My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

Big Beach - pretty much empty (looking north) - about 9:30 am

Dangerous breaking waves right at the beach

Big Beach - (looking north). Note the 360' hill in the background...

Getting a good burn

View of the park at Kamaole Beach at almost sunset from my...

People on Kamaole Beach watching the sunset

People on the bank overlooking Kamaole Beach celebrating the sunset with music...

Kamaole Beach at sunset - these guys have a guitar and ukulele...

The guy in the tied dyed multi-color shirt was playing the saxaphone

Sunset - not as good as the people watching


Early this morning I drove almost as far as I could go on this side of the island. The beach is known as “Big Beach”. It is 2/3 mile long and in places over 100 feet wide. Very thick brown sand, no lava in sight. There is a large parking lot; it is a short, shady walk through a woods; there are picnic tables in a shady area and porta potties and the beach is overseen by lifeguards. I was there before the crowds and even when I left at noon, because the beach was so large, it appeared to be uncrowded.

The large hill to the north of the beach was created when hot lava began pooling beneath the surface (actually it would still be “magna” until it breaks the surface). Cool seawater seeped into the hot pool and flashed into steam, causing an earthquake. The ground ripped open and fountains of red and orange lava shot into the sky. The gas-frothed lava fell to the earth and piled to form this 360’ hill in about a week. This would have happened sometime before 1790 (which was the date of the last recorded eruption on Maui).

On the northern side of this hill, called Puu Olai or “Earthquake Hill”, is “Little Beach” which is sometimes used as a nudist beach since it is difficult to get to.

The surf was unusually rough today. It was posted with a red flag for unsafe wave conditions. The literature said this beach had fairly calm water with the surf breaking far out from the beach. Today the surf was breaking right at the shoreline. These waves were coming in at about 15’ high. People were playing in the waves, letting them break right on top of them. The lifeguard several times came on the speakers and warned that when the waves break at the shoreline like that it is possible to be hit by the wave wrong and get a broken limb or even a broken back. He also warned against boogie boarding close to the shore. About 20’ from the beach the waves were fairly gentle. There were snorkelers further out that did not get affected by the waves.

I left the beach, ate lunch at the condo, watched my soap opera (Days of Our Lives) and then decided to go to Macy’s. I very stupidly brought two, one piece swimsuits. When dealing with porta-potties and state/city “facilities” it is much easier to be in a two piece suit. So I decided to go get a two piece and since I haven’t seen a Kohl’s I decided to try Macy’s.

Macy’s is in the Queen Kaahumanu Center in Kapalua, near the airport. I did get a bottom and two tops that work with it BUT I also looked around just to see if there was any difference in what they carried. Macy’s stock does vary regionally. As would be expected they do carry “aloha wear” both for men and women. Also, they carry very large sizes, going up to 5X. Native Hawaiians tend to be large people and Macy’s caters to them. I walked around the mall (the largest on Maui). It was about the size of Tuttle Mall.

After shopping I drove past the condo and went back south to a strip mall area with a Pizza Hut and several other small hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I ordered a 12” pizza, meaning to take it back to the condo. It was about 5:30 at the time. I sat at a picnic table waiting for the pizza. This strip mall is across the street from one of the busier city beaches, Kamaole Beach. I was watching all the activity across the street and realized several groups and many couples and individuals were finding spots to watch the sunset, which sets here about 6:30. A man was playing the saxophone. Two groups had claimed picnic tables, one of those groups was grilling. I ended up eating half of the pizza there at the picnic table, then got a coconut gelato ($5 for one scoop!!!), put the pizza in my car and went to join the sunset watch. Another small group had a guitar and ukulele and were playing current songs with a Hawaiian twist and singing. A woman was dancing to entertain a little girl. Unfortunately, the sunset was a bust but it was definitely fun watching the people. Shortly after the sunset I returned home and was in time to watch the start of the Olympic opening ceremonies. (Everything that normally starts at 8:00 Pacific time starts at 7:00 here.)



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