Feeling that I’d just finished fully adjusted to local Hawaiian time – no longer waking in the middle of the night – only when the sun rose above diamond head, I set my alarm for 4:30am local time, to catch an early morning 25 minute flight to Maui… With hindsight I could have declined the hotel pick up and got a taxi to the airport and had another 90 minutes sleep!
On arrival at Kahului Airport, on Maui, it looked like the rain of my trip to Big Island might be repeated – but the sun soon broke through the clouds and the over night rain turned out to be a blessing as it caused the many waterfalls along side the road to be in full flood, rather than just potential falls – which is their normal state…
The drive along the Hana Highway was impressive - 600+ turns as the road wound its way along the coast clinging to the step north face of Haleakala. Due to the heavy over night rainfall there where plenty of newly fallen rocks littering the road, and in one place a work crew clearing a landslide from the road – including a couple of the trees that lined the road from start to finish… From the minibus it was impossible to take a picture to do the road justice – a helicopter would have been needed for that – the favoured form of transport for the celebrities that own most of the properties along the road – no two hour twisting ride for them to get to Hana!
|The journey down the southern side of volcano was less twisty but equally impressive. The made up road disappeared and hire cars are prohibited from travelling the route… Driving on land formed when part of the volcano rim collapsed allowing lava to spill out, left a landscape similar to that on Big Island – but time and water had created four massive ravens which lead to some dramatic views from the road as it proceeded, sometime very precariously down the coast. |
The final stop of the day was a winery – one of the wines was an produced was an acceptable traditional Merlot, but the other two – know as Maui Splash and Maui Blanc – originated from pine apples rather than grapes – some how very sweet, yet dry at the same time – the Blanc would be a different desert wine, Splash was more of a alcoholic fruit juice…
The most amazing thing about the island, and what I’ll remember most, was the amount and variety of vegetation, and in particular trees of all descriptions – below are just a small sample… The last a citrus tree planted by Captain Cook to be used as a mast should the need arise… The climate is just right for growing almost anything – from cactus to massive rainbow eucalyptus trees. All on a lump of rock that appeared in the middle of the Pacific 150,000 years ago!