How do you top an adventurous trail with four waterfalls that I described in my previous blogpost? Perhaps a trail filled with tropical fruit trees and breath-taking views will do! Just such a trail goes through Iao Valley in the western part of Maui.
This is actually a popular spot for mass tourism thanks to easy access to the view of Iao Needle rock formation, but hardly any visitors go on the trail behind the viewing platform. That’s where it gets only more interesting. Of course, I took off my clothes to enjoy the nice weather – combination of warm humid air and fresh breeze – and feel at home in the lush forest.
The view of the lush forested valley with dark vertical walls of mountains partially hidden in white clouds is exactly what you would imagine when asked to think of ‘magnificent beauty of nature’.
The trail was very easy, with a moderate incline.
To add some more exercises to our hiking, we climbed a tree.
At first it looked like an easy tree to climb but we didn’t go much further than the lower branches.
But trees provided much more than shade and climbing opportunities.
Guavas were probably the most common tree along the trail, and they were full of fruit!
That’s why I felt like Adam in the Garden of Eden! Perhaps I did not find the Tree of Knowledge, but I felt perfectly comfortable in the buff there and had no reason for shame. Quite on contrary, it was a pure bliss to walk around naked in the perfect temperature and eat all those fruits.
Bananas weren’t ripe, but guavas were in prime condition. Besides guavas with yellow skin and pink flash, there were smaller but even tastier strawberry guavas.
There weren’t any strawberries proper, but some kind of raspberry was abundant in one spot.
Then I saw a passionfruit vine with a few green fruits,
but luckily there was a perfectly ripe giant passionfruit lying on the soil beneath!
By then, I wasn’t surprised to see coffee trees with ripe coffee beans (more like coffee berries). Raw (not fermented and not roasted) they tasted nothing like coffee, but it was interesting to try them just like that.
I guess to make my ‘inner monkey’ totally happy I had to eat some leaves too. And my local companion pointed to a young unrolled fern leaf. While still in the ball, they are edible and quite tender!
And there were plenty of ferns!
When we got to the highest point on the trail, we enjoyed amazing views again.
forest with banana thickets
surrounded by mountains, what else would we need?
Maybe a nice branch to seat on and enjoy the view? By the way, “Filium hominis” (son of man) was carved on that branch. Not sure what I felt more, a son of man Adam or son of monkey, but I definitely felt happily connected with nature on that day ;-)