Kihei Rent A Car Blog

Hawaiian Legend: The Love Story of Naupaka

Maui Facts

Chances are, you’ve strolled by this shrub at the beach and haven’t given it a second thought, but the story of naupaka and its unique half-flower may cause you to stop and take a closer look next time.

Hawaii plant beach naupaka

The legend of naupaka is explained through the love story of Princess Naupaka and Kaui.

One version goes like this: There once lived a beautiful Hawaiian princess named Naupaka, who was adored by everyone. One day, Princess Naupaka stared longingly at the Pacific Ocean, tears streaming down her face. The villagers became concerned and alerted Naupaka’s parents, who came to find out what was troubling the princess.

“I have found true love with a wonderful man named Kaui, but he is a common fisherman, not of noble birth,” Naupaka explained to her parents.

In ancient Hawaiian culture, it was strictly kapu (forbidden) for royalty to marry anyone outside of their ranks. Naupaka’s parents tried to reassure their daughter that in time her sadness would fade and another more appropriate suitor would come along.

Inconsolable, the young princess and the fisherman journeyed long and far searching for a solution. They climbed to the top of a mountain to meet with a respected kahuna who was staying at a heiau (temple).

“I’m sorry. There is nothing I can do,” the kahuna told them. “But you should pray. Pray at this heiau.”

So the lovers prayed, and as they prayed, rain began to fall. They knew in their hearts that their love was not meant to be and embraced for what would be the final time. When the two separated, the princess took the flower from her hair and tore it in half, giving one half to Kaui and keeping the other half for herself.

“The gods won’t allow us to be together,” she said. “Go and live by the sea. I will stay here in the mountains, for I cannot stand to see you and not be with you.”

Nature sensed the lovers’ heartbreak with the rain falling harder, the wind wailing, and the trees bowing in melancholy. The next day, the naupaka plants that surrounded the heiau began to bloom in only half flowers for the separated lovers.

Half-flowers of the Hawaiian beach naupaka

Throughout years of storytelling, the myth has sprouted different details, but they all have the same message of separated lovers, one banished to the mountains and one to the beach.

To this day, the naupaka shrub grows in two areas in Hawaii. Naupaka kahakai grows along the coastline, while naupaka kuahiwi is only found at higher elevations in the mountains. It is said that when you pick a half-flower from the naupaka kuahiwi and a half-flower from the naupaka kahakai together, the lovers will be reunited.

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Edible Holiday Gifts from Maui

Maui Facts

As a small Maui business, supporting local companies is important to us and something we like to practice, especially during the holidays. If you feel like you’re running out of time to get your Christmas presents, we’ve got a solution to make it easier: get something edible! Below are some of our favorite goodies that would make great Christmas (or anytime) presents for loved ones near or far.


Chocolate

Sweet Paradise Chocolatier

Did you know Hawaii is the only state that grows cacao? Sweet Paradise Chocolatier incorporates locally grown cacao nibs to produce a signature Hawaiian chocolate, which Master Chocolatier Melanie Boudar then creates into beautiful flavors like passionfruit, fresh coconut, Kona coffee, and Hawaiian vanilla.


Chocolate Mochi

Maui Specialty Chocolates

For the chocolate lover who is open to something different, the Dark Chocolate Truffle Mochi or Peanut Butter & Milk Chocolate Mochi from Maui Specialty Chocolates has been made fresh every morning by the owner since 1990 and is melt-in-your-mouth delicious.


Fresh Pineapples

Maui Gold Pineapples

Imagine how pleasantly surprised your loved ones would be if they received a sweet, ripe pineapple right in the midst of winter. Maui Gold Pineapple Company offers boxes containing one, two, or six fresh Maui-grown pineapples.


Fruit Paste Confections

Maui Fruit Jewels

Want a burst of tropical flavor that would fit in a stocking? Maui Fruit Jewels are modeled after the French confection Pates de Fruits and can be ordered in single flavor boxes such as banana, coconut, ginger pineapple, guava, lilikoi (passion fruit), mango, and papaya or in collections containing popular flavors. These healthy candies are vegan, gluten-free, and most are made with Maui-grown fruit.


