A Long Day, A Long and Winding Road
Trip Start Sep 17, 2012
28Trip End Nov 11, 2012
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From the moment we boarded the bus, until the tour ended at about 5pm, our driver Roy talked incessantly. We did make several stops and get out of the minibus at the numerous scenic waterfalls, beaches and cliff sides, so he may have stopped talking while we were out of earshot, but I doubt it. We both thought he would have made a great televangelist.
Our lunch was at the Ranch Restaurant in the quaint little town of Hana where we discovered to our horror that the original Maui Kettle Cooked Potato Chips were no longer available and had been replaced by the cheap knock-off version; Maui Style Chips.
We continued our trip making photo stops every few minutes. Our final stop of the day was at a Maui Winery which had pineapple, guava and raspberry wines. We didn’t taste any, partly because all 6 buses arrived at the same time and there were huge lineups, but mainly because we had heard numerous warnings from locals about how bad Hawaiian wines are
As we’ve mentioned, agriculture is rapidly disappearing on the islands. We did learn that one sugar company remains on Maui. They have not been profitable for years. However, they are under contract by the U.S. Navy to produce ethanol for the navy’s own use.
We were struck by how messed up Maui’s economy has become. Pastures and farmland are now overgrown with wild vegetation and the economy relies almost entirely on tourism. As a result, the cost of living is higher on Maui than the other islands. Fresh milk costs over $8.00 per gallon, and bread runs about $7 or $8 a loaf. At the same time, almost everyone works multiple jobs in the service industry, earning between $7.25 and $9.00 per hour. Poverty in Paradise seems to have become the norm.
Scroll down for some pictures. They really don’t adequately portray the experience of being here; The sounds, the smells, the waves crashing against cliffs, the wind almost blowing you off those cliffs, the feeling of nausea as you bounce along the bumpy road knowing you’re inches from careening over a cliff to your death
Peter & Annette
What did zero say to eight?