Honeymoon Day One

Yesterday was mainly a travel day- we took BART to the airport, which was pretty cool.

Once in Maui, we rented a car and looked around Lahaina a little bit- we went to see the big banyan tree, which I vaguely remembered seeing something around fifteen years ago. I remembered it was large, and in a downtown area somewhere, and I wanted to see it before we left… by dumb luck we stumbled onto it. It is the second largest in the world (the largest being in India) and is 131 years old.

At the resort we had a demonstration on husking and preparing a coconut, and a hula lesson. Then we did the Road to Hana.

Coconut preparation:

  1. A metal spike is placed in the ground- the coconut is impaled onto it, and rotated.
    The spike holds the rind in place and allows the husker to peel the inner “nut” away from it
  2. The bare coconut is examined and a cracking point chosen- this will be along one of the more “flat” sides of the nut, in line with the space between two of the three eyes. This space is a sort of “pressure point” of the nut.
  3. The back end of a machete is smacked against this flat, perpendicular to the coconut’s axis. This is a chopping motion, but the aim is not to cut through the nut, only to crack it.
  4. The nut is now in two pieces and the meat is ready to be pulled off the shell, using the back end of a butter knife or table knife.
  5. The knife is driven towards the outside of the nut from the center, embedding as little of the knife in the meat as possible. The back of the knife is used, for its rounded edge. The motion of the knife will follow a thin sliver along the edge of the meat, as close to the edge of the shell as possible.

After this, we got a brief hula lesson by our incredibly flaky hula instructor. The power was off in the gazebo so her stereo didn’t work, and she had somehow forgotten all her musical paraphernalia as well… so we did a “sing through” of the song we were doing (Huki Lau) while we learned the motions.

The hula instructor was very entertaining in her freakishness… she had a lot of mannerisms that would have made sense on a very young girl, but on her (40+) were just odd.

Example- every time she said “our song” she would make a giggling expression and actually say “ha ha” while holding her palm in front of her mouth, making a small joke since we had no actual music.

Went on a hike this morning- we drove the Road to Hana. I remembered it a little from when I was here with my parents, more than 15 years ago… I think we had to turn around back then, about a third of the way through. The road is VERY twisty and interminably long. We listened to a audio guide to figure out what the various stops were.

On the way we got some really good avocado sandwiches. The avocados were spherical! Bizarre.

One of our stops had a trail through a bamboo forest- bamboo when growing by itself will become impenetrable. However, bamboo growing amongst eucalyptus is more sparse. I think it has something to do with the leaves on the ground.

One of the tourists we saw had on what appeared to be a bootleg Rogaine™ baseball cap on- navy background, circular logo, with the word Regaine on it. Regaine. I guess that would make more sense than the word Rogaine wouldn’t it? Maybe that is what it is called in Europe? Then again why would you advertise that you are taking Rogaine?

The Road to Hana is very long. We made it though. Looking at the map, I saw the road around the rest of the island had some very bad roads on it, but was shorter overall, and connected to a major freeway sooner… also I didn’t want to drive the same twisty roads back to the airport. We asked a fireman in Hana and he told us our convertible would make it.

Well we made it but damn- dirt roads lasted a very long distance, and the “freeway” (route 37) was another small road. So it took us a bit longer than driving back.