Thursday, February 21, 2008
Miles Away from Ordinary
Just when we thought we had a "desi-free" trip; as in we found a no-Desi-to-be-seen tourist destination ... on the last day, we encountered one right at the top of the Diamond head crater in Honolulu, Hawai'i. This guy was a Marathi speaking guy (of all the people) from Nanded, Maharashtra (of all the places).
He was sitting on a chair on the top of the 760 feet altitude trail and distributing certificates for whoever completes the rigor of climbing that steep ordeal. He was speaking with his wife on his cell in Marathi. We thought he was a Mexican, but he turned out our very own Marathi Manus. May be he entered this country on his looks :)
Tom Friedman's world is flat after all. And Mr. Raj Thackrey ji - we do have Marathi Manus traveling a distance !
Anyways, Honolulu was just our last day stop of Hawaii. Maui was the real deal. The real stuff.
It was the glamorous Maui island that had the lion's share of our time. And thank goodness it was. For Maui is everything a dream vacation can be.
Our resort was out of the ordinary. A lush green landscape over the hills with tiny condos spread across acres of land overseeing the awesome Maui shores.
If the view from your room is like this, you don't mind spending through the nose, do you?
The management of the Resort was totally Japanese run. And thats when we realized how Hawaiian history is so closely related to Japan. Its not only about Pearl Harbour. There's more to Japan-Hawaii relation.
By the way, Tokyo is just 6 hours flight from Honolulu. It took us almost double the time to reach Hawaii from within the country, than it took for those Japanese tourists who had flocked the islands in hordes. No wonder everything in Hawaii has a Japanese translation. Like name of roads, menu list etc.
Our almost 4 days stay in Maui was spread in hitting the beaches and trying to see some "patel points". Although we did not go out of the way to "see everything". We took it light. It was not important. What was important was we relax. And we did just that most of the time.
In that sense Hawaii helped us make that paradigm shift in our vacation mentality. We did not go to "SEE" Hawaii. We went to enjoy Hawaii. So a simple sip of Mai Tai
over the sunset, was sometimes preferred over taking our car and driving all the way to Haleakala Crater.
But we did drive. We drove the entire Hana road drive, arguably the most picturesque drive i have ever taken. It was heavenly.
We missed not seeing the Hula dances, though. Sadly the slot was filled before we could book. We made up for it by hitting the beach again :). Everything was being done at Hawaiian time. A slow paced , non-deadline intensive agreement we had with ourselves.
Maui is probably the Golf capital of the world. Hundreds of Golf courses decorate the Maui shores. If for nothing else, i plan to take on Golf in coming years to have a chance to visit Maui again.
Maui also has some black sand beaches. This is not unique to Maui though and its pretty common in Hawaiian islands in general.
Amongst other things, we will associate Maui with following Hindi songs; we recorded these on a CD before going there. While driving through winding roads of Maui, we heard them again and again...
1. In Dino .... ( Metro..)
2. Taare Zameen Par... (Taare Zameen Par)
3. Apni Kismat ka tuhi guide .. (Hatrick)
4. Yeh Honsla... (Dor)
5. Deewangi Deewangi ... (OSO)
One thing you should definitely consider for Car rental in Hawaii - TAKE a GPS navigation. It will come handy. Thankfully our Budget car rental had a good one, the Garmin GPS that guided us through those very very complicated Hawaiian names. Like how do you remember the Kalakeaus and Kapuhuluas and Holikoas?
And finally some pics -
Sunset as seen from our Resort in Maui
Byodo-In, Japanese Temple, Honolulu
Wai'anapanapa, Black Sand Beach, Hana Highway, Maui
Ioa Needle Point, Maui
Another view from our Resort in Maui