I tried really hard but couldn’t find the time last week to continue and finish up my posts for the Maui trip. So here is a belated post. Day 1 was Haleakala crater sunrise, Kanapalli beach snorkeling and watching the sunset at Lahaina. Day 2 was the Road to Hana.
On day 3, I had decided to sleep in and rest after the long drive to Hana the day before. But the jetlag woke me up and I was out and about and saw Shanna with her Yoga mat in the common area/deck. She said she was planning to go to Yoga on the beach, so I got ready rather quickly and walked over to the Yoga studio where she had headed. I was clearly a slow walker that morning because it seemed like it took me an eternity to get there ha ha. Here is my sleepy dreamy selfie just to prove it, I couldn’t resist posing next to the pretty blue flowers in all my morning glory lol 🙂
Finally I reached Maui Yoga Shala, one of the oldest (or “original”, as they call it!) Yoga Studios in Maui. Shanna was talking to the owner/manager. They only had 3-4 students that morning, and we were told to head directly to Paia bay and the teacher would meet us there.
We walked back to the hostel, and noticed a poster for a missing cat. Shanna was somehow convinced that it was the same cat that we had at the hostel, it looked to similar; I was a bit skeptical but took a photo and decided to ask the hostel manager. Turns out I was right, but a lot of people had the same question as Shanna, if “Tree” the house cat at the hostel was by any chance “Rosie” the lost neighborhood cat 🙂 Well, at least that was settled, ‘Tree” was here to stay!
We drove to Paia bay, so we could get there on time. Grace was the teacher, and there were about 3-4 other women besides us. Grace was either just a really happy person, or perhaps a little high 😉 She would sometimes suddenly start laughing/giggling in the middle of Yoga instructions – it was perfect; I will always remember Maui like this – happy & carefree. She seemed like a nice person, and had recently completed her Yoga teacher training.
If you’ve ever tried Yoga (of any kind), well, doing it on the beach is just much, much harder. And Grace was good at challenging us. I have a photo that a friend took, will share that here later, but here’s what Paia bay looks like; the picture doesn’t do it justice:
After about 45 minutes of Yoga, we finally headed back to the hostel. After some breakfast, and getting ready, Shanna and I headed to the car rental place to get her name added to the car so she could drive us to Makena beach that afternoon.
The Aloha Surf Hostel tour did go to the Big Beach/Little Beach on Sundays, but we hadn’t signed up in time and now the tour was full. Big beach was true to its name, and little beach was only accessible by climbing a cliff over and going to the other side. Little beach was clothing optional, and that’s where a beach party complete with fire dancers and drummers had been going on for decades. Since I had a car, and with Kima, Shanna and me it was already 3 of us, it would be fun to drive.
That morning, we started talking to Kim, who was also from Montreal, this officially made me the only non-french-speaking person in a group of newfound friends 🙂 That aside, Kim told us about Montreal, and the nice neighborhood her apartment was in; rents were not cheap but sounded reasonable. Unlike Sunnyvale, CA, where I live, where if you were a single mom like me basically you would still be struggling to make ends meet because your rent was higher than mortgages for a large house in many parts of the country.
Move to Montreal, they said. Oh, if only it wasn’t so cold! I have been once though, and promised them I would love to visit again; perhaps next summer. It’s always fun to go around with someone local, and now I have two new friends in Montreal!
So, now it was 4 of us all set to go to Big Beach and Little Beach in the afternoon. We headed out around 1 pm, picked up some poke bowls and drinks from Foodland by 2, and then headed to Big Beach. Right after we parked, there was a guy with a big suitcase who asked us if we were interested in any medicinal plants or herbs 😉 Shanna immediately said “no- thank you” to the guy and he darted off to sell his wares to others. I chuckled at how I always seemed to make friends with people who were level headed and mature (age doesn’t matter), lol. Now that trouble was thwarted, we walked over to the beach.
I was quite indecisive and a tad anxious about what to wear, wasn’t convinced about the haphazard way people had parked the cars, and decided to move the car to a handicap spot and finally went down to the beach, lagging behind the other girls. The beach was huge, expansive, beautiful. The clouds made it look rather grey, but it was still a beauty to behold.
We sat on our picnic blankets at big beach and enjoyed our poke bowls, drinks and great conversation which only girl trips on strange islands can bring. Kima and I walked around the beach, and all the while there was a group of guys asking if Kima was married 🙂 After enjoying big beach, we headed to the cliff around 5 pm. The climb was not too bad. The view was wonderful from the cliff:
I had expected to feel uncomfortable at Little Beach, but I was surprised at how much at ease I felt. It had a good vibe, and also because I was in a group it seemed like the right place to be on a Sunday evening. There were a lot of naked babies, which was actually quite cute.
It occurred to me that being naked was actually very comfortable for babies and kids, and as long as they were safe they might enjoy that experience. Kima showed me some of the kids had hair that was too light because of being in the sun way too much. There were some nude people here and there, the women mostly topless with a bottom on, some old men with just a hat on, dancing away to the drums lost in their own world.
The water was relatively calm and not too deep right away, so I stepped in it since my friends were in there. I know I am not a good swimmer, so I stayed a little closer to the shore. There was the guy with long hair and blue eyes who seemed to know all about the geology and history of the islands and how they were formed, and he was quite the story teller, so me and the other women stood in the water and enjoyed listening to him. I was standing there in the water one moment, and the next moment the water pushed me down so hard I tumbled in the wave and got thrown out to shore by it.
In Hawaii the ocean is quite different from the beaches in America – the ocean was more wild, untamed here, which I only learnt after a few days and a few experiences and talking to even friends who are great swimmers. In the process of the wave pushing me down, turned out I hurt my already sprained ankle again a bit, and ended up in some pain. I sat with ice for a while and just chilled out watching the drummers and fire dancers. A photo doesn’t quite describe little beach, so here’s a video of the drummers and the people hanging out:
We didn’t have flashlights, and so once the sun set, we figured we needed to start making our way back down the cliff. Just before we left though, we saw a guy go into the ocean, and perform the most crazy, magnificent display of fire crackers; a string of fire in his bare hands that went around in large circles creating a sort of firebird in the air. It was brilliant. You can ignore my whole blog, but don’t miss watching this 1 minute video:
After that genius fireworks display, it was time to head back finally. I was in pain with the ankle, and already fretting about how I would climb down the cliff and walk the long distance back to the car. Thanks to my friends (the girls I was travelling with), that I slowly and steadily was able to finally make my way back. It was the emotional toll of getting hurt; how would I go to work, how would I play with my son and all those practical issues of a broken ankle that brought me almost to tears that night. I got lucky and have fully healed from it now.
The Sunday night beach party was quite the experience. The neighborhood surrounding Makena beach is also quite nice, including the Four Seasons Resort in the area which we drove by. I am glad I went to Little Beach despite all the reviews and despite my initial inhibitions, it was a ton of fun, and one of the best things to do in Maui on a Sunday night. Funny enough the cops do get there right on time after the sun sets (we saw them going in on our way back to the car), perhaps to keep the hippies and drugs under control, so if you wish to avoid hanging out with the police it might be best to leave right after sunset, unless you are deliberately seeking some adventure 🙂
I hope to come back here some day, hopefully with no injuries, and a dance partner, so I can dance, stay late and enjoy this party again!
Until Day 4 in Maui,