Swimming with the Turtles

Maui started well when we realised it wasn’t going to be as expensive as we thought.

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Had a road trip to a place called Hana. On the way back we stopped in at Ho’okipa Beach, the best windsurfing in the world apparently.

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Really popular spot there were heaps of people in the water. Even the animals surf here.
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After a couple of overcast but hot days we had a ripper day yesterday. Early start for us, up at 5.50am to get to to the Marina at Maalaea where our snorkel charter leaves from.  Got to see a beautiful sunrise over the volcano Haleakala (one of 2 volcanoes that erupted creating maui) on our way out to our first snorkel spot the Molokini Crater, one of 3 partially exposed volcanic craters in the world.

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I (Rach) may not have been as graceful as a mermaid in the water but once I got the hang of the whole snorkel thing I had a great time. Matt was a bit more of a natural at it.

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We had an hour at this spot and the time went really quickly, the water was so clear around 160ft of visibility.  Not hundreds of fish but got to see a few different ones and the coral up close.  Back on the boat to the second spot, a reef just off the beach.  This was the turtle spot.  We we’re lucky and spotted 4 (well it may have been the same one 4 times but we’re saying 4) turtles, great to be able to swim with them, and some more varieties of fish. Photos taken by us with disposable underwater camera.

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Last night we went to a lu’au at the Marriott hotel in Wailea. I got presented with a lei and Matt got a turtle carving. Great fun, all you can eat/drink, sitting around a table with people you don’t know to start with but get to know by the end of the night. 
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Beautiful sunset while the performance started.
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The funny thing about booking these tours is that there are so many street booths advertising the same thing for different prices. We ended up at one which quoted us a good price for both. What you don’t realise until you go to pay for it is that the agents get subsidised by hotels in the area only if you attend a time share presentation. We can’t resist a good deal so sat through and endured a 2 hour one on one sales pitch spiel by a very enthusiastic / desperate lady! This included a tour of the hotel which was actually quite cool. We are now the proud owners of…. no we definitely did not buy a time share.

Aloha

Well here we are in beautiful Hawaii where the weather is always warm and the locals are always friendly. Arrived in on Monday night after a great flight from Auckland, cheers Air New Zealand.
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We stayed in an apartment off air b’n’b, a couple of km out of main Waikikki, Honolulu . We had a day wandering down to waikikki to have a look around and ended up spending most of the day walking, a few blisters to show for it. Waikikki bit of a concrete jungle would not recommend.
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Pearl Harbour tour was definitely worth the trip. Tour included video showing real footage of the attack, quite surreal to watch.   Also boat out to Arizona memorial which is built over wreck of battleship sunk in bombing. Oil still floats up all these years later. Don’t know who would put Matt in charge of a submarine or Rach in charge of the big guns!
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Flew to Maui yesterday morning and picked up our rental car. Maui is fantastic really laid back and not big city busy like Honolulu can see why the Prime Minister has a holiday house here. We’ve been getting some practice driving around the island before we hit the freeways of Las Vegas!

As you can see we went all out on the first class rental car.

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Its been great to see some whales and turtles from the shore. Have a snorkeling tour lined up for Monday followed by a lu’au at sunset. Had some good eats so far including local ‘ono mix plates’

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Matt working it off with solo beach volleyball training.
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Tomorrow we have an early start so we can do the drive to Hana, 110km including 46 one lane bridges and 620 curves, so usually is a whole day trip with lots of great spots to stop along the way.

Will follow up with some more maui in week or so so Aloha for now and Mahalo for reading.

Packing – Travelling Light

Some of you will know that we have decided to travel pretty light on this trip.

Quite a few months ago when we started planning I (Matt) was reading around on the internet and found heaps of advice around long round the world trips – all stating take much less than you think and if possible get it all into a carry on. While initially we thought this was a bit crazy we started to get into it and eventually decided we were going to do our trip with a single carry on each.

Long story short and many many painful ( to Rachel) and fun ( to me) hours of internet research later we had decided on and purchased bags, clothing , shoes etc .

So for those who are interested you can see some pics of our gear below:
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Our bags are convertible travel packs that can be used in a number of ways. Vital stats on weight below. These are legal carry on size and I used mine for a practice on my week to Chicago in June 2012 , worked a treat.

  • Matts: 6.5 kg
  • Rachels : 6.3 kg

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For those of you who are even more interested we won’t go into the specific packing list but I have two pairs of shoes and a pair of jandals, Rachel has one pair of shoes and  a pair of sandals, we have plenty of general clothing for most weather and don’t feel short on anything at this stage ( this stage being we haven’t started the trip yet!).

Rachel just wants to chip in here and state that her weight of 6.3kg includes Matt’s jandals!
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Bottom line though if we find this isn’t working we can cave in and buy different bags and / or more gear – no dramas.

Why are we doing it ?

Many reasons but here are some:

  • Don’t have to wait at luggage carousels at airports and can check in later for many flights
  • Security of knowing where your stuff is at all times
  • Weighs less when you are walking around with it!
  • Easier to move around in general- packing is faster when moving around often
  • Save on baggage fees
  • Simplicity of not having too much stuff and knowing what you do have
  • Because we’ve said we would do this and now have to follow through

We also have a ‘personal item’ each – Rach has a handbag and I have a ‘man bag’ where we can carry stuff like passports and Kindle e-reader etc.
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Above is everything we’re taking.

Next post will be Aloha from Hawaii!