sacred Pools are part of Haleakala State Park, but we only stopped with the can for a few seconds to look at it.
Our first stop was for banana bread at a famous place called Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread. And it was delicious, just out of the oven and so moist! I and Caroline shared a loaf and that was a perfect breakfast since the pancake batter were out when we wanted to eat breakfast. One minute away from that place was such a beautiful peninsula with a lot of lava rocks and turquoise water. The contrast was so amazingly beautiful!! And the waves were big and white clouds of water splashed everywhere all the time. It was breathtaking!
WAI’ANAPANAPA STATE PARK
The second stop was also completely taken out of a photoshopped picture of paradise. There were two parts of this stop and the first one for our van (two vans with like 12 people in each) was the black sand beach! I’ve never seen that and I was impressed by how black it actually was! The colors at this place was as beautiful and I just couldn’t believe what I saw. The black sand and lava rocks, the same awesome turquoise water and the green vegetation on the black lava rocks. I think the pictures speak for themselves! But as you all know, it is always more beautiful in real life and this place was truly amazing!
The second part of the stop was the Wai’anapanapa cave. I knew about it and had mentally prepared me for the experience. Because I knew I would regret it so bad if I chickened out. The cave is a freshwater cave you can swim through. I thought we were gonna have to swim underwater and that was what freaked me out a little bit. Swimming under water in a cave… Not exactly something safe. But apparently the water levels have been really low the last couple of months so that wasn’t necessary. Puuh! BUT, it was still scary when our guide (who btw looked like the boy’s first grade teacher) told us that once we jumped through the little hole in the cave, there was no going back. Shit! I don’t like that sentence. But I actually wasn’t afraid and I didn’t have any second thoughts at all. I knew I wanted to do it and so many other people have done it so why not me? I felt a bit like Tris in the Divergent book when she at the Dauntless initiation had to jump off a roof into a black hole in the ground. I actually went first in the black hole in the cave.
Anyway, so here’s how the cave worked. First we had to jump down in to the pool. The water was cool, not too cold, maybe a little bit colder than the ocean in San Diego. The jump wasn’t high, it was like 1.5m maybe? Probably not even that. When we all were in the crystal clear water the guide and a guy went before me into a small tunnel. When I came in the second “room” of the cave the guide was pointing her flashlight at a tiny, tiny hole. It was a little jump of a few decimeters and below it was another room with a lower level of water and it was pitch dark in there. Since the second “room” were so small we had to go through the hole right away and I volunteered to go first. Crazy me! But I felt brave. In there I have to admit that I panicked a little. I was all alone in a black water cave, I had no idea how big it was, how low the ceiling was, what else could have been there in the dark with me. It wasn’t real bad, but it was scary. So I clung to the wall like a curled up baby and hung there until everyone was in the third “room”. My fingers hurt really bad after holding on to the lava rocks but I didn’t want to tramp water in there, it was scary. When we all were in there the guide swam first into an even smaller tunnel where I was afraid of hitting my head in the ceiling. I couldn’t see anything and I tried touching the wall all the time with my hand, but I had to swim at the same time. It wasn’t a very long tunnel, maybe 4m? And then we were done with the water. One last part before we could be out in the sun again. We had to climb out of that cave! And that was the scary part for real. The black cave was scary fun, I knew there weren’t any dangers there. But climbing up on a wet and sharp lava rock wall was scary. I tried going after the guide (she had the flashlight on the wall, but it didn’t reach all the way down to the water where we were) but I seriously couldn’t find anywhere to grasp. So I got back in the water and let another girl go ahead of me. And then I tried again. And, oh my god, I was so afraid of losing my grip and fall backwards and hit my head in the wall and probably die. I didn’t, but I was really scared and I scraped the front of my lower leg a little bit. When I got up and was safe my heart was trying to pound itself out of my chest and I was shaking. Not because of the cold water, but because of the adrenaline kick I had! That experience was the best thing ever. Such a rush and I felt so alive!! The rest of the way up to the paved road was very slippery so the danger wasn’t over, but I climbed like a monkey, holding on to roots and did it. WOW!
There is a legend behind this cave and they say that a Hawaiian princess ran away from her cruel husband and hid in that cave. Her servant used a feather Kahili (a symbol of royalty) to fan the princess and the reflection in the water made the husband notice them and he killed the princess, coloring the cave all red. At certain times during the year the cave fills up with tiny red shrimp and some say it is a reminder of the blood of that princess.
Just when we got in the van to leave we spotted whales breaching pretty close to the beach so we watched them for a little while. They were way closer than the ones in San Diego. And on Friday I will see them even closer, like right next to the boat.
BRADDAH HUTTS BBQ GRILL ISLAND STYLE
The third stop was lunch. Right when I was about to order they ran out of fish tacos and that was a real bummer, I’ve heard those are really good. So I took the BBQ chicken instead and that was probably the best barbecued chicken I’ve ever had. So amazing!!
HALEAKALA STATE PARK / PIPIWAI TRAIL (WAIMOKU FALLS)
Our fourth stop was the Haleakala State Park, where the big volcano crater is. But we went to another part of the park to do a hike in a bamboo forest and look at waterfalls. It was a pretty easy hike, two miles to the big waterfall and two miles back. It took us around 2 hours in total. In the beginning I was really afraid that my calves were gonna hurt and they did when we went up. But then it flattened out and the trail was actually like a real road with planks laid out. It was perfect. In the beginning of the hike there was a huuuge banyan tree! Those trees are so cool, with their trunks going in all directions and growing how they like.
The bamboo forest later on was pretty awesome! They were so high, so it was dark in there. We saw pools and tiny waterfalls on the way and it was just a very nice hike. At the end of the hike was Waimoku Falls which was a skinny but tall waterfall. It has a drop of about 400 feet (I don’t know how much that is in meters and I’m too tired to look it up, but it was pretty tall). The flow wasn’t that good, I think it was a while ago it rained here. Our guide said that the trail normally was all muddy but today it was really dry. It was like a giant wall there with a tiny pool where the water collected. It was dripping all along the wall and it was the same colors ad before. Black rock and green lush. It was really beautiful!
KAIHALULU RED SAND BEACH
The last stop was a red sand beach and it was also super cool! Now I’ve seen white, black (pink on Crete in Greece) and red beaches. On Big Island we will see a green one! It wasn’t just the color of the sand that was cool, it was a lot of lava rocks right outside the beach making like a pool in the small bay. The walls around the beach were massive. It probably would have been even more beautiful there if the sun would have been a little higher in the sky. It was just about to set behind the mountain.
When we started our journey I learned why I thought Maui was so boring. There are a lot of sugar cane fields here and this part of the island has flat ground and therefore a lot of fields. It looks really boring. My roommates by the way, are nice. Except Caroline, I have a 22 year old Canadian girl and an older woman from New York. She talks a lot but she is nice. AND, I forgot to write something yesterday. When we were at the mall a guy came up to us and asked us if we were from Sweden. He said we looked really Swedish with our blond hair and blue eyes. Haha!
I think that was all today. It was an eventful day. I’m tired but had such an awesome time! When we got back to the hostel at 8:30pm the list for tomorrow’s tour was already full, but we wrote our name on the waiting list and are either hoping for dropouts or an extra car so we can go to Lahaina and snorkel with turtles at Black Rock! Otherwise we will take the bus to Lahaina. Black Rock is further away so we will probably just hang out at the old Hawaiian capital and then eat at hard Rock Café.