Sunday, February 6, 2011

Off The Beaten Path: Lānaʻi

Lānaʻi - A small island located a few miles west of Maui. It has one small town with a population of 3000 people.
The Crew
Yesterday we woke up early and packed the car with camping gear and camera equipment. The only way to get to Lanai is by ferry. It takes about 45 minutes to cross the channel and dock. Originally we were going to camp where the ferry drops you off at Manele Bay. We were undecided about renting a 4X4 Jeep and when we did decide the night before they were sold out.
The Endless Playground
When we landed in Manele we called the Jeep rental company to check if there were any cancellations and just our luck they had a brand new Jeep Commander cancellation! We argued for awhile who was going to put the rental agreement on their credit card. In the end I gave in and signed my life away on the contract. The roads in Lanai are not paved, muddy, bumpy, and are very rugged. The Jeep was lifted and had mud tires which made it the perfect rallying machine! We didn't waste anytime and loaded the gear and picked out first destination - Shipwrecks. The map said it was an estimated 90 minute drive.
The Boyz
We got there in about 20 minutes of white knuckle rally driving. I've never laughed so hard for so long. The driving was out of control! We only had one really close call when I came into what I thought was a minor turn but was actually a hairpin. Staying on the gas and drifting around the corner we just missed a huge boulder which would have ripped the rear end off. When we arrived at our destination we unloaded our gear and everything was soaking wet. On one of the many airborne jumps, the camping gear crushed two of our three gallons of water! There was 5 of us with 1 gallon of water to last us the day and night. After Shipwrecks we went to the other side of the island which was an estimated 90 minute drive to town plus another 120 minute drive to Garden of the Gods. After 45 minutes of stomach aching laughter we came upon the most pristine beach I've ever seen. There was only one other car way down the beach. At sunset two whales swam parallel to the beach only 30-40 feet from the sand. Quincy who lives on Maui said he's never seen them come that close by a long-shot. We could hear them breathing and talking to each other.
Manele Bay
We had tents but in the end we decided to just sleep on the sand. In the morning we packed everything up and headed back to town to return the Jeep. We knew we were going to have some explaining to do when two couples returned their vehicles with only dust on them. When they were doing the inspection on the vehicle I've never felt so guilty in my life. Quincy and I were just biting out lips and looking at each other. We walked (at a brisk pace) out of there feeling pretty lucky, we were only assessed a small extra cleaning fee which we didn't even argue. We headed back to the Manele Bay where we spent the day snorkeling and exploring. Overall, Lanai was an epic adventure!
Before and After

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