Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Hangin the Hawaiian rain.

Hawaii has been misbehavin' lately. I woke up on Tuesday to storm clouds, a gray ocean, then rain falling on Lahaina, painting the road black. Tourists slumped in chairs, muttering, "Is it gonna rain all day?" David and I took it in stride, being from Seattle, and drove all the way to Maui's upcountry to check out the farmland, tropical forests, and a little town called Mokowoa, or something like that. I'm too lazy to check it out. It was interesting, but nothing to write home about. On our way there, we stopped at a lookout, and I saw evidence of humpback whales - white puffs in the deep, gray ocean. We saw their backs curving out of the water as they took a breath, a truly wonderful experience. Tourists yelled and pointed, training their binoculars like a single eye on these magnificent creatures. That's one thing I have to do before I leave - whale watch.

David had a little work to do, so I left him at a Starbucks in Kihei and went to explore the beaches in South Maui. I passed the Grand Wailea, Four Seasons, and countless gated communities with pristine palm trees, and short, manicured grass. I'd guess South Maui is where the celebrities vacation, with its rugged hills and hidden, curving roads.

I kept driving past the resorts in Wailea, and the road became narrow, the foliage like desert. I saw cacti with big paddleboard arms, and wiry, black trees. I drove until I saw a sign for "Makena State Park," and turned right onto a dusty road that ended in a huge parking lot. I got out, put on my water shoes, and walked down a trail that was part sand/part rock. When I saw Big Beach, it took my breath away.

A beautiful crescent with thick, golden sand, and turquoise water.

I walked in the warm water, feeling my feet sink into the sand. Lifeguards sat at their posts, and warning signs talked of undertows an shallow, breaking waves. I could feel it, even as the water rushed around my calves. It was strong, and I could easily fall victim to its grasp.The beach was pretty empty, so I continued walking, talking photos with my small, waterproof camera. Mist hugged the distant hills.

The far end of Big Beach in Makena is punctuated by thick, sharp lava rocks, and I imagined the steaming lava hitting the water thousands of years ago.

For some reason, I was really amazed by this lava rock. It's texture, its shape, the way it dried exactly how it landed on the beach.

It was a beautiful beach, and a calming, peaceful experience. I saw islands in the distance, and the beach didn't have many people. I'd definately come back here with a cooler of beer and food, and just watch the waves roll in and out. I might even take a dip, if I was right in front of the lifeguard stand.
It's 730am in Hawaii on Wednesday, and I'm looking out my hotel room window at trees bending in the wind, the flag whipping wildly on my deck. The sky is blue, though, and the sunlight is already hitting boats moored in the ocean. Soon I'll go on a walk and try to find Baby Beach, which I hear is popular with tourists and locals. I don't mind the wind, but hope the rain goes away. For Good. By the way, my birthday flowers are looking mighty happy!


Paula said...

More gorgeous pictures. And remember - there is an outstanding aquarium on Maui, for those rainy days. We were on Big Beach in Makena, I remember that. That is also the island we kayaked on, in La Perouse Bay, South Seas Hawaiian Adventures. One of my favorite experiences ever. Still, Northwesterners know there is still beauty to be found on rainy days, especially light and warm rain.

Lisa said...

As always, I love your writing. It takes me to your soul...a beautiful place to be!

Have you been to Haleakala, the crater yet? The desolate landscape is amazing. Moon-like, I would think.