Hawaii Part Two, Maui

15th September, 1997
16th September, 1997
17th September, 1997

Monday, 15th September, 1997

Maui photograph

Statue of the Sun God, Maui at the Airport, Maui

Drop Cap oday we left about 8.30 for the airport for the half hour flight to Maui. It was unpleasantly hot and sticky when we arrived but we went off for a trip to Ioa Needle in the Ioa Valley. This was incredibly lush and beautiful and we had a short walk up to a lookout over the area which was great. It was much cooler in the uplands with a pleasant breeze.

Ioa photograph

Ioa Needle, Maui

Drop Cap hen we had to come back down to Ka'anapali Beach for lunch at the Rusty Harpoon. The town is an old whaling centre but also has a sugar industry which runs a little sugar train on the only railway in Hawaii. Mac wanted to go on it (it carries tourists now) but there wasn't time. Also it was so hot that when we arrived at Lahaina, another whaling centre which has been done up as a tourist trap with a million shops, we decided to stay in the airconditioned bus.

Drop Cap hen we drove on to our hotel, The Renaissance Wailea Bay Resort. It is very swish and pretty and the room is great. Ground floor overlooking a tropical garden with our own private patio.

Sunset photograph

Sunset on Maui

Drop Cap onight we had a luau in the hotel grounds which was a great night out. When the sun had finally gone we enjoyed the cool of the evening with unlimited mai tais . There was a pig roasted in banana leaves in a pit and lots of other native type food, huli huli chicken and lomi lomi salmon and lots of salads. Then there was a really professional hula show as the full moon rose over the palm trees. Exactly like the brochures. Afterwards we walked along the beach in the moonlight, trying to avoid treading on the scuttling crabs. It was quite magical. I hope it gets cooler in the daytime but our waitress told us this was their worst month. Oh well.

Tuesday, 16th September, 1997

Crater photograph

Haleakala Crater, Maui

Drop Cap oday was somewhat more pleasant as far as the weather was concerned. Less humid anyway. We left at 8.00 to drive to the top of Haleakala Crater. This dormant volcano, over 10,000 ft. is nearly always topped with cloud. It was when we set out but was clearing as we watched. The road up was winding and interesting, farm country with crops and cattle.

Drop Cap hen we reached the top it was windy, cool and clouded out, we could not see the crater (3,000 ft deep). But we went into the visitor centre to look out the windows and lo and behold, the cloud cleared for about 30-40 seconds and the crater was revealed. It is quite incredible, barren as the moon but just as impressive. There was just a tiny glimpse then the weather closed in again. But we were lucky.

Silver Sword photograph

Silver Sword growing at 7,500 feet, Maui

Drop Cap here is another ranger station at about 7,500 ft where we also got out to see the view. The view was breathtaking, right over the neck of Maui, with the ocean on each side. An interesting plant, very rare, only grows in Maui and only at over 7000 ft. It is called the silver sword, which refers to the foliage, bright burnished silver, shaped as swords. We saw several of them here.

Drop Cap e came back down to the warmth and stopped at a Protea Farm. All the ladies oohed and ahed at the lovely blooms, unfamiliar to them, but not to me. They aren't native here either. We stopped at the local shopping village and had lunch, then caught the shuttle bus back to the hotel. I have been lying on a chaise longue on our own patio most of the afternoon, reading. It's good to get a chance to relax.

Drop Cap funny note on our trip up Haleakala. We were at about the 9000 ft mark, corkscrewing up the hill and we had to turn right. Out to the left the cliff dropped sheer down to the coast. Some park ranger with a sense of humour had put up a sign "No Left Turn". Somewhat unnecessary, but we all appreciated the thought.

Drop Cap e had dinner tonight in the lovely Palm Court Restaurant at a balcony table looking out to sea. It was a perfect Hawaiian postcard as the sun set and lit boats cruised past. Perfect.

Sunset photograph

Sunset on Maui (again)


Drop Cap fter dinner we returned to our room and the airconditioner wasn't going. Mac fiddled a bit and it started but fluctuated up and down and finally made very strange noises so we switched it off and called the desk. They sent an engineer to look at it and he gazed at its entrails and said "You gotta move rooms. I'll tell the desk." So the desk got us another room, being all self-congratulatory because this one has a balcony overlooking the ocean. It is just about identical otherwise except we liked the other one, it had a patio on the ground floor which was in shade all afternoon and much closer to the lobby and the Palm Court. This one has the sun pouring in all afternoon and it is a half day hike to breakfast. Still, the airconditioning works.

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Wednesday, 17th September, 1997

Drop Cap oday we arose early to take the "Road to Hana" tour. This tour went by 12 seater van, rather than our tour bus because the roads are so narrow. This tour took us up some of the way we went yesterday but soon deviated.

Winery photograph

Tedeschi Winery, Maui

Drop Cap e visited Tedeschi Winery and tasted some pineapple wine and passionfruit wine. Rather sweet, naturally, but with quite a fruity taste. We did not, however, buy any.

Drop Cap e proceeded along the lava flow and cinder cone rifts by rather moonscape scenery (which the government plans to return to Hawaiian sovereignty - not the good touristy bits, you notice).

Waterfall photograph

Waterfall on Hana Road, Maui

Drop Cap hen, as if we had passed some invisible Rubicon, we entered Paradise.
Rain forested, huge trees, flowers, fruit, twisting narrow roads with single lane bridges over waterfalls. It was just so lovely.

Drop Cap e stopped at Oheo gulch, where the waterfalls make several (supposedly seven "sacred") pools on its way to the sea.

Sacred Pools photograph

Seven "Sacred" Pools Oheo Gulch, Maui

Drop Cap t was really lovely and we went for a half mile walk though picturesque jungle round a loop to see the pools and wound up at Oheo Gulch beach. We were accompanied by Eli and Diane from New York State. They are a very congenial couple and have a son at universiity in Adelaide (Australia).

Cohens photograph

Eli and Diane

Oheo photograph

Oheo Gulch, Maui

Grave photograph

Grave of Charles Lindbergh, Maui

Drop Cap e stopped at a little Congregational Church, very bare and functional, which has the grave of Charles Lindbergh, the pioneer aviator, who lived here. It also holds the grave of eight pet gibbons, apes which belonged to the man who owned most of the area. Interestingly in hallowed ground.

Drop Cap e stopped for lunch at the Hana Ranch Restaurant, a reasonable buffet, before proceeding through more lovely views and glimpses of the driveways of the rich and famous, many of whom live here. Jim Nabors (Gomer Pyle) has 500 acres where he farms macadamia nuts, Kris Kristofferson, George Harrison, Willie Nelson, we saw their driveways!

Hana Beach photograph

Lava Rocks, Hana Beach, Maui

Drop Cap e went down to sea level to see where the lava had solidified and found the first surf I have seen since arriving in Hawaii. Lovely waves, breaking hard against the lava rocks, spray gushing, Lovely! We went on to a lovely surfing beach where dozens of windsurfers flitted across the waves like huge butterflies and board surfers used the other end of the beach. All by agreement.

Drop Cap ack home by 4.30. A long day. We have to pack and be up very early tomorrow for our flight to the big island of Hawaii. At approximately 9.30 all the lights went out and stayed out for two and a half hours. Apparently the transformer was taken out somehow. The hotel's emergency generator, probably never used before, packed up in about 30 seconds. And to add to their problems, three of our people got stuck in the lift this morning and the hotel had to call in the fire brigade.

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