We took an early flight to the island of Maui. The airport at Lihue on Kauai is a lovely place, as airports go. It has a retro feel to it. No plasma screens here, just plain old TV sets straight out of the 70’s. There’s a lot of dark wood within the main building and just a few shops and cafe’s. We had a coffee in Starbucks listening to nice old blues music while we waited for our flight. It was all very efficient but laid back at the same time.
Flight time to Maui was 50 minutes and we had a great view of the Hawaiian Islands from above. Just time for a quick drink on board before we were descending into Maui.
The first thing we noticed as we were landing on Maui was just how different it was to Kauai. No lush, green rain forest here, at least not on the south side of the island, but a scorched, brown landscape with smooth-topped mountains in contrast to Kauai’s jagged and bulbous peaks. We were down and out of the airport in double-quick time and heading straight up the west coast to Lahaina and straight into a traffic jam – someone had totalled their car on the winding coastal road, probably while admiring the incredible views of the Pacific and the island of Moloka’i, which we had flown over on the way in. It took six police cars and a pickup truck to clear the road before we continued, carefully, up the coast.
We love Lahaina! It reminds us of New Orleans, with its colourful timber buildings and balconies. It’s got a great, laid back vibe there with bars and restaurants right on the sparkling silver-blue water.
You could walk up and down the main street all day, dipping into the shops, bars and extremely upmarket art galleries.
We went into a very high class gallery where they displayed the artwork of Anthony Hopkins and Anthony Quinn – I hadn’t even realised, to my shame, that they were artists. And what amazing artists they are: such inspiring works but at a very great cost – we’re talking tens of thousands of dollars. The way we were dressed, it was clear that we could hardly afford a milkshake, never mind art like that. But the guy in charge spent at least half an hour talking us through all the art work and passing on his knowledge to us. We promised him that, if we ever win the lottery, we will be right back.
There’s a park in the centre of Lahaina with enormous Banyan trees, all intertwining themselves and creating a fantasy-like experience under the canopy. People just stop and stare, some sleep beneath the vines and one guy played music on his guitar and sang as people looked on.
We ate in a restaurant called Cheeseburger in Paradise. I had the most amazing, yes you’ve guessed it, cheeseburger with crispy bacon, sauteed mushrooms and caramelised onions. All this and literally a few feet from the sea. Open windows lined the full length of the restaurant, allowing in a gentle breeze and the smell of the sea. We just smiled and could not stop smiling the whole time we were there.
If this is not perfection, I don’t know what is.