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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Zip zip

This morning, we actually did sleep in! Well, at least we slept in later than we have the entire time we were here... I think it was almost 8:00 a.m. Woohoo for adjusting a little bit!

We had the zipline tour scheduled for noon, so with the few hours we had in the morning, we decided to go back up into the West Maui mountains to do a little bit more sightseeing. There are such beautiful views up there, so we stopped in a few places to take pictures.

On our way back toward the condo, we stopped at Honolua Bay, a wild life preserve where we heard there is excellent snorkeling. We had to park the car along the side of the road (no real parking), and then we walked down a path toward the beach.

The beautiful walk down to the beach!
Once down to the beach and in the water, we were impressed with how clear it was. The visibility was much better than the other places we have snorkeled so far. Probably for two reasons: 1) It was in a bay, so the waves were not big at all (calm water conditions), and 2) it was still pretty early in the day.

Our attempt at an underwater self portrait

A few colorful fish. These ones are called Raccoon Butterfly fish.

A very scary looking urchin. There were plenty of them hanging out on the bottom. We stayed far away.

The most awesome part of this snorkel trip. A school of fish... probably a thousand fish (no joke). I couldn't keep my eyes off of them. It was completely fascinating. I got a cool video, too, but unfortunately, it doesn't play back well when optimized for the web. You can't even tell what you're looking at.

I'm pretty sure this is a Bluestriped Snapper. It was really cool looking. Flourescent.

This is an overlook view of Honolua Bay, where we snorkeled.

Unfortunately, we didn't have much time to snorkel at the bay before we had to head back to the condo to get ready to go ziplining. Our check-in time was at 11:45 a.m. at the Skyline Eco Adventure headquarters/shop in Ka'anapali.

We changed into shorts and t-shirts, charged our camera battery, and then went to the shop. Once there, we had to sign our lives away (again--you have to sign them away for pretty much every excursion), and get weighed (I guess they want to make sure you're not lying). They gave us all Nalgene water bottles and loaded us into a van to make the trek up the mountain.

The first five minutes or so of the ride was on normal roads, but then we went off roading... we had to endure quite a bumpy ride. Our first stop was at a little building they have set up. Here, we met our guides and got all of our equipment. When we walked up the steps onto the deck, I noticed the cutest black lab lying in the corner, sleeping. He made me miss my puppy. :( Of course I had to go over and visit with him for a few minutes. Too cute, he barely even opened his eyes.

We met our guides--Troy and Sean. These guys were funny from the very first minute. Cracking jokes, being sarcastic, making up far-fetched stories... they certainly kept us on our toes and entertained.

All geared up and ready to go!
Michael in his gear

We were then loaded into a different van with our guides. We actually had to keep our helmets on in the van (more off roading). You know why? Some geniuses that were riding up several months back ended up knocking their heads together. I guess a week later, they decided they might be able to cash in on that little mishap, and actually visited a hospital and found a doctor to attest to their injuries. They are currently trying to sue Skyline Eco Adventures. So now, helmets are required just to ride in the van, thanks to those idiots. Gotta love it.

After a few more minutes of rough riding, we unloaded and walked a short distance to the first zip. We had about 12 people total in our group (plus the two guides)... and I was actually the first to go! I happened to be standing closest to the line and was ready with my gear. I was surprised that I was not more apprehensive about it. But I was excited... I leapt right off the platform and was on my way! It's quite a thrill... you get going pretty fast and it's cool to look and see everything around you--side to side, below.

Before the first zip

Here is a video of me on one of the ziplines:

After four ziplines, we took a break for lunch. We walked to a little shelter they have built on a cliff overlooking the mountains and the town of Ka'anapali below. It was beautiful.

Lunch was good, too. Deli sandwiches, pasta salad, tortilla chips with bean dip, and chocolate chip cookies. We were hungry so it really hit the spot.

The view from up on the mountain, where we were ziplining. This is actually the view from where we stopped for lunch.

After lunch, on the walk toward our 5th zipline

At points during the tour, they were telling us different things about the environment up there--the land, the animals, the history, etc. They told us about how the mountain is home to many wild boars, and actually told us what to do if we were to encounter one (with a few jokes in there for good measure, of course).

When we were walking back to the course from lunch, Troy disappeared but no one really noticed he was missing. The next thing I know, there's commotion from the bushes and this guy walking behind us is mildly freaking out. Turned out that Troy had appeared in the bushes with a "boar" mask on. Hilarious.

Here's Troy as an angry wild boar

After lunch, more ziplines. With each one, it seemed to get longer and scarier (well, if you're scared of that sort of thing--which, for whatever reason, I wasn't). I couldn't wait to get on each one. I was actually taking flying leaps off of the platforms to gain more speed!

My husband, waiting for one of the ziplines

We had SO much fun. Out of all the things we have done so far, this is the thing that I would go back and do in a heartbeat. Hell, I'd go back and do it again tomorrow. We'll be talking about this for years. It was a total of eight ziplines, and the tour itself (with the van rides and lunch included), was probably right around four hours.

Once done, they took us back down to the building to get out of our harnesses and helmets, then we bid farewell to Troy and Sean and headed back down to Ka'anapali. We actually bought t-shirts (had to have something to commemorate the experience!) and Michael got a pint glass (he collects them).

We were really happy with the whole thing... the company was extremely professional and our guides really made the tour for us. If we had boring people, it wouldn't have been as much fun. We were the only honeymooners in our group. We were accompanied by three families. Everyone got to know each other a little bit, got to talking and laughing, etc. A very fun time, indeed.

Once done, we drove back to our condo to shower and get ready to go out to dinner. I think I was the dirtiest I have been in a really long time. COVERED in red dirt. Good thing I wore dark clothing (which Skyline Eco Adventures highly recommends).

Our dirty hiking boots. Essentially ruined (they will never be the same color again!). But that's what they're for, right? :)

Tonight is our last night in Maui, so we got dressed and went down for one last dinner in Lahaina. We went to Moose McGillycuddy's. They had awesome happy hour specials (all cocktails and beer--$3 each!), and the food was really good.

Now, we are just preparing to leave tomorrow. We are island hopping over to Kauai tomorrow afternoon. We're doing all the laundry we can since we have a washer/dryer in our condo. In Kauai, I think we have access to laundry, but it's a shared facility on each floor (definitely not as convenient!).

Our inter-island flight is at 1:10 p.m. We're trying to decide what we have time to do tomorrow before we leave here. It'll depend on what time we get up.

We're disappointed to be leaving Maui... there is so much to do here, we definitely could have filled many more days with fun activities, and could have eaten many more meals at all of the wonderful restaurants. But we're also excited to go and see all that Kauai has to offer.

I guess we'll find out tomorrow!

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hoooray! You guys ate at Moose McGillycuddys. So yummy.