Maui, January 10-21, 2016
Our flights to Honolulu and on to Maui went smoothly. We left Minnesota when the temperature was -16 F at 11:36 AM and arrived in Maui at 7:30 PM (11:30 Minnesota time) where the temperature was about 78 F. We found our rental place - a nice little cottage with an enclosed porch and a fenced in patio. We stayed up until 10 PM, but still woke up at 4:30 AM. That four-hour time difference takes a few days to overcome.
After a quick breakfast, we walked a few blocks down to a beach park. There were a lot of surfers catching the bigger than normal waves. We walked down to get a few groceries, and then got fruit at a farmer's market. We headed NW to a great high look out and saw some whales way out in the distance. In the afternoon, we rested, then walked down again to window shop and eat. The food at 3's Bar & Grill was excellent! It was starting to get dark as we walked back to the cottage.
Tuesday: We woke early, ate breakfast, and headed out on the Road to Hana as soon as it was light outside. This is a very curvy mountain road through a rainforest. There was lots of vegetation and beautiful flowers, and it was green with scattered views of the blue ocean with white breakers.
Our first stop was at a way side with an ocean view. We drove down a little road toward to town of Ke'anae. There were ocean waves striking the black volcanic lava formations with great power. A tsunami destroyed the village in the 1940's and left only a stone church that is still standing. At the Wailua Valley State Wayside we walked up a stairway to look down on the village of Wailua and the taro fields surrounding it. We stopped at another state park to view two smaller waterfalls. We saw other waterfalls as we drove past. As we got close to Hana, we drove down to see a black sand beach and a sea arch. It was a beautiful location. We ate lunch at a small stand at the Hana Beach. Temperature was a comfortable 82.
After leaving Hana we headed south, then west along the coast. We stopped at the 7 Sacred Pools where we walked about a 1/2 a mile to see the lower three pools. A little further on we nearly missed the church cemetery where Charles Lindbergh is buried. The person mowing helped us find his simple grave. There was also a tiny park with a great ocean view.
On our way out we saw a medium sized dog in distress. It must have jumped from the back of the truck and was hanging by the rope on its collar, choking. It took us a little while to let the owner know what was happening, but the dog ended up OK, once he scooped it back into the truck.
As we travelled further along the shore we came to a section of bumpy pavement, then gravel and pavement mixed. It was slow going and the road was very narrow. One car had to pull way over to let the other car pass by it. The landscape changed into dry grassland with lava shores. We rested when we got back and then ordered pizza.
Wednesday: Lovely day in the 80's. After driving for 30 minutes up to Wailiku to see the Iao Needle and the State Park, we were met with a closed gate. It was closed for construction until Jan. 22. There was no notice on Trip Advisor or their web site. We went back to the Whale Lookout and saw many whales spouting and at the surface. We then went to the Maui Ocean Center, an aquarium with many varieties of sea life. We enjoyed their exhibits.
Next door was the Pacific Whale Foundation, so we booked a whale watching trip for the next morning. We rested in the afternoon. Supper was at Antonio's. Wonderful meals with fresh seafood.
On Thursday we headed to the Pacific Whale Foundation for a whale watching cruise. It was a beautiful day and the ocean was very calm. We saw many whales all around us. There were two times we saw a mother and calf. One calf was practicing its breaching, so it jumped many times. We saw whales in a distance slapping the water with their long white dorsal fin and many dove, so we saw their flukes. There was a pod of dolphins following a mother and calf as well. What a great trip! We ate lunch at Peggy Sue’s which was set up to look like a 1950's malt shop.
Friday: After breakfast, we drove down to walk on the beach at two different beaches. Even at 7:30 there were a lot of people out walking along the shoreline. The beaches were very clean and the sand was fine and soft. We drove to the "end of the road" along the south shore past beautiful resorts and golf courses and beaches.
Near the end were black lava rock beaches right next to the narrow road. At the end was a large lava field from a flow in the 1700's (they actually have dated the lava to the 1400's). It was very rugged and made a strange landscape. It was tough meeting cars as the road was too narrow in most places - you had to pull over to let the other car squeeze past. We headed back through the resort area of Wailea and stopped to get a "pick up" lunch at the grocery store. In the afternoon we relaxed and Roger took a walk. We ate our evening meal at Fat Daddy's BBQ. It was very tasty.
