‘Alau Island Race ~ Hana, Maui

I have so much to share with you, I just don’t know where to start!

How about we start by talking about the most beautiful place on earth? Rightfully considered and often referred to as the Garden of Eden on the Valley Isle, I’d actually prefer to keep this all a secret–but I won’t.. 
All I will say though, is if you ever find yourself here on Maui, you must make time to travel to Hana. And while a day trip is better than no trip at all–my advice is to stay a night or two. You can be a guest at the very beautiful Hotel Hana-Maui, or research house rentals, bed and breakfasts, or good ‘ol fashioned camping!
I’ll share more about the Hana history in another post, but right now I want to share my paddling camping trip, which was the weekend before last, and was nothing less than epic! 
We woke before the sun on Friday morning, loaded last minute items into the truck, and met our crew in town. We coordinated the caravan, double and triple checked the boats, determined a kid head-count,  got coffee, bagged ice, and other last minute must-haves, and headed out with an anticipated potty break just before Keanae. 
Let it be known, I prefer to wake up slowly from behind a grande pair of sunglasses and a grande cup of coffee, especially if around others–and if there must be noise other than nature–I’ll only accept music. No talking is strictly enforced until my first–sometimes second–cup of coffee is completely consumed. With that understanding, we had the windows down, music up, and ventured our beautiful islands coastline from Lahaina to the North Shore, and eventually East side, to the very beautiful Hana, Maui.

View from the Road [to Hana]

One of the many Waterfalls you pass by…
Luscious Taro Patches in Keanae
View of the curvy roads from Keanae
On our way to the Campsite
Made a friend along the way…
Our Set-up for the next three days..
Panorama of our epic set-up

We camped on private property, which was right on the ocean.. as you can see. Absolutely beautiful! As soon as we finished setting up we immediately packed a mini-cooler and walked to the beach… I popped open one of these, took in the scenery around me, and literally enjoyed every sip of ice-cold Tahitian beer…

The only beer jenjen likes..

After a couple Hinano’s, I jumped in the ocean to cool off and play in the surf. The water was literally crystal clear, perfectly brisk, and the trade-winds complimented the intensity of the tropical Hawaiian sun..

When I got out of the water I was exhausted.. all I wanted to do was enjoy my Hinano’s, take in the beauty around me, including the imminent sunset, and zone out..

..And that’s exactly what I did, friends.

It was great.

Perfect first day in Hana:)


The next day began at the break of dawn, at Hana Bay where the Races were being held all weekend. The day before everyone unloaded and rigged boats, and today we were ready to race.

Boats being unloaded, rigged, & prepared for races..
Just before Opening Ceremony – Everyone (hundreds of people) form a large circle on the beach, holding hands, then a Hawaiian prayer is chanted & paddlers are wished the very best… 
One of my views from where I was perched most of the day:)

After the races a group of us decided to go to Blue Pool and relax. No one was there except for us–we were in our own private haven.. What’s a better word for perfect?

Just us!
The water is deep enough to jump off the cliff into the pond, you just have to scale the waterfall to do it.. It’s pretty fun, I don’t think it’s more than a 20′-25′ drop.


All of our Open Crews did very well in the long-distance races around ‘Alau Island, so we partied pretty good that night.. and in true Hana Style, woke up at the break of dawn yet again for another race..

Breakfast of Champions..
Gorgeous spot to wake up to & enjoy breakfast..
The iPhone camera doesn’t do these views justice!
Lava rocks scattered all around
Lounging on the shore, taking in the beauty all around me..
Truly a great way to start our last day here in Hana!
After Sunday’s races (which also went very well) we decided we just weren’t ready for the fun to stop, so we continued our adventure and hiked the Pipiwai Trail above Seven Sacred Pools..

Fun Fact: I hike in rubber slippers (a.k.a. Locals)
Over a 650′ incline to the top | 4 miles roundtrip
Top of Makahiku Falls – Juuump!*
Ohh yeah! Here’s where the fun begins!

Massive tree! Doesn’t it remind you of something out of the book: Bridge to Terabithia!?
This photo makes the waterfall look small, but it was HUGE!

Here’s the pool that waterfall led to — Jump in!**

That was a great spot to kick back, have lunch, jump in and swim around. To the right were more waterfalls and pools to swim around in. When you jump in, you have to scale the waterfalls to get back up. EPIC.

Continuing our journey up to the top where Waimoku Falls is you must cross a couple bridges, and venture through a thick Bamboo Forest..

Bridge to Bamboo Forest
Getting deeper into the Bamboo Forest..
The path makes for a quicker/safer trip but can get slippery!

After about 2 miles of lush bamboo encompassing you..

Surrounded by thick Bamboo EVERYWHERE!

..The vegetation opens up a bit, and the path continues until you reach a creek…

Let’s go guys!
Almost there!

You have to cross two creeks, and then you eventually see this..

Waimoku Falls!

It is totally worth the hike, and the view is breathtaking (don’t forget to look UP). All of these photos were captured from my iPhone 4, and yes they could have only been better had they been shot from the Canon 5D Mark II –one day! One day I will get that camera! I’m obsessed with that video by the way..

Until then, enjoy some photos captured from my faithful iPhone..

On the way home I captured some of these shots of the West side..

Maui No Ka Oi!! (Maui is the Best)!!

While in Hana I was surprised by how often I had phone service. Before, you were lucky to get one bar, let alone full service and 3G! Those pay phones came in handy–but only if you knew phone numbers by heart. I used to be good at that. Not anymore..

Anyway, I received a VERY special phone call one of those afternoons in Hana, so thank goodness for those satellites! One of my sister-friends called to let me know she had just found out she was pregnant! We chatted for awhile, and talked about the future, and I was literally in awe! I’m looking forward to her being back on Maui–I’m such a lucky Auntie, having so many awesome people (and little people) in my life!

* I was joking. Don’t jump. You’d die, probably.
** This one, you could actually jump, but only at your own risk.

Clearly this should have been a multiple post, my apologies for the novel–but I hope you enjoyed my Hana Regatta Adventure!

Stay tuned for more Hana adventures from when the bf and I went last week:)

How was your holiday weekend? What did you do?

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