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nomad adventures "bike, paddle and adventure - that´s what life is all about!" emma & scott

Back home from Hawaii

USA | Sunday, 2 November 2008 | Views [625]

Hey all !

We’re back from our honeymoon and wanted to share a few stories and pictures. Thanks again to all of you who traveled to Åre to be with us during that weekend. It was so cool to have all of our friends from different parts of life assembled together in one place! We are also grateful to everybody’s generosity and kindness in sharing such great presents with us. 

 Lanai

·        Thanks to Scott´s sister and her husband, we cashed in a great wedding present: two nights at a super luxury hotel on Lanai. Couldn’t think of a better way to spend the first couple of days –  after 65 hours of travel – than to sit by the pool and drink a few cocktails J

·        However, we did get off our butts to do some snorkeling and a little hiking. Even better, we were out when a pod of dolphins came into the bay. We spent 30 minutes swimming around among 40 curious dolphins and their babies – it was so cool! They were not scared, and we could hear them talking to each other. Unfortunately we didn’t have our camera for this!

Maui

·        Maui is famous for a lot of things, but Haleakala National Park is one of its gems: an inactive volcano with a huge crater that you can hike through. We had arranged for a 3 day volunteer trip in the crater where we helped pull out invasive weeds, and got to stay in one of the really cool cabins in the crater (at 8,000 feet, it was a bit cold). The sunsets from inside the crater were incredible and the Haleakala silversword plant must be one of the most beautiful and unique plants we have ever seen. It grows slowly for 15-30 years, blooms once, and then dies. 

·        We rented two surfboards (which were each twice as long as Emma!) and gave it a shot. We watched a local surfer and tried to imitate her. Our results were not as impressive, but it was fun trying J

·        A few mornings we joined a local paddling club for an early morning training session in an outrigger canoe. The outrigger is a special canoe designed to remain stable and fast in the open ocean, where huge swells would swamp a normal kayak. We got to paddle a traditional 6-person canoe on a calm morning, where we raced alongside curious sea turtles in the turquoise water.

·        No Hawaii trip is complete without a Lu´au, best described as a Hawaiian smörgåsbord with hula dancing. A large pig was cooked underground and was part of an all-you-can-eat-and-drink feast that must have been an economic loss for the restaurant, thanks to our appetites. :-)

Molokai

·        Molokai is known as the friendly and quiet isle. It has only 8000 people and very few tourists. We rented some mountain bikes from the local bike shop (where the owner also offered his F150 pick-up truck so we could explore the island). We camped for free several nights on a 2 mile long sandy beach without seeing more than a handful of people. We biked up the island’s high point and took in some amazing views.

·        We also hiked through the rainforest and gorged ourselves on coconuts and passion fruit (all over the trail!), before having lunch at a picture perfect waterfall.

·        Rented a cabin at an organic farm for a few nights, were we cooked some amazing meals with veggies, fruits and meat that we bought fresh right from the field.

The Big Island

·        Not only is this the biggest island (hence the name), it’s also the fastest growing, as it adds land every hour thanks to an erupting volcano. We got to view the hot red lava at night as it poured into the sea and sent red hot fireworks into the sky.

·        One of the old volcano craters (there are lots in Hawaii) last erupted in 1950 and today it is all black lava, which makes for unique terrain. We did some trail running through some of the most diverse landscapes we had ever seen: everything from a green and flowery rainforest to a black landscape without any sign of life (except the steaming vents that felt like a Swedish sauna if you dared get close enough). Running on the razor-sharp lava rock may not be good for your shoes, but it was an inspiring place to explore.

·        The island has two peaks that are over 13,000 feet (4,000 m), one of which we tried to hike in an afternoon… it was perhaps a bit too ambitious. Despite some views that we thought were only possible from heaven itself, the hike didn’t turn out to be the “highlight” we had hoped. We didn’t account for the effect of the altitude and had to turn back a few hundred meters from the top, not only because of the extreme cold (the wind made it feel colder than a December day in Umeå !), but cause of our headaches, fatigue, diahrea and even puking (poor Emma threw-up 3 times as we tried to scamper back downhill to the car as fast as we could !)

Back to Maui

·        To finish our trip, we rented road bikes and pedaled the famous Road to Hana, where a 15 MPH speed limit, steep cliffs, and single-lane bridges were the norm. The slow pace of traffic gave us plenty of time to (literally) soak in the rainforest. Halfway there we stopped at an organic farm where we were treated to three of the most fantastic meals on our trip (paid for in sweat labor, as we helped them clear the rainforest the next day). We slept in a large tent with  mosquito netting and listened to the rain fall all night. We had a fantastic time chatting with our hosts – Zeoc and Jenn – about sustainability and their journey to build a community on their 5 acres. 

·        The next day, we pedaled to ”the end of the road” and there stood paradise: the town of Heavenly Hana. We checked in to a fantastic hotel to enjoy the last few days and reflect upon our journey. We joked it was our ”honeymoon” from our honeymoon. J

We were overwhelmed by the fantastic food and abundant fruit: mangos, papayas and passion fruits that were just perfectly sweet and ripe.  Of course, now we’re back home and enjoying our Swedish potatoes :)

Thanks again to all who made our wedding weekend so fantastic !

Love   Emma and Scott

 

 

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