Hawaiian Honeymoon

Photos from Monique & Randall's Hawaiian honeymoon, September 8-16, 2015.

Our honeymoon started in Hana on the east side of the island and we made our way to the west parts of the island via narrow, sometimes single lane winding roads. We spent nine days exploring Maui, Hawaii following our Wedding in Hana- hiking, snorkeling, swimming under waterfalls and of course sampling local delicacies and beverages.

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We finished our wedding day with exquisite cocktails and dinner at Travaasa Hāna's Ka'uiki Dining Room.

This was the beautiful view we awoke to each morning in Hana.

We stayed at Ekena (www.ekenamaui.com) - high on the hill in Hana, a hexagonal shaped suite with a balcony spanning the entire width of one side. Owner Robin Gaffney made us feel at home and we decorated the room with flower petals used from our wedding ceremony.

The morning after our wedding we set off for an early morning swim followed by on our first adventure, a hike to Waimoku Waterfalls along the PipiWai Trail, a 4-mile hike with an elevation gain of 650 feet.

The Banyan tree, with it's aerial roots, was the first highlight on the trail.

Midway through the hike we entered a beautiful and thick bamboo forest. It created a tranquil setting which came to life when the wind picked up - the swaying, hollow branches made a 'clunk' sound at they hit one another.

End of the line - Waimoku Falls, a spring-fed waterfall slicing 400 feet down a sheer wall of lava. Randall was wet with perspiration owing to the humidity.

Monique posing in front of the oceanic view at 'Ohe'o Gulch, aka Seven Sacred Pools.

We returned to Hana in the afternoon and visited Red Sand Beach (aka Kaihalulu), a short but treacherous 5-min hike near the town of Hana.

The red rock is made up of crumbling cinders from the Ka-uiki Hill. Cinders are formed through the cooling and solidification of lava. The burgundy colour is from iron in the lava. A strip of jagged lava forms a semi-pool at the head of the beach suitable for swimming.

As the sun began to set we made our way to Wai'anapanapa State Park to admire the black sand beach named Pa'iloa. The sand was more like little black pebbles so it wasn't the easiest beach to traverse or lay out on.

We watched the sunset as Monique relaxed while Randall practiced his karate kid pose.

We visited Kahanu Garden, part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden, a spacious location with emphasis on native and Polynesian-introduced plants. This was a nice change as Hawaii does not have many endemic plants.

The most extraordinary feature is Pi'ilanihale Heiau, the massive temple which was built in the 1200s but only discovered and restored in the 1990s. You can see the three acre temple in the photo above, the black mass in the centre.

Our accommodation is somewhere up the mountain, just before the cloud-line.

Beware of falling coconuts - 'nuff said.

Venus Pools - the most magical part of our trip. We visited early morning and had it all to ourselves. The freshwater pool is spring-fed with a stream on one side and the open ocean on the other. Simply breathtaking.

On our way back from Venus Pool we took a moment to purchase fresh fruit from a makeshift stall erected next to a disused Portuguese bread oven in the middle of a cattle ranch field.

Upper Waikani Fall (aka the Three Bears) was a highglight on the Road to Hana.

The photogenic triple waterfall and plunge pool looks small from a distance but up close it's very dramatic. It's also one of the quieter waterfalls as the hike down is a little precarious. We enjoyed ourselves in the exceptionally clear water.

Last stop on the eastern side of the island.

After four days in Hana we packed our bags and made our 2.5hr journey to Ka'anapali on the western side of the island. We stayed at Honua Kai Resort & Spa on Ka'anapali Beach. We barely spent time at the hotel as we were busy exploring the island for duration of our stay.

Monique and her matching cocktail at Longhi's in Lahaina. A fine Italian-American restaurant which we frequented twice.

Longhi's made a mean New York style Reuben with house-braised corned beef and swirled pumpernickel rye bread baking in house. Paired with a Mai Tai - five stars.

Early one morning we set our on an adventurous day to explore the rugged northern peninsula of Maui.

First stop, the Acid War Zone. As the name aptly describes, it is a barren landscape where boulders have been severely sculpted and dramatically eroded by countless years of salt water spray.

Thirty minutes into the hike we came to Nakalele Blowhole (seen above), which can shoot a jet of water 50+ feet into the air, but it wasn't blowing much the day we visited.

The wind was fierce throughout the hike and the surroundings were surreal, unlike anything we've ever experienced.

Can you spot Randall perusing the savage seas and admiring Mushroom Rock in the distance?

One of the locals conveniently left their deckchair on the edge of a cliff overlooking the wild and gorgeous shoreline. The wind spray has carved up the landscape with unequaled artisty.

Monique visits Mushroom Rock, one of the best places to observe the beautiful ferocity of the ocean which is 175 feet below her.

Olivine Pools was another highlight of our trip - a natural lava swimming pool surrounded by the pounding ocean on three sides. As the tide rose, splashes from the ocean trickled into the pools and created small waterfalls. We spent an hour lounging in the shallow tide-pools, careful not to cut oursevles on the lava (water shoes are recommended) and admiring the natural surroundings.

Maui had an abundance of Banana bread on offer, each store heralding theirs as the best. Nothing could beat Julia's Banana Bread - it was hands down the best on the island, just outside Kahakuloa Village.