After our monumental hike, we had to hightail back to Waikiki to drop off our Jeep and go to the airport to catch our flight to Maui. Fuelled by coffee, we managed to get to Waikiki in record time and after doing a few circles in search of a fuel station we said goodbye to our little Jeep and got a taxi to the airport.
Everything was going smoothly until I checked my phone case where I had stashed my bank card and lo and behold, the stupid thing was missing. In the rush I had thrown it in my phone case, despite the case being broken and hadn’t thought about it since. After a mild panic we worked out it would still be possible for me to get money out using K’s card so I could keep it until I got a new card sent over from Australia. Panic over we waited for our flight in the tiny airport and caught our breath after racing around all morning.
The flight to Maui was quick and full of beautiful views. We had barely finished ascending before the pilot started to get ready for landing. Arriving into Maui, the landscape was very different to Oahu. It seemed more dry and arid, with lone palm trees swaying in the wind. There was a haze in the sky, which we later learnt was called vog – aka volcanic fog – and would pollute the skies for most of the day. We picked up our new Jeep – a beautiful cherry red one – and headed off in the direction of Wailuku where we were staying for the night.
The drive was short and before we knew it, we were pulling up at our hostel, the Banana Bungalow ready to check in. The Banana Bungalow was a typical fun hostel. Brightly coloured, with posters about free tours and places to go lining the walls. There was also an awesome back drop of a huge mountain that loomed behind the houses. We dropped our bags off, checked out the place and had a quick shower and went out in search of food.
The guys at the hostel recommend a little vegetarian café a couple of blocks away called The Farmacy, which sounded perfect after eating solid junk food for the last couple of days. We ordered some veggie burgers and wolfed them down. I was starving; we hadn’t eaten since we left Kaneohe this morning which was a rare feat. After a quick stroll around the town we headed back to the hostel for a sneaky nap. Wailuku itself doesn’t have a whole lot going for it, but it’s a great base because it’s in the middle of everything. We planned our activities for the next day and joined the free beer and burger night that the hostel was holding. This was the first night that we were at a really social hostel so it was nice to meet some new people. We ended up grabbing more drinks once the keg rain out and played flip cup with our new friends until late.
Waking up with slightly sore heads, we were slow to get ready for the day. Heading back to The Farmacy for breakfast, we had the most delicious acai bowls and smoothies. I say the most delicious with a bit of bias, because it was actually the first acai bowl I’ve ever had. But it was great to eat something healthy and fulfilling.
We drove off in the direction of Pai’a, which was a whole 25-minute drive away. Dropping our gear off at our next hostel, the Aloha Surf Hostel we realised we were living the life our luxury in our private room. The Aloha Surf Hostel is run by the same owners, but is much more nicer than the Banana Bungalow. We dwelled in our lush new room before continuing on with our day.
Driving another half an hour or so, we reached Kihei where we were planning to spend the afternoon. Kihei was a beautiful area, with dark blue water and that soft white sand. A popular resort area, the place was packed with people holidaying and living the life of leisure. We found a park near to the water and found some paddleboards to rent.
It was only my second time paddleboarding, but it was much easier than the first. I guess because I wasn’t so nervous about falling in. We paddled around the bay, past all the snorkelers and out in the open water in hope that we might see some humpback whales. There had been stories about people encountering the whales as they did their yearly migration but unfortunately we missed seeing them. We floated about on the paddle boards for awhile, enjoying the gentle sway of the ocean and appreciating the vog that covered the harsh sun. After awhile, a boat sailed past us and the men in the boat were doing the universal hand signals for shark. Jumping to our feet we paddled as quickly as we could to shore, we weren’t sure if they actually meant shark but we weren’t ones to risk it!
Deciding to pass on being shark bait, we returned the boards and went for a wander to find some lunch. Coming across a very appealing looking fish and chip shop, we ordered way more than we needed and walked over to a grassy area near the water to devour our feast. It was too nice of an afternoon – we ate, sunbaked and slept in the shade of the beach park. Too chilled out to do anything we didn’t move until about 4:30pm.
Finally deciding to move, we jumped back in the Jeep and drove to Pai’a for a look around. The little surfy town had a similar vibe to Byron Bay. Laidback, a little hippy and full of boutique type stores, we wandered the streets until the sun went down. Heading back to the hostel, we relished in the fact we had our own private room and made ourselves right at home. Within five minutes, our many bags were spread out from wall to wall. We certainly had a knack for making a mess!
We showered and did some washing before walking back down the street to the main part of Pai’a for some dinner. During our walk, we came across the Flatbread Company, which was a wood-fire pizza restaurant. The other restaurants didn’t even get a look in, we were sold on the delicious sounding flatbreads. It seemed the entire town had the same idea and we had to wait 25 minutes for a table. Walking over to a bar, the girls grabbed a drink while I sipped a lemon, lime and bitters, because clever old me didn’t bring her I.D out. I get so used to never having to use it anymore that I forget to bring it with me. Unfortunately the drinking laws are much stricter here and if you don’t have your I.D, you don’t drink.
K and L finished their drinks and we walked back over to the Flatbread Company. The place had quietened down only slightly as we were escorted to our table. Placing our orders, we waited in anticipation as we watched the chefs expertly put the fires in and out of the hot woodfire oven.
As expected, the pizzas (sorry, flatbreads) were absolutely delicious. The base was light and fluffy and the toppings were fresh and flavoursome. Definitely impressed with the food so far in Maui, it was looking to be a delicious couple of days!
Tomorrow we had big plans to start our Road to Hana journey so we headed back to the hostel for a good nights sleep in our flash private room. It was a tough life!