Saturday: Today we headed east, then south to reach the summit of Haleakala Mountain in the National Park. On the way up the road has many switchbacks. We added a few miles of mountain roads by missing one turn. At the Leleiwi Overlook below the summit, we hiked about 1/4 mile to a view right down into the crater. It's amazing how quickly you get out of breath at 10,000 feet. Near the summit was another viewing platform at the Visitor Center. At the summit was a small lookout as well. You could see the crater and on the other side you could see the two volcanoes of the island of Hawaii. On the way down we walked up to another view of the crater and the slope of the mountain down to the sea to the west. There we saw the cute Chukar Partridges.
We also saw a type of tern earlier that nests on the mountain and flies to the sea for food. We tried to get to one of the north shore beaches, but the small town was packed with people. There are extra large waves, so everyone wanted to see them. We ate an Italian cafe / deli on the way back to our B&B. For supper we walked to the Tiki Lounge and had Hawaiian pizza. A young couple entertained with singing and guitar.
Sunday: There was a marathon through the middle of Kihie today on the main road, so we decided it was a good day to stay at the B&B. We walked downtown for lunch at Ohana Seafood Bar & Grill. Roger had the seafood omelet with shrimp, Mahi mahi, and scallops. I had the breakfast croissant Both were served with fried potato cubes and were very tasty. Roger took a walk in the afternoon. We walked downtown to eat at the Paia Fish Market. I had delicious shrimp and chips with a salad and Roger had seafood pasta.
Monday: Today we headed to the NE part of Maui to see the high surf east of Pa'ia. We went to a high lookout and could see the large waves coming in. There were surfers and some caught the waves for a while. There was also a green sea turtle swimming. We then headed part of the way up the road to Hana to see if we could see some of the waterfalls we missed last Tuesday.
We saw an Indian mongoose run across the road - didn't know they lived on Maui. It was clearer, so we could see the ocean views better. We went back to Kihei and had a good lunch at Coconut's Fish Cafe'.
Roger had a mahi-mahi sandwich and Joan had coconut shrimp. We hung out at the B&B for the afternoon and walked down to the 3's Bar and Grill for supper. I had a shrimp stir fry and Roger had a Oriental Chicken Breast. We had coconut shrimp as an appetizer and tried Mai Tai’s. Everything was very tasty. It was nearly dark when we walked back to the B&B.
Tuesday: Today we headed NW to Lahaina. We did the history walk there and saw many sites from the reign of the first Hawaiian King. Lahaina was the first capital. We saw the ruins of the old fort, the Haula Stone where royal births took place in the waters of the harbor, the site of the king's home, the graves of the first Queen and regent, and the old jail (reconstructed).
Heading north past Kapalua we saw the bay and the “Dragon's Teeth” formations there. We had to walk by the edge of the golf course to get to the rock formations. The waves were amazing, spraying up over the rocks. On the way back to Kihie we spotted two whales as we drove by. We ate Mexican food and headed to the B&B. In the afternoon we walked down to the Main Street and did some souvenir shopping.
We got a yellow crystal pineapple and a wooden dolphin Christmas ornament. For supper we went back to Antonio's to have linguine with Shrimp Scampi and Sea Food - a wonderful meal. We stopped at a nearby beach park to see the sun set into the ocean - a lovely way to end the day.
Wednesday: Our last day in Hawaii. We packed and tidied up the cottage, and then we headed to Kalulua. We had about 12 hours to kill before our flight left.
Our first stop was a Botanical Garden that featured only authentic Hawaiian plants with their uses explained. We then headed to the Queen K. Mall and looked around. We ate lunch there, and then went to a theater in another mall to see “Star Wars 4” in 3D. We went back to the Queen K Mall to see the movie “The Revenant” with Leonardo Di Caprio about a man's amazing survival in the wilderness. We dropped off the rental car and got to the airport around 7 pm. Delta didn't open its Windows until 8:00, so we waited there with our baggage for an hour. We ate supper in the airport and left Maui around 11 pm. Both of us watched the movie “The Martian” on the plane - third movie for the day! We arrived home after a stop in Seattle around 4:40 pm. One long day, and good to be home!