Upon wearing ourselves out stand up paddleboarding, we headed back up to the upper Iao Valley. When we visited the Iao Needle earlier this week, we met a local who tipped up us off to some good swimming holes up the river. Not wanting to miss out on the opportunity, we began scrambling up the bright green moss-covered rocks and through the coldest water I have swam in to date.
We found some good pools a couple hundred yards upstream. They were not, however, still. The water was running fairly quickly. It took several minutes for me to gird up my loins and get into the freezing water, but it was so worth it. There was something about swimming in that river that was just awesome. The deep stretches in which I swam created a sort of water treadmill. This was good, since the deep spot was not very long. If I slowed my swim enough, I was able to keep swimming while moving nowhere. Bree enjoyed her warm, dry rock while I swam. I know I am beginning to sound like a broken record, but it was amazing how clear the water was. This is something that we did not find on O’ahu-what fresh water we found there was typically murky with zero visibility. You can see in the pictures here, however, that it is perfectly clear.
Once I was thoroughly chilled, it was time to get to business. A guava hunt. The goal was to find a fresh guava in order to see what they actually taste like (I tend not to trust Kearn’s fruit nectar for true flavor goodness). Bree humored me and attempted to spot them in the trees along the valley. They are fairly easy to spot, as you just look for rotting pink and yellow splotches in the ground swarming with fruit flies, and then look up. It seemed that a most of the guava had dropped, however, so they were not as common as they could otherwise have been.
Some of the trees were tall enough that we could not get to the fruit without a little shake. Of course, this often backfired as the fruit would come crashing to the ground with a big splat. We were, however, successful! We found a few pieces of fruit still on the tree and returned with 2 delicious specimens. Mission succeeded. We have decided that guava trees are the scrub oak of Maui. They litter the river banks wherever you go – they are just like any other weed.