Friday 22 March 2013

The Jagged Claws of La Perouse

The youngest and rawest shoreline of Maui is located at the jagged claws of La Perouse Bay. This is an area where the most recent lava flow of the island can be found...

This was also the half way point of our extensive journey along the entire southwest coast of the island. We started with a 2.5 hour bus ride from Lahaina to Wailea, then continued about 4 miles south on our bikes. Once the road ends, pasts the resorts, pasts all the beaches and food trucks, there is nothing but foot paths through the most rugged terrain I have ever seen. We were in awe by the fields and fields of lumpy looking soiled crop land, which instead was an infertile countryside of lava rock. If you're looking for small secluded beaches, you're in luck! There are pockets and pockets of small deserted beaches you can enjoy all day by yourself.  Or, you can snorkel the striking raw bay of La Perouse, hike miles of trails that take you through the lava fields and past white coral coves, black sand shores, natural infinity pools and very rugged coastline. We chose all of the above!

After a long hot bike ride, we wanted nothing more than to dive in the water and snorkel new territory. Unfortunately, the water here was very murky so we only stayed in for about 20 minutes. Of course, we later find out, that you're supposed to swim out to the fourth cove down for some of the best fish life on the island. Total bummer, but we'll definitely be back!

After our short dip, we traveled through the footpaths of the immature land of lava. There are areas of forest where you can soak in the shade of the trees, but make sure to lookout for goats and spirits! Yes, you read that correctly... They wander freely through these parts, thankfully we didn't run into a single one. These trails are home to night marchers once the sun goes down. Spirits that got trapped on earth during ancient times are said to cause mischief here, even the locals avoid some areas at night! There are also several structures that stand as the remains of a Hawaiian heiau, religious site, and piles of rocks with crosses that attest to the hardy souls of the lives lost in battle.

Once you leave the woods at your back, there is no shade and the sun becomes remorseless. 2 miles takes you to the top of the light beacon, which is where we stopped and had to turn around to make sure we caught our bus back to Lahaina, but you can continue for another 3 miles where the path ends at Keawanaku Beach, which we were able to see from a distance. From here, you can actually look up at the highest point of the island, the massive mountain of Haleakala, and see where the last eruption took place on Maui. A trail of lava made its way down the mountain, cooling and solidifying into the ocean. It's a pretty crazy image to see and reflect back on.

There is so much to stop at and wander through along the way here! Imagine a rough path along the shoreline of an island that goes through black and red lava and takes you down to a point where you can behold a cobalt blue ocean, bleached white coral littered beaches, and natural green pools filled with fish... That's where we stood. There are tons and tons of these brackish anchialine pools, which are basically small landlocked bodies of water or coastal aquifers, that are created from spring water seeping into these lava depressions. The water level fluctuates depending on the tide and the location of them in connection with the ocean. But boy are they a beauty! They look so inviting, Greg and I decide to take off our shoes to cool off, but as soon as we were about to step in, a huge forbidding wave came crashing over the coastline. So, we decide to take pleasure in the pools from a distance. Either way this area is quite a gem set amid the unforgiving land of lava.

I know it's been a while since my last blog post, but I can't wait to share with you what I've been up to! Please stay tuned... friends from the mainland visited and we traveled to the "other side," and went on one of the most unforgettable journeys of a lifetime! It was such a tremendous trek, it's gonna take two blog posts to reveal it all!!!

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