Maui in a Bottle

Maui Preserved

True to its name, Maui Preserved bottles Maui farm produce so the flavors of the island can be enjoyed all year round. Pickled pohole ferns, Maui onion pepper jam, and sweet and spicy pineapple are some of our picks.


Goat Cheese

Surfing Goat Dairy

Surfing Goat Dairy is home to over 100 goats who get to enjoy life on the lush green pastures of Upcountry Maui. These happy goats enable the dairy to create an assortment of award-winning gourmet cheeses, truffles, gift baskets, and goat’s milk soap.


Go Ahead, Go Nuts

No Ka Oi Nut Company

Truth be told, we tried to make our own seasoned nuts at home and haven’t been able to get it perfect. Save yourself the time and buy some from No Ka Oi Nut Company. Just do yourself a favor: get a bag for yourself, but don’t open it until you’ve already wrapped or mailed the nuts you’re gifting. They are addicting!


Hot Sauce

adoboloco

We’ve definitely saved one of our favorites for last. Adoboloco is a family-run business that all began as a happy accident. The Parsons family started a homeschooling garden project and planted a bunch of Jalapeño peppers. Not wanting the peppers to go to waste, a sauce was developed and it quickly became a hit. Today, their sauces range from mild to extremely hot with focus on hot sauce flavor without fillers and additives.


Mele Kalikimaka from our family to yours this holiday season. Hope your hearts are filled with love and your bellies are filled with ono food!

Did we leave out one of your favorite Maui treats? Let us know in the comments!

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Kihei Rent A Car Does the Maui Demolition Derby

Drag Racing

We always look forward to the annual Demolition Derby at Paradise Speedway Maui. We get to recycle some of our old rental cars and have a blast. This year, the last two cars left were our Nissan Sentras driven by KRAC Mechanic Mat and KRAC Team Driver Kim Gale.

Kihei Rent A Car does the Demolition Derby

For the third time in four years, a woman in a Nissan Sentra (old rental car) has won the Maui Demolition Derby! Kim outlasted Mat in his 1988 Sentra. Mat ended up in the back seat but kept going until he got stuck in a rut. Way to go, Kim and Mat!!!

Kihei Rent A Car does the Demolition Derby

What was left of Mat’s second place finishing car

Kihei Rent A Car does the Demolition Derby

Damage to the first place car

Kihei Rent A Car does the Demolition Derby

Good job, Kim!

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Maui Hiking: Pipiwai Trail – A Worthy Stop on the Road to Hana

Sight Seeing on Maui

Hiking is an awesome way to enjoy the beauty of Maui for free or very little. Considering the variety of scenery and maintenance of the pathway, Pipiwai Trail is often hailed as one of the best hikes on Maui. The Pipiwai Trail is one of the last places of interest on the Road to Hana, but it’s one stop, in our opinion, that is worth it. If you’re a nature lover, please plan out your drive to give yourself enough time to get here and hike this trail. Our pictures seriously don’t do it justice.

Hiking the Pipiwai Trail on Maui - Road to Hana

Pipiwai Trail is part of Haleakala National Park and is located above Oheo Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools). This can be confusing because Haleakala National Park is actually split into two parts. Most people are familiar with the summit section where you can watch the sunrise from above the clouds, but there’s a coastal section of the park in a town called Kipahulu, about 12 miles from Hana town.

You park at the Haleakala National Park Visitor Center (again this is a different Visitor Center than the one on the way to Haleakala Crater). Parking is $10 per vehicle and is valid for 3 days at any of the Haleakala National Park areas, so save your receipt if you’ve already gone up to the crater or plan to. There are restrooms at the Visitor Center but none along the trail.

