Iao Needle

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Maui is great so far. It has awesome beaches, and best of all, no snow. Today was our first day out exploring the island. We spent the morning doing the typical Hawaii thing (beaches and boogie boarding), which I can say is hard to beat in late November.
 

 

 

The beach right across from our condo is pretty killer.
In the evening we traveled up toward the Iao Valley region in West Maui. We had a a little bit of time to kill so we decided to stop by the Iao Needle, which apparently is a thing here. According to all of the travel guides we have read, this was supposed to be a 20 minute stop. You park your car, walk up a few stairs until you get to the best view, you take a picture of a pointy mountain, then you walk back to your car and leave.  Since we showed up just as the parking nazis were taking off for the night, we even skipped the $5 fee.  Of course, we managed to kill 2 hours there taking pictures and wandering around until the very last of the sunlight was disappearing.

The actual needle itself is pretty awesome as far as geographical features go, but really the entire Iao valley is just beautiful. There are also a lot of cats there. So many cats, in fact, that we actually stopped to photograph them hiding along the bushes in the parking lot.

You can see in the picture that there were between 7 and 10 cats just hanging out together making really quite a racket of meows.   After a few pictures were taken, they all ran back into the forest as if on cue. This was somewhat perplexing to us, as we had not heard or seen anything out of the ordinary. We finally saw the culprit – a man in his late 20’s walking his dog back from one of the paths. His dog was beautiful, and Bree didn’t hesitate to mention that fact to him. The little act prompted him to tell us all about his dog, and then tip us off to what the Iao Valley really has to offer – which is some good swimming holes upstream. Our plan is to check them out later this week. I guess it pays to be friendly.

All in all, we loved the incredible beauty of the Iao Valley.  Its funny how we often find that the things we were the least excited about  (and often are the least expensive) end up being some of the high points of any given adventure.  That was definitely the case here…and we can’t wait to go back for a swim.

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