Crisp Air. Slight Drizzle. Tropical Forests. Everything around me smells, feels, and looks like heaven. Whether it be the thriving, green plants, or calm, flowing water, there is nothing I would want to replace or remove.
Maui, Hawaii is the only island I have ever traveled to; therefore, I cannot differentiate this island with the other four. However, the tropical breeze throughout the island warms the natives and tourists’ hearts. My family of four plus five of our friends traveled to Maui, the place I call home, and stayed at the Grand Wailea. Throughout our vacation, we adventured out into numerous parts of the inland country to go ziplining, horseback riding, paragliding and much much more. Nevertheless, my favorite inland escape was repelling off of waterfalls in the deep forest, the center of Hana.
When we arrived, it had started to sprinkle, and we were worried we wouldn’t be able to complete this thrilling experience as a group. Lauren, Jenna, Sam, Bea, Madison, Max, Chasyn and I struggled together as we managed to squeeze into our gear. Once our group leaders signaled us to follow them, there was no turning back. We followed a narrow trail of mud leading to a steep cliff, where we stood in a line and listened to the directions. After the lecture and demonstration, Niles, one of our group leaders, asked if anyone wanted to go first in the group. I volunteered because I was definitely the most eager out of all of us to try this new adventure. Basically, repelling off a waterfall is like descending down a rock-climbing wall, but ten times harder and is nothing like the terrain of an actual wall. You are the one in control the entire time, and you are the one who has to keep balance since it is the essential key for repelling.
Of course, the first cliff we repelled off of was a beginner one to get you started; the cliffside was only about 30 meters long. However, once everyone made it down safely, I was the flood monitor, and I had to tell one of the workers if a flood sign appeared in the waterway. The second cliffside was an actual waterfall and we actually repelled RIGHT next to the waterfall. You could feel like waterfall mist on your entire body, and the only way down was the plop down into the river and swim to rocks nearby. This waterfall was 40 meters, and we had one more repel to go, a 50 meter one.
The rocks, scenery, and water looked like a painting, perfect and magical. Something about this place made it feel like I was invisible and nothing could make me unhappy. The last waterfall was my favorite because it was the biggest one, and it took more agility and strength to overcome. I can say that the best place to go in Maui is repelling because you get a feel about what tropical forests and greenery actually looks like. Nonetheless, if you know what a stair master is (the work-out machine), that is what you have to basically do all the way back up to the top of the cliff to arrive back at the camp. There were easily over 1000 steps, and it was extremely tiring since we had metal gear and helmets on. At least the rain and mild weather made the climbing sustainable and easier. This experience will always be unforgettable and a memory I will always cherish.