This tour is simply awesome !
Marilyn and her husband Rick (who was also the van driver) ) are very kind and keep you entertained all trip long, sharing a true aloha spirit with every guest.
But 'guest' is not the correct word : in fact , after a few moments, everyone in the minivan was feeling as part of a merry ohana (family).
Apart myself and husband , our group was composed by another couple and a travel agent.
We understand that groups are small most of the times, which means that everyone gets particular attention by Marilyn and Ricky.
The Surfing Goat Dairy makes daily a wide choice of tasty fresh cheese , which you get to sample during the visit : we tried fresh chevre (goat), mandalay (with apples, banana and curry), o’ sole mio (with sundried tomatoes), men's challenges (with horseradish) and others we can’t remember.
They also produce yummy goat cheese truffles , which are delicious.
You also can feed goats, they were so cute and lively; you can easily tell how they are healthy and happy.
Next stop was Maui's winery. Marilyn showed us some different trees in the ranch (norfolk pines, jakarantas and a one-hundred-years-old camphor tree) and shared some funny “local stories”; then escorted us to the tasting rooms: a must try is the pineapple wine - which they make from locally grown pineapple.
During the trip Rick stopped various times to let us snap photos of the beautiful panorama that can be seen from the upcountry, he talked stories about Maui as it used to be when he was a child.
The nice thing about this tour is that Marilyn is so good in tailoring the trip according to guests’ wishes and you never feel pressed.
By this time , everybody was feeling hungry: we had a lovely picnic in the fields of Ali'i Kula Lavender farm: for me the highlight of the meal were the lilikoi fruits that Ricky cut down for us.
As dessert we had delicious “ lavender tea and scones” , which are handmade daily on property.
Afterwards we did the walking tour around the farm - where we learnt about different kind of lavender: French, Spanish, English, if I remember correctly . They grow more than forty different kinds of lavender plant.
Our tour guide gifted us with some beautiful flowers : I had a lovely “king protea” in my bouquet among several others .
Now it was time to say goodbye, all of us were sad that the wonderful tour had come to the end.
End ? Almost ! On the way back to our parked car, Rick went out of his way - driving us to see the last working sugar mill in the islands : this stop was unexpected and the very last lovely experience for the day !
As final touch , dear Marilyn gifted us with three very interesting books , written by herself ( I’m now trying a few of her Hawai’ian recipes !!)
Big MAHALO , Marilyn and Rick , for a memorable day Upcountry Maui !!
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