So I decided to go hiking in Maui when I was travelling round the Hawaiian islands because after my experience of hiking in the Blue Mountains I really wanted to push myself further, PHYSICALLY. I know, I know, it’s a massive surprise to me too.
I joined the East Maui Waterfalls & Rainforest hike with Hike Maui. We were picked up in a mini van and driven to the location for our 5 and a half hour hike (yes, you read that right), and asked if we wanted to borrow special waterproof shoes (I declined, stupidly – more on that story later), a hiking stick (bamboo, which at first I declined and then accepted, and my goodness it proved very useful) and we were all given a substantial packed lunch and water.
Our guide, George, was brilliant, so informative and entertaining. He told us all about the plants, rocks and trees, and I explained the concept of hygge to him – he thought the art of cosiness was the funniest thing he’d ever heard (well you would if you lived in Hawaii, where they put on jumpers if the temperature drops to 22C).
When you think of Hawaii you probably think of beaches, surf, sunset, waterfalls and exotic flowers and it doesn’t disappoint on any level but for me discovering the rainforest in Maui on our hike was a definite highlight. It felt as though we were on the set of Lost (although thanks to our guide we weren’t lost at any point). We spent a lot of time climbing – up muddy hills, over rocks and logs, wading through water; sometimes staying upright was a bit of a challenge, and by the end of it we were all covered in mud (yes I really wish I’d borrowed those waterproof shoes). There was the chance to jump into natural pools from the waterfalls (which were 10 to 40 foot high), swing on tree vines, climb on volcanic shelves, that kind of thing. All very Lara Croft.
And we stopped for lunch by a waterfall, which was just so tranquil and shady; as long as you didn’t look too closely at what was moving on the ground below (bugs. Maybe some little snakes. Oh and mosquito spray is an absolute must when you’re hiking in Maui, I was bitten to SHREDS).
George also gave all the girls in a group a hibiscus flower so we could do the obligatory Hawaiian selfie. Admittedly after all that hiking I probably looked a little tired, but I was definitely happy.
While there weren’t any wild animals on the loose (just birds) hiking in Maui was an exhilarating experience. Did it push me? Definitely. It gave me a fantastic sense of achievement – discovering I can climb up muddy hills and rocks faster than people much younger than me was also a buzz (although pride does come before a fall – I did slip and get covered in mud too). The next day I ached all over and had bites everywhere too, but it was absolutely one of my Hawaii highlights. I followed it up with a helicopter ride, so my adrenalin levels were definitely pumping that day and for quite a few days afterwards; I can’t recommend it highly enough. And since I love kayaking and hiking, I’m thinking maybe I should venture on some sort of wilderness/adventure trip at some point. Well, a luxurious one, obvs. Because this girl definitely can.
(You can find out more about activities in Hawaii at Go Hawaii and a huge thank you to them for organising my activities in Maui).