Monday 14 August 2023

Such a shame

And so we continue. Last post Rhodes on fire, now it's Maui. The pictures and stories coming from the island are truly horrendous and the destruction is mind-boggling. Lahaina is was such a pretty place when I visited in December 2016, with Uncruise. As I wrote in the blog that day, it reminded me strongly of Russell, in the Bay of Islands here, because of its position by the sea, the historic buildings all pretty, wooden and individual, and the atmosphere friendly and relaxed, but still buzzing with contented visitors.

After a busy morning starting with yoga on deck, followed by spotting turtles while out snorkelling, and then a bit of whale- and spinner dolphin-watching, we went ashore after lunch to wander around Lahaina. The town was totally focussed on tourists, all the shops along Front St bright and colourful, full of tempting non-essentials (though I did buy a sun visor), the picturesque historic buildings explained on storyboards, the jetty by the lighthouse busy with adventure activities. There were peaceful bits too, especially in the shade of the vast banyan tree by the sea, with its multiple trunks and its branches full of birds.

I've read that the lighthouse and banyan tree are, though damaged, still standing, and are about all that's left now of that busy, bustling, pretty place that I, and everyone else, was so pleased to be exploring. In the photos all those buildings are completely gone, the streets full of half-melted cars, the palm trees just blackened stalks. It's so awful, and the terror of being caught in the middle of it all is unimaginable. The death toll is currently 90+ with lots more to come. So very, very sad.


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