November 7th, 2022
Ah, Our last full day in Paradise. The pandemic had made it so hard for us to get back to our happy place and the last two weeks had been incredible. Just waking up sitting on the Lanai, sipping coffee waiting for the sun to come up is just the best feeling in the world. We are super sad to see it come to an end. However, it’s not exactly the bed of this trip. We still have a few thousand miles and several days to make our way back to reality.
And there was no intention of sitting on our hands and letting our last day get away from us. We did not have anything specific planned, but we still had a few places we wanted to visit.
La Perouse Bay
After making the most of the Open Bar last night getting up was fairly challenging today, so much so that Kate did not manage it. It, however, I managed to force myself up, and out the door just as the sun rose. I was heading to La Perouse Bay, one of the most hit-and-miss snorkeling spots on the Island.
When La Perouse is on point it is REALLY magical. However, these days are pretty few and far between, and when it’s bad it’s pretty bad. This is one of those situations, however, that unless you go and look, you never really know. The overall conditions were touch and go really so I was worth the drive over, but was not hopeful.
The drive down was pretty magical. At this time of day, it’s really quiet and the light is just peaking over Haleakala with patches of mist hanging around Upcountry. The light was amazing and the terms still cool before the sun starts to warm things up. You could see armies of joggers making full use of the cool period.
Arriving at La Perouse the conditions were not great. Large waves were lapping on the lava rocks of the Ahihi-Kinau Lava flow and the water looked steel grey rather than Azure blue. I was here though so geared up regardless.
The entry here is pretty tricky and while the surf was light the sharp lava is still a handful…or should that be footful? Once in, the clarity was hopeless. even an outstretched arm was partially obscured in the murk. However, the clarity is often poor close to shore so I pressed on hoping for an improvement. Heading out the lava flow requires a bit of a swim across a deeper channel. There is little to see here, but today there was NOTHING to see.
It was about this point, in deep murky water I realized this was incredibly stupid. A lot of people worry about Sharks in Maui, I tend not to as sightings, let alone attacks are incredibly rare. The water is clear and sharks are ambush predators and do not often hunt in clear bright water. It’s at dusk, or in less-than-ideal conditions where their extra sensory perceptions give them the advantage. Conditions, a lot like these! This is Shark Country and this is the type of move that can get you attacked.
At this point, I was pretty committed so just upped the effort and got to the safety of the Lava Flow as fast as possible.
Over on the Lava Coast, clarity improved but it was still not great. There was some excellent fish life, but the swell was heavy and there was a lot of debris in the water. The wind was obviously pushing the water into the La Perouse culdesac and this was causing the murky water. There was a chance if I persevered around the Lava flows to the infamous Fish Bowl and Aquarium things would perk up. But as I got further out the surf breaking on the headlands was huge. Out there if a large set came in, I would be in serious trouble, and there was not much chance of help.
So I called it a day, I worked my way back along the Lava Flow, enjoying what snorkeling there was. Then made another dash across the channel to the shallows and safety. It was not my best snorkel, but you have to be pleased you tried.
Back in the car, I cruised back down the highway to the resort to grab some breakfast and head out for some more Beach time.
Makena State Park – Big and Little Beach
We headed out to one of our favorite beaches in South Maui, Big Beach. We were a little dismayed to realize the Makena State Park has introduced a Parling and entry fee to the Park. This is going to happen more and more and was the second fee we had been stung with from the State, after Waianapapa State Park. The fee is $10 per vehicle and $5 per person. We elected to park on the road and just pay the $5 per person fee. The very observant parking attendant really didn’t like this!
Down at the Beach, the surf was pounding. In actual fact, it was only a moderate day, but the shore break here is Savage! It absolutely slams the beach. It is the only place we have swum where the break stops! Most shore breaks the wave is moving towards the shore, and as it rears up it slows but keeps going, enabling you to duck under it and come out the other side intact. Here it just stops and dumps itself right on top of you.
You can be neck-deep in water and suddenly thigh deep with a 10-foot wall of water about to slam down on your head and no discernable way to avoid it! And when it does slam…BOOM. These waves go off like a BOMB. Look down the shore and you can see them cannoning jets of spray straight up 20-30 ft. And this is on a moderate day.
I spent a good hour playing in the breakers, but honestly, it’s more of a survival game than play! There is a reason this is called Break Neck Beach! Kate wisely decided this was not her day in the water and made the most of the last few hours to top up the tan.