Sign at Haleakala National Park - Kipahulu side

Pipiwai Trail is 4 miles roundtrip, gaining 650-feet in elevation. Most Internet sources say it takes 2 1/2 – 5 hours to hike. We did it in about 2 hours at a leisurely pace, but avid photographers and those who are less active will need more time.

Warning sign at Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Beginning part of Pipiwai Trail on Maui

The first part of the trail is covered in roots. We recommend wearing shoes with good grip that you don’t mind getting wet as there is a stream section you will have to cross to get a closer view of the waterfall.

Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Banyan tree at Pipiwai Trail on Maui

This beautiful banyan tree is not quite as big as the one in Lahaina, but it is not nearly as crowded and a great photo op.

hibiscus

We saw all sorts of natural treasures including guava, coffee trees, mango, lilikoi, and this hibiscus flower.

Entrance to Bamboo Forest at Pipiwai Trail on Maui

One of the smaller waterfalls on Maui's Pipiwai Trail

Start of Bamboo Forest at Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Sign to Waimoku Falls - Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Start of Bamboo Forest at Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Once you cross the bridge, you’ll enter the Bamboo Forest, which starts with a stone pathway and quickly becomes a nice boardwalk.

Bamboo Forest pathway to Waimoku Falls - Pipiwai Trail on Maui

View of Bamboo Forest looking up - Pipiwai Trail on Maui

Pipiwai Trail on Maui

The hike brings you to Waimoku Falls, a breathtaking 400-foot waterfall… then you turn around and return to the start. As many have said, it’s more about the journey than the destination, but we think both in this case are pretty awesome!

Waimoku Falls - Pipiwai Trail on Maui

The east side of Maui is lush and green because it rains frequently. When we were on the Pipiwai Trail, it was hot and muggy during the first part of the hike, got cooler in the Bamboo Forest, started sprinkling once we reached Waimoku Falls, and then a heavier downpour on our way back through the forest.

You will definitely want to bring water and some bug spray. You may want to have a poncho, umbrella, hat, and/or a backpack to protect your camera if it rains.

Happy hiking! Have fun, stay safe, and let us know what you think!

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Maui Resource Guide

Maui Facts

We admit, we haven’t blogged as much as we wanted to in the past, but we’re making a conscious effort to do better. We look forward to sharing all the goodness this island paradise has to offer and helping you have the best Maui vacation ever!

To start, we wanted to tell you some of our favorite resources for news, events, and general information on Maui.

Maui Resource Guide


Here are some of our go-to Maui sources (in no particular order):

Websites and Blogs
CalendarMaui.com – Touted as “Maui’s most comprehensive community calendar,” this site lists small and large events throughout the county.

MauiNOW – When we want to know about news specific to Maui, this is where we go. You may like their articles on upcoming events, refreshingly honest restaurant reviews, and discounts on dining and activities.

http://www.mauimagazine.net – The website for Maui No Ka ‘Oi Magazine would be a great one to browse when you’re daydreaming about Maui.

A Maui Blog – Check out “Favorite Posts” and “Where Locals Eat Maui.”

Maui Jungalow – “This blog is about giving real life information for people who live on Maui or people who are curious about what Maui is like, when you scratch under the surface.”

Written Publications
MauiTime, released every Thursday, is Maui’s only locally owned independent newspaper and is free. This is one newspaper that we always enjoy reading. Visitors may find “This Weeks Picks”, “Da Kine Calendar”, and even the ads particularly helpful.

MauiTime’s website is currently being renovated, but they have various blogs including MauiFeed (news), MauiVents (events), and MauiDish (food & drink).

Social Media
MAUIWatch – The first place we go to check whether there’s been an accident, natural disaster that might affect Maui, or any other emergency is actually this MAUIWatch Facebook page. They have changed news reporting by getting quicker info directly from fans and followers.


For even more about Maui, don’t forget to connect with Kihei Rent A Car on Facebook (KiheiRentACar), Twitter (@CarRentalMaui), and Google+.

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