We’ve enjoyed this particular hike many times over, but we’ve never done it with a guide. It made all the difference in that we learned so much and were actually able to DO IT with how the rain was. This would have been a very dangerous hike with the guides and private paths and bridges.
Some things we learned and enjoyed on this rainy Maui Hike:
• The Kalo Plant (Taro) is identified differently from other similar looking plants by having the stem connection to the leaf in the middle as opposed to up high on the side.
• A lot of ginger varieties have inedible roots.
• Hala is wild tree that looks straight out of Dr. Suess. The unique lower trunk splits off into legs that can help it literally (and slowly) walk to water if need be. The Pandanus tectorius leaves were thatched into ancient Polynesian sails when navigating across the ocean. These leaves don’t degrade in sea water, making them perfect. unfortunately, the thatching technique has been lost.
• The Hau Tree or bush can sprawl over great distances. The bark can be striped and used to make strong rope.
• Some of the bamboo bunches they have growing in the Halawa Valley can grow a foot per day and tower at a few stories high in just a few months! Polynesians have used the sections of bamboo to carry water, especially when traveling between islands.
• The yellow blossoms on some of the beautiful moss we found is used to make talcum powder.
• We saw plenty of evidence of boars digging up the ground for food. We’re told that 1 mother boar can wipe out (dig up) an entire baseball field worth of land in a week.
• Before humans entered the equation, life made it to the islands from Wings (birds eating seeds), Water (by floating. Ex. a coconut can survive on the ocean for 4 months), and Wind (air currents traveling far over the ocean from mainland continents.)
• We saw lilikoi (passionfruit), turkeytail mushrooms, melaleuca, guava, ginger, mosses, bananas, pineapples, haleconia, hala, has, coconuts, ferns, mahogany, kale and much much more!
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