In the park at the center of the port of Lahaina on Maui, there sits the worlds second oldest Banyan Tree. At the edges of the park, large trunks intertwine and pull you in. At first it looks like just one of many tree trunks sitting at various quadrants of the park. Then looking up into the mapping of the branches, your eye is drawn to the large set of trunks at the center of the park. This is the original tree where all of these other trunks originate from.
One day when we were on Kauai, we got up earlier than the rest of the group and ended up off on our own. We left the ship and asked the first car rental place if they had any available vehicles. And they did! She only had a red pick up truck, but told us that was actually going to work out in our favor. The folks at Enterprise told us where to drive to get to a fantastic view of Opaekaa Falls on the way to hitting the park where the Jurrasic Park movies were filmed.
There’s actually some pretty fun four wheeling going on back in that park. Once you get far into the woods where the jungle canopy covers the sun and all you can see are small shards of blue sky throughout the huge vines and leaves. It’s like another place or another time. I look ahead of us on the road and all I see it rushing water with cars parked on the other side. “Looks like you have to drive through it,” I said to Jake and away we went.
I’ve never been around so many strange looking plants. Trees with flowers from top to bottom, orange, fushia, red and yellow. Tree trunks that skins follow the colors of the rainbow under strange looking wounded brownish colored bark.
Strange how once in a while when you’re traveling, it’s hard to find exactly what you’re looking for. You only have a couple hours to look around each time you’re in port and it can be very hurried. So I guess in the end it makes sense that we wouldn’t really get into snorkeling until our very last cruise.
On our last day on the Big Island in Hilo, we met up with our favorite taxi driver, _. He’s the guy who told us to eat at Ocean Sushi and once owned a morgue in Manhattan. That day, he picked us up at the Farmers Market and dropped us off at Richardson Beach. He also helped us out with a set of snorkel gear to boot.
Hawaii is amazing and it’s beaches are breathtaking for sure. I’ve never been to a beach where the sand was so black as at Richardsons. You know, burned lavarock type dirt. When I walked into the ocean and felt the small pebbles of sea churned lava seep into my shoes, I had no idea what was in store underneath the water and tread lightly. We traded the mask on and off, Matt then Jake. Just when they handed the mask over to me, our friend Denise yelled, “Come over here. There’s a huge sea turtle.” Off I paddled face down trying not to squeal like a little kid. Sure enough just down a few feet below me, there it swam… or sorta floated. A big orb of a shell with scupper like feet cruising around. It wasn’t working super hard at staying afloat. The sea turtle just munched on the coral. All our shipmates were swimming, surrounding it, but he paid us no mind and just carried on.