Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Maui Mountains, Waterfalls and Baby Beach

I kept both eyes on the news last Saturday, watching to see how my relatives would be affected by the onrushing tsunami. Thankfully this time the big wave wasn't so big. It is good to know that the lessons of the 1960 Hilo Tsunami have been learned, and that while this wave wasn't anywhere near as large or destructive, the evacuation plans worked.

When I flew from Oahu to Maui my flight ended up being over an hour and a half delayed, for a flight that barely lasts 20 minutes! I would certainly rather have the delay than a new air disaster though, so I just stuck my nose in a book and relaxed in the terminal.

The next morning my sister and I drove to Iao Valley, which is the eroded caldera of the West Maui shield volcano. There is a short paved trail up to a lookout, but for those who are more adventurous there is a trail on the other side of the fence that goes up the hill for a closer look at the Iao Needle and the sheer cliffs of the valley.

The wet east side of Maui is the tropical paradise of the tourist brochures, and Twin Falls is along that coast. Some enterprising local has set up a rope swing on one of the pair of water falls, perfect for and exhilarating swing through the fall into the cold deep pool at the base. It is not without some risk, I took a chunk out of the top of my foot on one of the rocks, and my sister held on to the rope too long on one of her swings and dropped into shallow water where she earned a nice bruise on her knee.

Along the same coast is Baby Beach, so called because it has a rock shelf that protects the beach from the worst of the surf. Thus a beach that even a baby can swim in! The girls often swim laps at Baby Beach for the calm waters and the spectacular view of the sun setting over the West Maui Mountains.

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