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Maui - Kapalua Shoreline Trail, Part 1

I have shared photos of the Kapalua Shoreline Trail before — taken with my DSLR. Thus I did not feel the need to take it with me on my wonderful morning walks which I like to do every morning I am on Maui. But I did take my iPhone and took a few pictures from time to time as the mood struck me. After I arrived home in Phoenix and downloaded the photos into my computer, I discovered that there were more than I recall taking and that many were worth sharing. Here, they are presented in geographic order rather than chronological order so sky conditions may vary a bit from photo to photo but that reflects the day-to-day changes I see each morning on my walk. I do agree that most smartphones take quite decent photos but they do tend to trip me up a bit during post-processing because they sharpen the photos in camera. Thus I have to be extra careful so the images do not end up over-sharpened. I apologize in advance if I did not catch such flaws in any of the shots.

Starting from Napili Shores, I walk up the side road to Lower Honoapi‘ilani Road and am greeted by flowers, flowers everywhere.



Up onto Lower Honoapi‘ilani Road and past the small bridge over a wash (mostly for funneling heavy rains to the ocean), stands One Napili Way. For me it is a familiar sight and I love the landscaping, especially this wonderful plumeria tree.

I've mentioned this property before because they are all three-bedroom condos and they used to rent them as one-, two- or three-bedroom units — locking the doors of the bedrooms you did not rent. Since they have two bathrooms, it was a great deal even if you only wanted a one-bedroom unit. A quick look at their website suggests that they only rent as three-bedroom units now. Too bad.

Also, I should mention that I took a tour when they were new (when they were trying to sell them) and I noticed that they do not have an ocean view even though they are only a few steps away from Napili Beach. Instead, they have what I call an ocean glimpse (although you would not realize that by glancing at their online photos).


A bit further down the road I always encounter a reminder of home — cactus, often in bloom. Would you rather be in Arizona or on Maui admiring a cactus flower? Easy choice for me.

A friend, originally from the Big Island, tells me that this is a night blooming cereus and is common in Hawai‘i.


A few steps more and we're in Kapalua. I still love the logo — the butterfly with the body in the shape of a pineapple.

Truth be told, I probably have 40 or 50 golf shirts with this logo. Some were bought at the golf shop (usually on the sale rack). But one year I stumbled onto a locals' secret — Kapalua used to have an annual logo-wear sale in November to empty the warehouses to make room for next year's merchandise. Once I discovered that secret, I would try to time my annual trip to Maui to take advantage of 50% or greater discounts. For shirts costing $100 or so, that is great savings.

I checked during this trip — that sale is no more as another vendor (Panama Jack's, if I recall correctly) now operates the Logo Store.


A few steps more and I encounter the parking lot for Kapalua Beach and the beach itself. Every morning the sight of this beach, deserted, or nearly so, takes my breath away. It will be busy later so I have to relish the solitude and beauty while I can.

This is where the Kapalua Shoreline Trail officially begins.


Following the trail to the other side of Kapalua Bay, I always look back — still quiet, still beautiful. And I can get a better view of Merriman's Kapalua — my favorite restaurant on Maui. I always save dinner at Merriman's for my last night on the island. If you go, be sure to time your reservation for sunset.


Behind me is the Montage of Kapalua Bay. I still fondly remember the wonderful Kapalua Bay Hotel that stood on this site for many years — but was torn down to be replaced by super-expensive condos.

The condo business has not been that lucrative so far — thus the public can rent one of these luxurious condos — if you have a fat wallet. Just for fun, I went to their website and priced a one-bedroom (1250 sq. ft.), 1.5 bath (plus laundry), ocean-view room for a week, say in the beginning of March.

Turns out that when I looked, no one-bedroom units were available for those dates but I could rent a three-bedroom unit for $3,370 — that's per night. With add-on resort fees and daily pre-paid meals (not optional, not refundable) the total for my one-week stay would be $27,035.05. But I would get 2,065 sq. ft., 3.5 baths, gourmet kitchen and dining room.

Keep walking — glad I did not bring my wallet.


If you did decide to splurge with the millions you won in the Powerball Lottery, you could schedule a dinner at the Cliff House. It was completely remodeled a few years ago and is now used for meetings and private functions (managed by Montage as well). You could schedule a very intimate dinner for six, totally secluded in fine luxury and just above the waves crashing on the rocks — a full five hours during which a fabulous meal would be served from the following menu — just $1,995.

  • • Kumu Farms Lettuce Mixed with Shaved Vegetables, Fresh Herbs and Citrus Vinaigrette
  • • Huli Huli Chicken on Maui Onion Brûlée with Chimichurri
  • • Grilled Monchong in Banana Leaves with Red Curry and Coconut
  • • Kauai Shrimp with Burnt Lime and Papaya
  • • Brown Rice and Mushroom Stir Fry
  • • Kale and Black Bean Ragout
  • • Kula Corn Ratatouille
  • • Caramelized Pineapple Pain Perdu, Cream Cheese Cream, Maui Rum Caramel

Naturally, alcoholic beverages are extra, as are taxes and the 22% gratuity that is added "for your convenience".


Ah, this is more in my price range — the free path through the (as the sign says) Nesting Seabird Habitat — No Dogs Allowed. We must stay on the path so as not to destroy the underground nests which, although not currently occupied, will be used for raising the next generation of seabirds. Note that this is the island’s largest known nesting colony of wedge-tailed shearwaters, or ‘u‘au kani. Kapalua works diligently to protect the birds, eggs and chicks from predators and careless humans.


As the path continues into an area where lava prevails, please be careful not to trip on the uneven surface. I did a few years ago when jogging this way — banged up my knee quite nicely. Some of the lava outcroppings are quite sharp.

This particular morning, I spotted the early morning clouds bringing a bit of rain to my intended path. Rain does not normally prevent me from walking but I keep an eagle eye out for the heavy showers and will then plan where I might seek shelter for a few minutes until the rain passes.


We'll pause our walk for today at the far edge of the lava outcropping in a tiny bay where the waves can really pound the rocks. You feel the impact more than hear it. I have often seen tourists standing on the left side where the sand has covered a bit of the lava rock. I also observe that the rocks there are wet suggesting the waves are sending spray up above the rock wall. I am not tempted to stand there — but some folks are.


To be continued...

Life is good.

Aloha,
B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com