the day I should have died | Klutch Photography | Vancouver family photographer

ok, the title is  a wee bit dramatic, but after my adventure, it could've been a possibility! 

before our trip to maui, i did a little research on "abandoned places" (how could i not!). i located some photo's of an abandoned sugar plantation done by a local maui photog, i emailed her and she kindly gave me the location!  the goal was to hit up the site with the hubby on our arrival day, if we had time!

the day was running smoothly, hours of driving and exploring with only a few hours of sleep....i was allotted 30 minutes, to find the location and capture what i wanted before we had to return the jeep and make our way to G's conference (the real reason for our trip to paradise).  well, in very accustomed dina style, i messed up the directions (shocker), which ate up all of our extra time looking for the street, that really wasn't a street but a mud road with a locked gate!  time was up, we had to leave.

i would leave paia to return the rental car feeling like a great session of sex with no dam happy ending, for me that is! (and we all know how & what that feels like sometimes don't we ladies!?) dissatisfied.  and angry!


hubby offered i rent a car (by myself) on our last full day and head back out to paia. (ok, my husband knows me well, i hate driving in places i don't was totally his "dad to child, maybe next time sweetheart" statement, thinking I wouldn't take the bait).  as i sat in the rental car driving away from one of my favorite thing to do in the world right now, i flipped the switch and said. "i think i will rent a car on saturday"!!  who are you? i'm not sure right now but i'm coming back, that's a for sure...and  i think i might be growing a set testicles as well!



rental picked up.

GPS ready.


camera geared up. 

i adjusted my shorts full of "man balls", started the sedan and headed off on my hour long drive adventure to who knows what!


i arrive to the correct location this time (thank god), the roads there are old and abandoned. it's eerie quiet. as i make my way past the "do not trespass" sign & gate, i realize "this shit's real and there's no turning back" (yes, i could have, but i just spent $130 canadian on a freak'n rental, FOR ONE DAY!!! I WAS NOT TURNING BACK).  imagine that in my obituary "dina died senselessly over the cost of her rental car"  lol. classic!

as the car went way out of site, me deep in the cane fields, my heart is pounding and i'm breathing like a i may need a paper bag.  it's way to quiet, minus the bird sounds that i don't recognize!  my flip flops are gathering so much maui'n mud that if i had to run it would have to be bare footed. at one point i thought they were going to break off my feet.  

my main concern on this journey was mentally unstable squatters!  no where on my radar was there a threat of ...

wild boars,

wild dogs,

booby trapped grow opps

cock & dog fights in the cane fields,

and in general, creepy psychopaths!

which after my adventure, i was told, it really should have been on my radar.


I find the building. have you ever watched a terrifying movie and it's late at night and your looking over your shoulder before bed and not feeling very good about your movie choices. well, that was me. BUT FOR REAL.  every cell of my body was resisting this. every step, my heart pounded harder. 


what was the plan if i ran into someone?   RUN!  or hit them with the camera, THEN RUN!?


 i emerge from the overhanging path to a large mangled stone building. the silence is broken by a scream....  freak'n peacocks! christ. i think i may have peed a little.   my next few minutes were a blur but i assessed my surroundings and realized no one is actually living in or around the ruins.  


i start shooting. it's reckless and quick as i don't know how much time i have, i don't have my usual back up partner with me (michelle) to keep an extra set of eyes out for danger. the site is amazing. the art is intense (and scary).


my fear is not imaginary as i hoped it would be! i hear a car.  please drive by, please drive by...omg the car is stopping. i'm frozen, listening. two doors open and close. i hear a mans voice, which i think, i hear him say "this is the place". i couldn't make out the other voice (male or female?) BECAUSE I'M SO FUCKING TERRIFIED.  i turn all blair witch and take "my last video entry". you know, for my family, for my girls to know how STUPID their mom was to do this alone!


so the thought process was to stay hidden and keep taking pictures (duh, you never stop taking pictures. ever) just in case it's the owner's of the property and i'm getting kicked out.


i can hear them coming through the bush. they're at the building. then silence.  i move further away, still shooting. it was THE LONGEST MINUTE of silence. EVER (minus the clicking of my camera). i here bush crunching, they turned back towards their car! i release my held breath. this must be how yoga feels, nope, this is how i feel when greg doesn't notice my vintage furniture purchase left in plain site! 

Their car starts, they leave. 


 i scared them, i think?  they MUST have been tourists ,right? had to be! oh god...i hope that wasn't a drug deal. that was my cue to leave. don't test fate.  another couple of video entry's are needed to state i'm alive and my kids will only need to know that i'm a crazy, dumb ass in real life not the buried in the ground kind over the cost of a  car rental.


(on the way out, on the mud path,  i meet two local ladies with dogs. i scream out  "GOD, I'M SO HAPPY TO SEE WOMEN". they look at me and ask if I came here (to creepyville as they called it) by myself  (we know the answer to that don't we gang). they proceeded to inform me that that was NOT a good idea (insert the list at the top of the page of things that should have been on my radar).

BUT before i leave, i asked them if there's any other abandoned places i should see today!  hi, i'm dina and i'm an abandoned building aholic ! what can i say, i may need some treatment! 







Here's the video montage with stills from that day in maui (paia) and the abandoned sugar plantation as a dumb ass vancouver family photographer on her own in creepyville!  

So would you have done this???




more images from my adventure....