2022 Nov 11 | Maui, Hawaii: southwest beaches, Feast at Lele luau

We were checking out hotel and vehicle rentals in Maui, and there are apparently a lot of companies renting vehicles to sleep in.

Either simply an air mattress in the back of a minivan...

... or a Jeep with a tent on top.

However, all of the car camper locations at the campgrounds are sold out.

At all of the campgrounds on the island.

You can actually pay to stay at some beaches, but the price is almost the same as a hotel, and then you have to worry about not getting a spot.

I still prefer printing out paper boarding passes, just in case my phone runs out of battery or freezes.

Our plan.

Getting picked up at the economy lot. We were at the first bus stop. The bus was pretty full, so by the time it got to some later stops, it skipped them. We saw some bus stops get skipped by two consecutive buses. Guess we'll always go to this first one.

Usually not much of a line, but it's Veterans Day weekend, so there is a bit of one.

More backed up here, although it was much faster for PreCheck.

They were making everyone walk past dogs. I wonder how much they actually find versus how much of a hassle it is.

Ogii is wearing a Hawaiian hat; the woman in the back is wearing a Russian hat. Someone is going somewhere warm; someone is going somewhere cold.

Everyone in my row had actual books.

You have to fill out this form saying you're not bringing anything bad into the state.

The south shore of Maui to the east.

Although the west side is dry.

A mountain in the distance.

Dirt in the middle.

Flying over the north shore to circle back to the airport.

I had a window seat on the left; Ogii had one on the right so we could get pictures on both sides.

First stop in the airport:

a market with fresh leis. They only had the pink colorful ones, not the yellow ones with a stronger smell.

One for each of us.

Walking over to the rental car area.

In Oahu, we had to stop at some random grocery store to get a car charger. Here they sell them right at the rental car area. Although we brought our own this time.

In Oahu we rented a convertible. Since we were planning on driving on some less-great roads here, we rented a Jeep.

They said ours was recalled and tried to give us a green one instead. But we wanted a red one, so we asked him to go and get one of those instead.

Then we saw this cute blue one.

So Ogii joked to the guy that we wanted that instead. But we stick with the bigger red one.

About a half hour drive to the southern side.

Rich area with golf courses.

Our first stop was Makena Beach.

Neat orange and white rock.

Ogii enjoying the sand.

Beach number two was Maluaka Beach. The first beach we had to pay for, but after that, we searched for free parking ahead of time and only parked there.

Ogii bought us water shoes.

Gotta turn left here for the public access.

This beach had almost a reddish hue in the sand.

The "island" out there is actually the southern corner of the western part of the island which wraps around.

There are a ton of roadside food trucks.

We got a hot dog and a Coke with the ridges on the neck. That's an older design, and Hawaii has the only US plant that still makes them that way.

Looking for free parking again.

Found it.

And again, it's private to the north...

... and to the south.

But the beach is public access.

It was very windy; this towel was almost hidden by the blowing sand.

Uh oh, someone lost their ball out to sea.

Expensive condos.

Some kids made a sand monster.

The north side of the beach.

With some people snorkeling there.

Salt had evaporated out of the water in this depression.

Enjoying the beach while reading a book in the shade.

These people had a big golf cart.

Uh oh, Ogii broke her turtle necklace. Guess we'll have to glue it.

Baby chickens.

And some more.

We weren't the only ones watching them.

A bit of traffic on the drive up the coast, but not too bad.

Some locals behind us in a matching Jeep.

Wind turbines up the hill.

Windy road.

There were a ton of homeless people living in their cars along the coast here.

And more food trucks.

Different types of tropical trees.

I could set my phone here for Google Maps.

It covers up the digital speedometer, but there's an analog one right beside it. The only thing I really can't see is the gas gauge.

A dip in the mountains.

Free parking again.

I like their sign.

A local photographer.

Lahaina has the largest banyan tree in the US.

Ogii walking through it.

A little lighthouse and a patio with a great view.

From the other side of the banyan tree.

Chickens up in the tree branches.

Tennis courts and a pay telephone, although I don't know if it still works.

Standing in line for the luau.

Lots of storefronts are vacant around here.

This side, too.

Some of the cultures in the luau.

You walk down the ramp, get a lei, and then they take you to your seat.


Us with some drinks.

Out on the beach.

Colorful drinks.

Watching the sunset.

And then the show begins.

The first course.

A rain cloud floated overhead, although it only released a few drops before moving on.

Our waiter coming by with drinks.

Lots of dancers now.

Just one.

A few.

The band.

Course two.

Lots of meat.

Second round of drinks.

Dancing in the dark.

In the light.

Fish course.

Ogii likes the plate because it's warm.

A view from the back of the seating area.

More dancing.

More food.

More dancing.

More food.

And some fire. The other luaus are more traditional, with a buffet and only Hawaiian dances; this one has the food brought out to you and dances from other islands.

A video of some of the dances.

The we headed for our hostel. We had originally reserved a hotel on the western side of the island, but since we were getting up early to drive to the eastern side the next morning, we changed to somewhere in the middle of the island so we wouldn't have to drive as far tomorrow. Plus, it was cheaper. There was a big parking lot, but it was under construction, so we had to use street parking. Luckily we found some just a block away.

The entrance is down this little alley.

Lots of younger people hanging out.

They have free chocolate chip pancakes at 6:30 in the morning, but we'll be leaving before then.

We got a private room so we weren't in the dorms. Almost like a hotel except for the shared bathroom.