The Iao Valley walls are steep and as I pass houses built in the cool shadow of its ridges, I'm reminded of my Dad's fervent declaration that he'd never live in a house at the bottom of a hill. He was a pragmatic bloke, so nothing as new age as 'energy' or 'vibe' would have sufficed for his Yorkshire man's reasoning.....those are my terms. Though I did think today he was ahead of his time in the feng shui department. Iao has both a stunning beauty and a palpable intensity that (imho) only the thickest of skins would miss. Some say it's because of it's bloody history, I say listen to your instincts and (surprise-suprise) I don't live a the bottom of a hill either.
On my ride, I pass the house of a hundred palm buckets. Being a symmetry appreciator I always look forward to peddling by their impeccable orderliness. Sunday instead, I appreciated their seasonal touch and as a bonus, my parking lot starting point was filled with County of Maui vehicles, all of them white!
The Iao Needle is what everyone comes to see, but I was more interested in the locals who ignored the 'Please stay on the path' signs.
The stream below the Needle was rushing and swollen due to the early morning thunder and lightning, which had abieited by the time I'd finished my tea and toast. If that were me (which it never would be), I too would be limpet like and clinging to a warm rock as that mountain water is freeeeeeezing.
Cat napping in the sun, this wild moggy wasn't bothered one iota by the approach of a spandex wearing, camelback packing, ipod listening, bike dismounting paparazzi.
Further down the Iao Valley the rushing stream begins to trickle.....
.....and even there it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.