16.01.09 Maui, Hawaii
We are so glad we made it. We arranged getting our bikes boxed, were checking in all our gear and bikes at the airport... and then we almost missed the flight as they changed the gate and we didn't pay any attention. They called our names several times and I was joking that these names sound similar tour names. Then we ran... We had a 5.5 hours flight...
We have been on Maui for about 2 weeks. 2 very nice weeks together with my parents and my sister. Today my sister and I brought my parents to the airport, they are flying home already. Gone... What happened to the time? Who changed the date on the calendar? Maui... what a beautiful tropical island. It is an island of abundance of everything. Abundance of flowers, plants, birds, beaches and whales. The air is full of flower fragrance. So many different smells, so many different colours and shapes. And at the beach you smell the salt of the ocean. At night time, when the birds fall asleep, the crickets and tauds take over, giving a concert. Also lizzards are doing their cute little noises.
My sister arranged a beautiful stay for my parents in Kihei, where we also could stay. We had a hot top in the flower garden. From there we listened to the palm trees and were watching the stars. No light pollution. The shower was also in the flower garden. And the beach was abouth 5 km far away. We loved riding our bikes to the ocean. What a different feeling... riding without all these bags, without all the weight. The air is so sweet and warm. We saw lots of beautiful sunsets, every sunset was different. Observing the ocean, you see the blows of the whales, beautiful breaching whales. The huge tail is the last part you see when they dive back into ther territory. They lift almost their whole bodies out of the water. They are so big and so heavy. How do they do that???? While we were diving we could hear them. Something I had never experienced before. I felt a shiver. Apparently they communicate over 3000 miles distance. Sometimes you can also see heads of the turtles sticking out of the water. The ocean was different every day, somtimes the water was so calm and clear, sometimes it was so wild, big waves.
Riding our bikes in the full moon, no traffic, the air is still so warm, feeling it gently as headwind. The full moon was so bright, you could see the mystery outlines of the palm trees. We also enjoyed our romantic walks in the moonlight. It is so warm and quite humid, the plants must grow here like crazy. Maui has such a big variety of different nature and scenery. There is the north with its rainforests, winding and narrow roads, it is more remote there then on other parts of the island. In the center of the island you have the vulcano Haleakala. The south is more dry than the north and more developed. There are lots of different forests; pine tree forest, eukalyptus forest, bamboo forest, grassland...
As I felt some pain in my knee it is so good to have a rest in this paradise, waking up with the birds, being with my family. The people are so friendly here. It is strange when people ask me where I am from or what my address is. What address? I am from Germany but I don't feel German. So it feels strange to say I am from there. I feel I cannot identify myself with any country. I feel a strong connection to New Zealand where I had been living for 6 years. And I also feel a connection to Tibet where I have only been a week. And my home? The arms of my sweetheart is my home. I cannot think of a better home. We spend so much time together. Too much time? No!!! I love it and he became a big part of me. I am so glad he met my parents and I am also glad my parents met him. Now they have already left. Enjoy every moment as every moment is unique and never repeats.
About a week ago I bought a little ukulele. What a beautiful instrument. I already lernt some chords and when you listen carefully and with a little bit of imagination you can recognize the melody of "Over the Rainbow". I went crazy with my new ukulele.
Once we were sitting on the grass nearby the beach in Kihey. I walked four times to the same store. First we got ice cream, then something solid for dinner, then more for dinner, and then dessert. While we were eating our dinner, the ice cream paper was lying on the grass. I couple came up to us and said: Yes, have dessert first!!! Wow, have they read our website? No, they haven't. This was quite amazing, I was so surprised to hear that from them.

Okay, everything is packed for our trip to Lanai island. 45 km to Lahaina and then 45 min by ferry. We will leave early tomorrow moring to catch the ferry at 12.45pm.
