Beach Days Near Makena — Jun 3 & 4

Big Beach

Big Beach

I am sitting at Sansei Sushi in Kihei, enjoying one of my favorite cuisines (Sushi and French are neck and neck). I am combining the last two days into one entry, because they have been easy days. Even an adventurer needs to have a couple of slow days to recoup. Otherwise, I get home feeling more worn out than before I left.

Yesterday, I headed south to Makena and parked at Big Beach and then walked to Little Beach. Big Beach has the classic appeal of beaches and is a popular place to visit. It was not overly crowded, but had its fair share of people on it. Little Beach required climbing over a promontory and then back down and on the other side is a smaller version with the same appeal. It is a nude beach and actually was more crowded. But I was pretty determined to tan my buns and so I found a spot that I could spread out on and proceeded to do not a whole lot for the afternoon.


Little Beach — A Nude Beach

I did get in the water to body surf from time to time. I met a mom and her daughter (age 13) who were visiting from Florida. The mom was mentioning how taking her daughter to a nude beach was a totally outrageous experience and nothing she could ever experience at home. It was the first time she had seen nude people. The daughter was a bit freaked out, but seemed to be taking it all in and having a fun time.

I laughed to myself, thinking of how many nude hippie gatherings my son went to growing up. Between rainbow gatherings, hot springs, parties with a hot tub, the Oregon Country Fair, and the random naked crazy guy walking around Eugene – he has had his fair share of exposure to nude people. By the time he was 11, he was on strike from such things, and when I suggested we hit the hot springs he declared “I am not going to hang out with naked hippies, you can go yourself.” The whole experience drove home the idea that the West Coast and Hawaii are truly in a bubble and a delightful one at that.

Getting back over to Big Beach was a bit of an adventure. The tide had come in and it required getting through water and rocks, while the waves continued to pound against me. I took great care not to lose my footing.

I went to a most excellent Mediterranean restaurant for dinner, called Pita Paradise. What makes it excellent is that the owner catches all the fish for the restaurant himself. Every night, the restaurant has a fish special based on the catch of the day, as well as incorporating the fish into some menu staples. I had a Mediterranean style tartare (it had olives, tomatoes, capers) made with otaru ahi, a type of fish that makes a run annually, for only one week. I also had a couple other veggie based tapas, but the fresh caught fish was really out of this world.

Maui Film Festival

Maui Film Festival

Maui was having her annual film festival which had opened the night before. So I rode the shuttle over and found a spot on the lawn where I spread out my sleeping pad. But before the films started, I milled around for a bit. I like the whole outdoor theater thing. A golf course was quickly transformed to an outdoor theater. I was seeing the humble beginnings of a revolution against golf courses. Yes!

The two films I saw were Love & Mercy and a documentary about Saturday Night Live. The first movie, about Brian Wilson from the Beach Boys, was intense and gritty and very well done. The second movie, although I am not at all sure what it was about as it didn’t have an understandable flow, had me laughing hard, seeing clips of old episodes.

Today I headed to another beach in Makena area. There are a number of beaches there and as much as the nude hippie beach was fun, I wanted to have a change of scenery. I went to White Rock Beach with the intention of checking out another beach halfway through the day. But alas, I melted into the beach and stayed the whole day. It was not very busy, and I found a spot on the far end, 50 or so feet from the nearest person.

Although the water was a bit rough (locals said the ocean was swelling and it was not great for swimming or snorkeling), I checked out snorkeling, since my days were limited. I saw some brightly colored tropical fish and I was lucky enough to see a sea turtle. After less than a minute, the turtle disappeared behind some rocks, but even just to chill out with him in such proximity, delighted me thoroughly. What special creatures they are. I left around 5pm to go to yoga class. It was called Aloha Yoga and I didn’t know what to expect. The teacher was excellent and put a lot of effort into the teaching aspect and to tuning us in to the more subtle parts of the asanas, coming over and making adjustments as needed. We held poses for a long time and after 90 minutes, I was really feeling grateful to be complete with the class. It was very strenuous. All the hiking I had been doing, had really tightened my hips, and this class focused on hip opening. It’s like she knew what I needed.

Lava Fields Near La Perouse Bay

Lava Fields Near La Perouse Bay

It was about 7pm and I was just a couple miles from the White Rock Beach, so I headed back there to watch the sunset. I love sunsets, but am often busy climbing this and that place and don’t hang out nearly enough, just to watch the sunset. But Maui is renowned for striking sunsets and I wanted to see for myself. There was a wedding finishing up at the beach. I walked back and forth, getting my feet wet and admiring the shades of oranges, yellows and purples and the clouds partially obscuring the offshore islands, wispy and fluffy and seemingly completely at peace with being a cloud. I stayed there until after dark and headed back to the hotel to shower and kick back.

Now, on the beach, I had read about a sushi place in Kihei that serves sushi half price after 10pm. This made me a little nervous, but the primo sushi place was full and being that I was right on the water, I figured it couldn’t be too second rate. The tuna was the only local item and so I ordered that in several forms. It is a very Americanized place, as opposed to traditional Japanese ambiance. But here’s the catch – they feature Karaoke! So if you can tolerate or embrace partially inebriated people singing old Billy Joel tunes, you can enjoy Sansei Sushi for all that it is!


Sunset at White Rock Beach

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