These past 3 weeks have been like a dream in Oahu, Sydney, Uluru and Maui. I’ve hiked through a bamboo forest to a 400 foot high waterfall, watched shooting stars in the outback lying in an Aussie swag, followed a path full of red stone hearts around Uluru, visited Shangri-la (the Doris Duke version in Oahu), snuba dived and swum with turtles and dozens of exotic fish, eaten the most extraordinary exotic fruit (if someone tells you that bread fruit is sticky they don’t mean normal tacky they mean ‘we use this white stuff to stick canoes together’ – my fingers still haven’t recovered) and oh so much more – not least attending my dear friend Gill’s glam wedding in Sydney and cycling all over that low slung , laid back, lackadaisical city.
This has been the realization of a dream I had after Laura passed. Her parting words to me were to travel. I just didn’t know how to make it happen to get half way round the globe and see Uluru and Hawaii en route. Being a travel writer helps,but how all the pieces fell into place still feels magical – like winning the jackpot on a slot machine. I feel so blessed. And every morning my prayers are a thank you.
I’m headed home tomorrow. But tonight I’m listening to a local woman play her ukulele and sing. The last 3 days I’ve been staying in ‘Heavenly Hana’, Maui. It is the Hawaii of your dreams (well, my dreams!!), unspolt, all rainforest and beach and a tight knit community of Hawaiians who can trace their lineage back centuries to the arrival of the first Polynesians
To get here you have to travel 50 miles on a tiny cliff edge road (beside the ocean and through lush rainforest) with over 600 hairpin bends,56 one lane bridges and one or two rainbows. At the end of the road near Hana is Coconut Glen’s shack with homemade coconut ice cream. I arrived in one of the heaviest storms – the road had turned into a river and Glen greeted me with a free ice cream and some lilikoi fruit off his trees. Hello Hana!!
Above is my little cottage on stilts by the ocean, at the 70 year old Travaasa Hana hotel. There are horses at one end of the bay and a secret red sand beach at the other end where I snorkeled with a flurry of tropical fish this morning. For once the ‘heavenly’ description isn’t bragging, it truly is.