The Island of Maui (July 8 & 9, 2012)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Today was slated for a drive of the Road to Hana - a pretty notable thing to do in Maui. Our lodging was right at the beginning of the route.

Our first stop on the road was Twin Falls - an abysmal failure. First, I didn't have the right footwear to be able to actually get to the waterfall. Second, I bought an amazing sugarcane juice and pineapple banana smoothie and then spilled it all over the floor of the car.

Kris went to the waterfall though.

Next we stopped at the Ke'anae and Wailua Overlooks.

At Halfway to Hana, we stopped for some incredible banana bread. Kris found it odd that they were advertising their 29th anniversary, but when you make banana bread this well, you can do what you want.

Waikani Falls was up next. We think we saw a mongoose there.

Lunch for Kris at a shrimp truck. I had some chili and rice.

Wai'anapanapa State Park had a black sand beach and blow hole.

Our next adventure was to locate Kaihalulu, otherwise known as red sand beach. This is a tricky find that not everyone even knows about. You also have to ignore some serious warning signs.

We took a wrong turn through a cemetery up the cliff and found the red sand beach...but we couldn't find a way down.

Kris tried to climb down anyway...

but he gave up and climbed back up using roots.

We didn't give up. We went back down onto a small beach and walked along the cliff for a while until we wound up at the red sand beach.

We didn't linger for too long at the red sand beach since we didn't know how the tides might change and didn't want to run into any trouble. If you go, you should know the tide schedule.

Another stop along the road led us to a gorgeous waterfall. Spectacular!

Back on the road, we headed to Ohe o Gulch (also called Seven Sacred Pools). When it hasn't rained recently, you can usually swim in the pools formed by the waterfalls. They were too active when we were visiting so the pools were closed. Hooray for us - prettier photos!

We finished up our journey with a pretty scary route called Kaupo Road, a crazy, often unpaved, road offering views unlike anything else you'd see on the islands.

Kris is such a pro driver.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Having already done sunset on Mauna Kea, we didn't feel like we needed to do sunrise or sunset on another mountain/volcano. We woke up and drove to the summit of Haleakala, stopping on the way in Makawao for some famous donuts on a stick from the Komoda Store & Bakery at 3674 Baldwin Avenue.

There were gorgeous views when driving up to Haleakala, and you knew the moment you hit the cloud line.

Haleakala was a popular attraction at 10,023 feet above sea level. It was chilly, but it wasn't Mauna Kea cold.

Haleakala had some observatories on it just like Mauna Kea.

There were interesting plants growing in silver. So strangely cool.

Next up, we went to the Ali'i Kula Lavender farm for a free self-guided walking tour. The gardens were so pretty and there were bunches of lavender crops of multiple varieties. I may have been living in a hole. I was unaware there were so many varieties of lavender...and I had no clue they all smelled differently.

To smell the lavender, you pinch the buds. It releases the glorious scent. I love it!

We ate some lavender scones and they gave me two free fragrant lavender sprigs. Kris and I also tried some lavender chips. They were excellent.

Kamaole Beach Park II & III were really pretty, but very windy mid-afternoon. I tried reading for a while, but the sand kept blowing on us.

We had dinner at Mama's Ribs and Rotisserie in Kihei by the Kukui Mall. So tasty. I loved the traditional chicken, and they let you pick how much you want and if you want white or dark! Kris got the ribs.

We saw an amazing sunset at the beach and followed it up with frozen yogurt at a place that advertised 104 flavors. I got English toffee. Kris got a pineapple cheesecake shake. They both tasted like vanilla.

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