There was a gentle rain falling as we parked the car at Piilholo Ranch that morning. I knew we could be in for a good soaking but I was still excited to see what the day was going to bring. After we checked in and donned our rain jackets that were provided by the ranch, our guides Kalani and Alatasi gave us a play by play of what we were in store for. That's when I started to get really excited.
Our guides gave us a quick safety briefing. It consisted mainly of, "obey your guide at all times", and "never unclip your safety line from the safety cables yourself, only your guides do that". That was not going to be a problem! They also demonstrated the 2 body positions that we would be asked to assume while on the lines, the cannonball and the starfish, which are used to speed up and slow down.
As we approached the first suspended bridge on which we were to climb to the first tree tower, I was surprised that I actually had some butterfly action going on inside since I am pretty adventurous and this was not my first zipline experience. Our guides put us at ease with their friendly humor, and soon we were ready to launch on our first line, the rain still drizzling in the trees.
On the first zip we practiced our cannonballs and starfish and got the feel of stepping off the platforms and by the time we got to tower 2 we were ready for anything. With each line we were instructed in a different approach to that line, such as how to spin or turn, or go backwards, and on some we were coached to go faster or slower. Kalani and Alatasi kept us entertained with their bad jokes and good humor, knowledge about the islands and even a very nice local story about the ohia trees.
The canopy course consists of 9 ziplines, 4 suspension bridges and 12 tree towers. This course is all single zip lines, the longest of which is 930 feet. Once you leave the ground at the first bridge, your feet do not touch the ground again until you leave the last tower at the end of the tour. You will be above the treetops for the majority of the time and the ocean views off the towers are spectacular, so don't forget your camera (with a strap). The ranch provides helmets with mounts for Go Pro cameras as well so if you have one, bring it along.
By the time we reached the last 930 foot zip, we were relaxed enough to just sit back and enjoy the view from above the trees. The rain stopped long enough for us to see part of the rest of the 840 acre ranch, including the riding stables. Also visible from here was part of the other zipline course which features 5 tandem ziplines. We were enjoying the view when we heard a now familiar buzzing sound and someone went flying by over our heads on the last line of the tandem course. I was ready to queue up and do that one too!
I soaked in the scenery during my last long zip and was glad we had pictures and videos from the day because I didn't want to ever forget this experience. We are truly lucky to have a place as beautiful as this one in which we can enjoy the zipline experience with such a great company. I was sad to say goodbye to our new friends, Kalani and Alatasi, as they truly made our day with their professionalism and personable service.
I hope to go back soon and try out the 5 line tandem course and the Tango Tower climbing course.
Mendes Ranch is a beautiful cattle ranch located near the historic Kahakuloa point. As soon as you walk into the ranch you see first hand that it is still a working cattle ranch.
During our trip today we went out going to Molokini aboard the beautiful Ali'i Nui Catamaran. We arrived to the Maalaea Harbor and quickly found slip #56.
Being a Maui resident for over 25 years and never going on the Altantis Submarine out of Lahaina should be a crime. Please don't send me to jail! I finally made it, and yes, it was a crime, but only to myself for missing this totally fun and cool adventure all of those years.
Today I'm out on the Quicksilver Charters out of Ma'alaea Harbor for a whale watch.The harbor is situated in the crux of the valley that gives Maui it's "Valley Isle" designation.
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