After a while, we decided to head over and check out Little Beach. You never know how you will find Little Beach. Some days it’s ok others, it’s not really our scene. Today was the latter and as we approached, heading down the slope there was WAY too much sausage on show for us. There was not a person on the beach with a shred of clothing. We know it’s a Nude beach, but often it’s a mix, not today, just pure sausage, there did not even seem to be any women! We decided to turn tail and just grab another hour on Big Beach instead.
After the beach, we stopped at the Jawz Taco Truck for lunch. The Truck has moved out of the car park where it has been situated for YEARS and is now in a layby just up the road. Jawz Tacos is an institution and you just can’t head to Bi Beach and not grab some Jawz. There is a Rival next door, and many say this is better, and to be honest, Jawz has lost a little of its magic as great tacos can be had all over Maui. But it’s the principle. We just love Jawz.
Saying goodbye to the Resort
Once back from the Beach, we headed back to the resort to just relax chill, and pack up ready for our arduous journey back home. We love coming to Hawaii, but damn, that trip home is not fun. We have a new approach this year so let’s see how that works. Got to be better than Double red-eyes!
Humble Market Kitchin
For our last meal, we decided to check out the Humble Market Kitchen, Which is anything but as it sounds. This is a fancy restaurant in a picture-perfect location ins the upmarket Wailea Beach Resort. While it was a final treat we still decided to hit the Happy Hour to save a little money.
Unfortunately, happy hour is only in the bar so we could not be out on the terrace with stunning views out over the ocean. But we got a nice spot by the bi-fold windows that felt almost outdoors.
The Happy hour runs 5-6:30PM and is a bit of a cracker, especially considering the high-end nature of the restaurant. We love Happy Hours and tend to eat most of our meals out in Maui on them, but this one feels especially excellent.
Beers are $6 and have a nice selection of local brews included. Wine is $8 a glass and Well drinks are $7 with Mixer. There is a limited cocktail menu at $10 each but these are really good cocktails The Mai Tai was near perfect, the Mule was really good and came in a proper Mule mug, and the Magnum P.I was light a fruity and really hit the spot.
For food, you get a selection of $10 Appetisers. We had the Szechuan Spiced Baby Back Ribs, the Chilli Peppah” Chicken Wings, and the Crispy Calamari. Portions were huge and the food was incredible. The ribs were melt in the mouth and just a hit of heat and the Wings were not too hot but packed with flavor. The Calamari was massive and we barely even finished it.
For $70 (we had 2 cocktails each) it was a pricey happy hour but the food was absolutely fantastic, and the setting perfect. As we left the sun was setting on the day and a near-perfect trip.
We walked back along the beach path as the sun dipped on our final day, we got another stunning sunset and got back to our condo feeling a little sad but overall not too mournful as we know we will be back in the not-too-distant future.
We spent the evening relaxing and packing, we had to be at the airport pretty early tomorrow so we had nothing planned. So other than a light breakfast and drive to the airport, our trip was all but done…except it wasn’t. The celestial gods had one last great for us, but it meant a late night.
Blood Moon – Fairwell to Maui
I had my eye on this event for quite a while and was watching the weather quite intently. Whenever a cool astronomical event comes along I always seem to get thwarted by the weather. But as I looked out at the Stunning full moon this evening, the skies were clear and we were going to get a full look at one of nature’s most stunning displays.
A Blood moon is where the earth passes between the Moon and the Sun casting a shadow on the moon. However, there is still enough light passing through the earth’s atmosphere to light it up partially, due to atmospheric filtering this light is reddish and the whole moon turns a stunning bright red.
The event would take place approximately between 11 Pm and 1 Am, so we waited up and at about 11:15 could see the earth’s shadow start to move across the Moon. We headed out to the lawns to set up the camera and just relax and take in the display.
As you can see it was absolutely spectacular, but these photos do not get across what a disaster this photo shoot was!
First of all, as we sat down on the grass, and began setting up the gear, somehow, at 11:30 pm a Bee had managed to find my leg and proceed to sting the **** out of me! Where the hell had a bee come from?
Apart from this as we watched the Dark shadow get bigger and bigger we could hear a noise getting closer and closer. One By One, the Resorts Sprinklers were coming on, moving slowly toward our location.
Just as the shadow reached totality and the moon turned an eerie shade of blood red, the sprinklers right near us let loose. A mad scramble to protect the gear and get the hell out of dodge! We moved to a new location, but to avoid another repeat we moved to where the sprinklers had now stopped. But the problem there was. predictably, the ground was now sodden!
Nothing’s easy and this relaxing Astro-shoot was a bit of a nightmare. However, we were really happy to have seen it and captured it on film. A really special end to a magical trip.