|By: Paul S. Cilwa||Viewed: 11/21/2019
|Topics/Keywords: #Maui #Hawaii #Kahului #HanaCoast #Kipahulu #Travel||Page Views: 3827|
|Jason and I arrive in Maui.|
We didn't have to wait long for the shuttle, and the trip to the camper rental place only took about 15 minutes. However, when we got to the rental place, no one was there. Fortunately, there was a "in case of emergency" number listed on a sign on the gate. I called it, and Ariel, the owner, answered. "I thought you were arriving tomorrow," he explained, but promised to hurry over. Maui is not that big an island, but it still took him at least a half hour to arrive. Still, he did arrive, and once our paperwork had been processed (and an extra day paid for), he gave us a run-through on how to work the camper and off we went.
Jason is a Phoenix native. He's been to Mammoth Lakes in California, but it was winter, so there wasn't a lot of green around. Therefore, verdant Maui blew him away.
Since I'd been to Maui before, I had a list of things I'd seen I want to share with Jason, and also a list of things I hadn't seen I wanted us to see. Since this trip was to be a couple days longer than my first, there would be time for everything.
"What would you like to see first?" I asked.
"Ocean!" was Jason's instant response. And since Maui is a fairly small island, that was an easy request to satisfy.
We decided to drive the famous Hana Coast highway, along Eastern Maui's northern coast. The highway to Hana from Kahului passes through a few small beach towns before it becomes a rural, winding road. We stopped at one of the beaches, Lower Paia Park, to take pictures and so Jason could check out the water.
We noticed that this particular beach attracted a lot of windsurfers.
I suggested taking the Hana Highway because Jason had mentioned he loved waterfalls, and when I was here in February, 2009, there were literally dozens of them. On this trip, later in the year, most of the waterfalls were dry. But there were still mind-blowing ocean views in the other direction.
The road became more winding as it tried to follow the increasingly crenulated coast of the island.
Then, as we continued around the curve of the island, we came upon our first running waterfall.
On my previous trip, I had camped at Kipahulu, a few miles past Hana. It was a lovely campground but I didn't necessarily want to recreate my original trip. So we checked out a couple of other spots the camper guy had suggested. The YMCA campground was packed when we got there. And a beach park that looked promising was available only to campers with permits, which could only be purchased on weekdays. So we wound up passing through Hana after all.
Kipahulu is part of the Mt. Haleakala National Park; so there's an admission fee. However, the kiosk was closed and a sign advised us to pay in the morning. Kipahulu campground was also well-populated with campers—after all, it is Saturday!—but we found a spot near the coast. Jason wasn't hungry, but cooked on the camper stove a can of Chunky Soup we had bought at Wal-Mart earlier in the day. We ate it together on a picnic bench (I made Jason eat at least a bite), then, with the camper set up for sleeping, the back hatch opened and a cool ocean breeze wafting over us, Jason and I fell asleep in each others' arms.