Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Kahului, Maui

The seas were rough, and Rikki was still a bit worn down, but we still got up early to get our rental car. Once again people were debarking before they even announced it so we tagged along. Another wait for the Alamo shuttle (once again we saw 5 or 6 other rental company shuttles come and pick people up while we waited). After the shuttle to the airport we upgraded for $15 from an economy car to a Sebring Convertible. The car was filthy and had only about 3/4's a tank of gas. It was definitely the bottom of the barrel for their convertibles and not something they would give to their more respectable clients. We didn't complain. We went straight to a beach park that was a few minutes away from the airport and very secluded. We had a half mile of beach to ourselves so we enjoyed the solitude (besides the crashing waves which were still a good 4-8 ft.) We also hunted for a geocache (that was how I found out about the quiet beach) but we did not find it. Next we drove around the north east side of the island toward Hana. But, Rikki soon got sick of my driving on the insanely windy (at times one lane, 15-25 mph) road that would continue for over 2 hours. We stopped for another geocache at the twin falls. A good hike and some impressive falls. We called it quits early and headed back to the ship to get some sleep since we had to be up at 3 a.m. for an excursion.

Day 2 Kahului
It is nice to spend more than one day at a port. On our second day we planned a bike down Haleakala, but they cancelled the day prior since we were the only ones that reserved and they needed a minimum of six. They were good in setting us up with another company that was doing the same trip, Cruiser Phil's. They guaranteed the same rate and sounded decent so we chanced the last minute change. We were up and ready on time. Our van pulled up a few minutes late along with the other 4 vans (different companies) that were waiting. We hopped in and were driven to their headquarters for muffins and coffee then started the 2 hour drive to the top. Rikki did surprisingly well since the road was almost as bad as the road to Hana. Our guide was great, a good sense of humor. We were both bundled up, jeans, shirt, sweater, jacket, and we were given another leather jacket, Columbia windbreaker top/bottom (to help us "break wind, except when in the van"), and even some gloves to handle the cold at 10,000 ft. Even with all that the wind still bit pretty hard. We were popsiclish after the 45 minute wait, but the sunrise was worth it. After a quick stop at the restrooms for our "own personal eruptions" (our tour guide was full of volcano jokes) we mounted the specialized 50 lb one gear (a very slow gear) disc brake bicycles (with full helmets). They had us do a few laps around the parking lot, anyone who ran into parked vehicles would be put back in the van. Rikki wasn't too sure of herself but she did fine. Then we started the decent, 10,000 ft down to the ocean. The views were amazing and the winding road was fun to bike. The weight challenged individuals had a hard time keeping up with those of us naturally gifted in that area. Rikki would duck and tuck trying to coast to keep up with the pack while I sat fully upright and rode the brakes to keep from running into her. She was pretty good at streamlining herself near the end and I could match her speed by making myself as un-aerodynamic as possible. We finished the bike ride hours later at a small town by the ocean, Paia and had breakfast at a small cafe. Then we returned to the ship and slept!

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