Maui Day 4: Honolua Bay and West Maui

I started my day admiring the morning from my patio and dining on some delicious strawberry papaya I bought at a small fruit stand outside Hana. While I normally don’t like papaya, the strawberry variety is delicious and pretty.

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Based on recommendations, today I was going to try my hand at snorkeling in Honolua Bay on the northern end of West Maui. I didn’t bring my camera down to the bay so you’ll have to suffer through descriptions with no photos.

There are two beaches/coves in a row both referenced as Honolua Bay preserve, the first is Slaughterhouse beach followed by the target – Honolua Bay. Apparently lots of folks were trying their luck as it was a tad crowded so no fear of snorkeling alone!

There’s no actual beach but lots of rocks so entry and exits take a little care but were simple enough. Just go out far enough, sit on a rock to put on your fins and gently glide out.

The reef is pretty amazing. Lots of coral variety and tons of fish. A little murky, but not too bad. I followed the reef on the right side out to the end of the cove where it started to get a little too deep for my comfort and began picking up some inward currents. Plus while onshore I heard a diver mention some white tip sharks by the point and these words came back to me! Yes, I’m vacationing large and intimidation free, but I draw the line at sharks.

Supposedly there was a large underwater rock where turtles were known to hang out but I never found it. Likely further out than I was willing to go. The bay soon became crowded as a couple snorkel tours came in so I called it quits.

All told I ventured out twice and had a great time. I’m thankful I wore my rash guard for sun protections and warmth but my butt got burned! Oh those darn swimsuit edges!

As I was looking a little water bedraggled, I sought out a beach front restaurant and ended up at Leilani’s on the Beach in Ka’anapali. Like Wailea, Ka’anapali features a string of resorts with the restaurants and sights along the beach walkway and not visible from the street. The street is lined with lush foliage and discrete resort entrances along one side, and a golf course along the other. Just park at Whalers Village, walk through the shops and you’re on the beach.

Enjoying some locally caught swordfish while flipping through my guidebook, I decided to head back north and drive the scenic loop around the entirety of West Maui. Sections of the road are similar to the road to Hana with winding looping hairpin curves running along the coast. Other sections brought forth what I imagine of Road of Death in Bolivia.

One stop I made was at the Nakalele Blowhole. Despite the rain and increasing winds, the surf wasn’t creating spectacular spurts and the “paths” leading down were slick.

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The rain continued to pickup, making the views a little dreary but still spectacular, such as the view of Kahakuloa Head.

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Picturesque Kahakuloa Village lies between sections of a one lane road that clings to the mountainsides.

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The village is home to, according to my guidebook and reiterated by small roadside signboards, the planets best banana bread. While I don’t know if it is the planets best, I luckily bought Julia’s last loaf and by the time I got back to “civilization” managed to devour quite a bit. It’s definitely the best banana bread I’ve had!

By this time, the rain was making sightseeing a challenge, I did manage to spy this little waterfall and pool peeking through the jungle down a chasm.

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The rain followed me back to Wailea so it’s going to be a quiet night. Plus, I think I need a few hours of doing nothing! Time to gather my thoughts, reflect on my vacation and get a good nights sleep. After all, the adventure continues tomorrow as I set sail to Molokini crater for a day of snorkeling!

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