52 States in 8 Months

Aloha Maui! — Our first impressions.

Posted in Hawaii by Ulf on December 18, 2008

2008-11-24_11-36-08-hawaii-0061So, as you know, we arrived on Maui on 11/24/08. The first thing to do was to get our four wheels, so Andi and I went to National Car Rental at Kahului Airport.

As we tried to put our bags into the full size car we originally booked, we had to realize that it simply was to small. It was about the size of my Audi 80. Not enough for five of us. So we invested $100 (+ taxes) into an upgrade. That was the best choice of the day, we got our four door Jeep! Imagine the face of Ania when we arrived at the harbor where they waited for us :-).

When we looked at our watches, we realized that it was already noon, so we needed to find something to eat. Ania and Andi thankfully brought a “Lonely Planet” tour guide which told us about a great, secret place in Wailuku. So that is where we went :-). Matthias M. (Hey, the first picture where he wears his neck belt!) still felt a bit sick from the ferry ride and his medicine, and my driving surely did not improve things. So we parked the car and looked afoot for that “secret place” which was supposed to satisfy us with a meal.

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Wailuku turned out to be a small town, but very American. Telephone lines and power lines hanging around everywhere. Many old cars on the road (we even saw an original VW Beetle!), and some off-road cars with much ground clearance and quivering high profile off-road tires. There were many small shops and little enterprises which, at least from the outside, looked more like residential houses. And all this in the Hawaiian atmosphere of green plants, warm weather and a high humidity. It was so charming :-).

We finally found our little Asian restaurant. From the outside it was just a white building. No advertisement or sign whatsoever, just a few more parking slots than one needs for a normal family (I think one could park about six to seven cars in front of the building while most American houses just offer space for about four cars). While standing in front of it, we would not have believed that this is an restaurant. Never in a million years! But we were lucky enough to cast a glance inside. And we immediately got even more hungry.

We did not really need a menu. This is an everyday restaurant for Hawaiian workers, still the waitress knew very well how to serve tourists. She recommended what to eat, and we agreed. It was a perfect choice :-). And it must be a very common meal as she only needed about 3 minutes to serve it:

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(I seem to like this food even more than being photographed, so that’s probably why I didn’t look into the camera.)

After our meal, Andi an I tried to get a camping permit which is required for camping on certain sites on Maui. So we went to the local city hall … took a photo and went back.

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Later it turned out that it was a great choice not to return to this counter. We only spent one single night in a place where we were not allowed to stay without such a permit  (that was right the first night, you’ll read about this tomorrow). But in the end of the trip, our not having a permit forced us to go to a really nice place in the Haleakala National Park, and I would probably not have stolen some sand from Maui if we had such an permit. But this is another story which you will read about later on in this blog. Aloha!

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  1. […] results from her cooking. We did not have a permit for camping in State Parks as the municipal counter was closed when we tried to get it. Therefore we only visited the Black Sand Beach which is just […]


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