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Saturday, November 07, 2015

Back to the Islands

Once again, with no provocation, rhyme or reason, my friends, Jeannie & Ron, invited me to accompany them and their family to Hawai'i. This trip, the isle visited is Maui: excited! To get to Maui we first flew to Oahu.
Flying by Pearl Harbor on Oahu
After a brief stopover at the Oahu airport we were off again.
Leaving Oahu, passing Diamond Head
Leaving Oahu the pilot pointed out the extinct volcano Diamond Head, long known to the Hawaiians as Lēʻahi. Soon we were winging east, over the long rectangular isle of Molokai.
The patch of land at the top is Maui, and
at the bottom is the island of Lanai

I arrived an entire day early - accidentally - so yesterday night I stayed the first night at a cute Bed and Breakfast called 'God's Peace of Maui'.  That first afternoon, I drove up to Haleakalā National Park but didn't go in as someone forgot her Senior National Park Pass. I figure I'll visit another time. Today - being Californian - I woke to the unfamiliar sound of rain pitter patting on the window, and the squawks of exotic birds. Once up and breakfasted with a friendly Maui local or two, I took off in the general direction of Haleakalā crater road and after a few minutes of being lost, I was on Road 37, headed to the southeastern bits of Maui.
Looking out over Wailea-Makena from hills along route 37
Lots of lava rock fencing along the so-called highway (a country road in any other state)
It was raining which is great as you get a good feel for all the weather the locals experience. There were volcanic rocks piled high for fences and rather like many walls in Ireland. The shoulder-less two lane road soon shrunk to a one lane road. I started feeling lost again, but on a small island, you can't get too lost, can you?  The paving and neat appearance of the road soon disappeared, and slipshod asphalt rather reminded me of the ropy lava I've seen on the 'Big Island'. It rained on and off as I drove along, with Izzy crooning away from my iPhone on the SUV's sound system.
Enjoyed tropical rains along the one-lane bits of the road
Eventually I found that a one lane road meant if another car approached from the opposite direction, either I had to pull over or one of us had to back up to a wide spot on the road.

As deserted as the area looked, there were little homes, farms and forest along the way.

I felt I had a lot of the road to myself, but by no means was the land unoccupied. I passed pastoral looking homes, tiny churches and plenty of farms. There were little fruit stands to pass every once in a bit, that operated on honesty and a tin can full of coins.

Enjoyed the Hawaiian signs, and even more appreciated the interesting translation.

 View of the same sign, from the opposite direction.

The road forded many streams and rivulets
Keyhole in seacoast cliffs
Figured I had to be on the right road... more or less?
Below you can see where the road curves around the hillside. Signs encourage honking the horn so someone coming from the opposite direction doesn't careen into you.

Finally I spotted the road into Kipahula - southern - entrance to
Haleakalā National Park, rather romantically covered over with jungle greenery.

After flashing my senior park pass at the Ranger Kiosk, I parked and hit the visitor's center. I wanted to do some birding on the path up to the Makahiku Falls. But being already warm and also because I had all my luggage and equipment in the car, I decided not to do the hike (stop laughing! I so could have walked uphill to the waterfall!).
Haleakalā Visitor Center
Enjoyed walking around the center and yakking with the Ranger. He told me that there was a Polynesian double rigged ship, making its way around the world. Just now, the ship and its current crew are in Af-ree-kaa!

No great deed goes unpunished rewarded. I was awarded this certificate at the Ranger Station.
Proof I made the drive on the Hana Highway
 When I was finished at Haleakalā I hoped to loop up the coast to the west, but alas, no roads there. Had to go back the way I came then travel northwest, up coast to meet up with Jeannie and her crew. There I took possession of my cute little room that overlooks the pool at Kahana Falls. In the early evening after dinner, Jeannie and I gave the boys  - Jordan and Jeffery, both 8 years old - snorkling lessons in the pool. Lessons were a complete flop, but maybe the boys will enjoy just romping in the surf? Oh well, am loving it here on Maui.
View from my room's patio

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