LINK: Photos 10-52 , videos 023-025

26.01.09 Lanai, Hawaii
Today is our last day on Lanai, the smallest island of Hawaii. We planned to stay here for 3 nights. These 3 nights became 10 nights somehow. We set up our little tent about 100 m from the beach, tucked away in a forest between 2 trees. One side of our little home as a big window, so we can see above us the trees and the stars while listening to the waves. We hear lizzards at night time and lots of cheerful birds in the morning. The island is about 12 km wide and 22 km long, privately owned by a white man. It used to be the Dole-pineapple island, but the factory had been shifted to the Philippines a while ago. Their land has one little town in the center, on top of the mountain. 3000 people live there, I counted them all. Mainly Haswaiians. Friendly and humble people, living in little houses, paying way too much rent in my eyes. Most of the Hawaiinas rent their homes. The owener is is the same person, that owns the island. The campground is located in a beautiful bay, lots of palm trees at the beach. This island is known for dolpins. Most of the day dayolphins were here, so close, playing and jumping in the water. When we saw the dolphins for the first time, we just jumped into the water like crazy. They were right underneath us and came up in front of us, about about 40 dolphins. Sometimes they came so close, I could almost touch them. I guess they love people. Their healing energy, happiness and playfulneess made me cry. Under water you can hear them. What an experience! And in the distance you could whales doing their thing. Often we sat on the beach, watching the sunset, watching the dolphins, watching little children playing at the beach, going crazy in the surf, listening to the waves, listening to the birds. Sometimes I played my little ukulele at the beach, listening to the leaves of the palmtrees, danicng in the wind. What an amazing island, we almost forgot about our bike trip. Once we rode our bikes up to Lanai city on the top ot the hills. 6 km clilmb, you could reel the air getting colder. It took us 2.5 hours for 14 km. On our way back it took us only 25 min, back to our paradisio. We don't have electricity here, nor hot water, so I tried out for the first time our solar hot water shower. A black bag with a hose on it. You fill it up with water and put it in the sun. So nice! Yes, so much organizing. Getting the water for the afternoon shower, putting sun screen on, move the towel to adjust the angle to the sun, having enough to eat... We adjusted our super busy schedule to see the dolphins. We met a couple, they were our neighbours. They got married on this bay 10 years ago and they have been coming back every year, camping under the same tree. As we were there they got so excited as they waited until it was 4pm, celebrating their anniversary. That was the time they got married 10 years ago. We also met another couple from Alaska. Their son was so perplex to see stars and being in the warmth at the same time. In Alaska you only can see the stars in the wintertime when the sun doesn't come up. In the summer he could never see the stars as the sun never went down. So he assosiated being able to see the stars with cold winter. Something to think about... Most of the time we were almost the only ones on the campground. Over the weekend tents popped up like mushrooms, disappeared afterwads. We had a group of Tongans right next us. They we here for work. It reminded me of the time when I worked for Maui Rentals in New Zealand where also lots of people from Tonga worked. They seem to be always happy, they love to laugh and have a good time. They also always seem to be relaxed and enjoy life. It was nice to have them as neighbours and to listen to their laughter.
LINK: Photos 53-86, videos 026-030
29. 01.09 Maui, Hawaii
It rained so much during our last night on Lanai. It kept pouring down the whole day. We packed our gear in the pourring rain, our ferry left at 11.30am. After 45 min we arrived in Lahaina on Maui. After a good lunch we rode to Wailuku, which is about 35km far away from Lahaina,close to the airport in Kahului. We stayed in a hostel for our last 2 days. We had a room with warm colours, creamy yellow and mint green. But the room was so tiny, after we moved all our bags in, we could hardly move. As our gear was wet, especially the thent, the room became really damp. It just kept raining and raining. On our last day we got our bikes boxed again, I spent some time with my sister, then she gave us a lift to the airport. Everything takes time: The first bike shop close to our hostel didn't exist anymore. The second one had changed the location... So we rode our bikes to the wrong location, riding through a deep paddle and got a puncture... Arrrrr.... My sister picked both of us up in her van and we drove together to the bike shop to get our bikes boxed. Wow, everything is boxed now, also all our bags, we made it to the airport and found out that our flight was delayed for 5 hours. We had a good nap on the grass, I played the ukulele and at 8pm our plane finally left. Back to Los Angeles... to continue our trip. We were ready!
LINK: Photos 87-95
31.01.09 Santa Monica, California
We arrived on the 30.01. at our hotel at about 3.30am Los Angeles time. Here we were again, the same hotel, the same picture: Us with all our boxes in front of the reception... After we had a good sleep we dried our stuff in the Californian sun and took our bikes to the grass at the beach to put them together. We also changed our tires. And again... it took us almost half the day. I thought we would get quicker in putting our bikes together but somehow we didn't. We stayed in Santa Monica for a couple of days and admired the crazy beach life. Oh, there is something new we saw: 1. A guy was on his skateboard with a stick and paddled his way along. 2. a guy running up and down the stairs, again and again... We also saw a guy on his bike listening to some music with his headphones. He sang so loud and he absolutely didn't care what other people might think of him. I really liked it. So many things are going on here...
LINK: Photos 10-15