Friday, December 30, 2016
The natural beauty of Maui is everywhere, from the colossal banyan tree in the center of Lahaina, to the pristine beaches but I really absorbed the singular loveliness of the island while hiking the Kapalua Coastal Trail on the west coast.
The bays, beaches and volcanic rock presented an ancient portrait of the landscape and water. It was actually difficult to keep walking without stopping to gape every three minutes.
The trail requires moderate effort for the scenic rewards that it offers. It was a peaceful, uplifting experience and I'm soothed by just looking at these images.
Thursday, December 15, 2016
Hawaii is loved for its natural beauty and easygoing lifestyle but what really attracts me are the people and culture. Polynesian culture is ancient and the traditions that have been passed down reflect a deep respect for the earth and community. I was lucky to witness a traditional Hawaiian sunset ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Kapalua on Maui. Many Hawaiian hotels feature cultural advisers who educate visitors about the culture and organize rituals that many would not get the chance to see. The sunset ceremony starts with the blowing of the conch or pu. Blowing the conch opens most Hawaiian ceremonies and rituals and represents the opening of the event and the sweeping away of negative energy so that it can start with positive intentions.
I took a short video of the conch being blown through the hotel to symbolize the start of the sunset. It's a signal to thank the daylight and prepare for the legendarily beautiful Hawaiian sunset.
This video shows the drumming of the pahu the Hawaiian sacred drum, which symbolizes the heartbeat of the day that is coming to an end. His chants or oli, acknowledges the light from all directions and welcomes the coming night. I was grateful for this glimpse of Hawaiian ritual and it made me even more appreciative of the Maui day and night.
Thursday, December 1, 2016
It's been a year of non-stop travel adventures but I'm excited that my last trip of the year will surround me with the natural beauty of Maui. The Maui Visitors and Conventions Bureau have invited me to explore the ecological initiatives and natural landscapes of the island. I'll be taking in the legendarily stunning sunrise at Haleakala National Park, and hiking through portions of the park, pictured above. I'm going to visit a taro farm, which is the essential ingredient of the Hawaiian staple of poi. Native plant reserves and the Honolua Bay Marine Preserve will be another feature of my trip as well as a ride in a traditional outrigger canoe. Of course, I'll also be going to a luau and sampling noted Maui cuisine. Please look out for photos and posts next week! Aloha!