When the Mendes family first arrived to the island of Maui the primary method of transportation for them (as well as most of the other cowboys on the island) was horseback. The family is very skilled at what they do and they hold a reputation on Maui for having very good horsemanship abilities. However, when the ranching industry began to modernize and most of the ranches across the country began to incorporate the use of ATV's in their ranch operations the Mendes' were not going to be left behind and soon followed suite. The network of trails that covers Mendes Ranch is absolutely immense and our guide for the day (whose name was Butch) was waiting for us by the ATV's that were lined up right by the main office where we checked in.
The ATV's were very simple to operate. They were automatic transmissions models that had very simple controls that were all located on the handle bars. Butch took us for a few laps around the horse arena before we began to make our way out the gate and into the labyrinth of trails that were carved into the hillsides, slicing through the dense foliage of the ranch.
We made a very large loop around the ranch. First we cut laterally across the hillside maintaining our elevation for a while before we dropped straight down the hill towards the ocean. I was glad that the automatic transmissions of the ATV's were able to downshift, because if not.... we would've been putting major wear and tear of the brakes just to keep a slow enough speed to be able to safely negotiate the hill. I think Butch could tell we had rode ATV's before so he knew we'd be able to handle it because during our ride he took us on some trails was a little more technical then I'd previously imagined we would be riding on. It did not take us a long time to navigate down the hill to the coastline. Once we got to the tops of the sea cliffs that line the coast we stopped to take in the sights and snap a few pictures.
The Mendes Ranch is located in between Waiehu and Kahakuloa town in an area that is reffered to at the "Wai Side" of the island of Maui. "Wai" is a Hawaiian word that literally translates to "Freshwater". When you look at the rainfall maps of the area it makes sense that this area got this name, because it sits downhill from one of the wettest places on the planet. Luckily for us, today all of the rainclouds were high up on the mountain and down near the coastline where we were riding was very sunny. From the vantage point of where we were on the cliffs we had an unobstructed view of Maui's entire North Shore. With the with the mountain of Haleakala in the background, rising high into the clouds.....It truly was an amazing sight.
From this area we began to climb back up the hill towards the ranch house. This was one of the most fun parts of the ride because going up the hill you could really feel the the tires grab for traction on the hillside as you pressed the throttle down. It did not take long for us to make it back up to the main arena where we had initially started our ride. Once we arrived Butch showed us where the washrooms were located and instructed us to wash off before we went to lunch.
Once I entered the washroom and I looked at myself in the mirror I realized how much dust we had been spraying around. My face was completely covered, and when I took my sunglasses off the relatively clean areas surrounding my eyes made it very apparent how dirty my face actually was. The dirt all easily rinsed off and as soon enough I was back outside piling my plate high with a mountain of beans, salad, ribs and chicken. I must admit that as I sat there and I ate my food I couldn't help but feel a bit thankful that ATV's were introduced to the Mendes Ranch...... Mainly because they are just so much fun to ride.
When most people get off the plane on Oahu I don't think they have any idea that you can have the sort of experiences that we had today. Today we took a trip with Hawaii Nautical that took us snorkeling on the Western coastline of the island.
Yesterday I looked at the three day forecast and saw that there were glassy conditions predicted until the end of the week. Being that the whales are currently here in record numbers I thought it would be ideal to schedule a whale watching trip.
As we got down to the harbor to board the Scotch Mist I could tell that we were in for an amazing time. The weather was ideal, the day before a winter storm front had come through from the west.
We decided to go for a hiking adventure with Hike Maui through the Wailele Permaculture farm and the surrounding park areas and waterfalls. We met our guide in Kahului at the "Park & Ride" parking lot.
Everyone dreams of experiencing a perfect day out on the water. Smooth seas, warm air, whales spouting off all around you, dolphins coming up to the boat, snorkeling with Sea Turtles.
Of all of the different fishing trips that we offer I think it is fair to say that as a general rule of thumb, the bottom fishing charters that we have generally catch a larger volume of fish then our deep sea sport fishing charters.
As we came though the tunnel at the end of the Pali and the Oluwalu point came into view I could tell we were going to have perfect weather conditions for our sunset horseback ride at Lahaina Stables.
Paragon Sailing Charters operates a type of catamaran that is not utilized by anyone else in the Hawaiian Islands. The designer of the catamarans that are used by Paragon Sailing Charters is the owner of the company, Eric Barto.
One of the most popular categories of tours that we carry on Maui are the Haleakala Bike trips. There are many companies that we carry that offer this trip, but what many people do not realize is there is quite a bit of difference between the different varieties of downhill biking trips.
Are you looking to do something a bit more exciting during this trip to Hawaii? You might want to consider going on one of our ATV tours. These tours are available on all islands and if your lucky you'll get to ride through plenty of mud during tour tour.
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