Week 3 – Maui

It’s not quite paradise in Hawaii. Paradise wouldn’t be quite so humid, and it would not be so crassly touristy. (Aware of the irony, yes.) But it was a marvelous week, even with regular clouds. In fact, the clouds helped make a couple of hikes bearable. And they gave us an interesting view of the crater on Haleakala.

This weekly post is a couple days late because I decided to wait until getting home to take the time to upload the photos and write it.

The cover image for this blog post is an iconic island sunset. Two young men fishing at the end of the day, bathed in the light of a sunset. The condo we stayed in was 100 feet from the beach, in an area that attracted both blue-collar locals and tony tourists. The highlight of day two was a hike up the Waihe’e Ridge trail in the West Maui Forest Reserve.

The next day we went up to the summit of Haleakala, despite the clouds, to see if we could see the crater. We could not. But the summit itself was in and out of the clouds and we could see the observatories and cloudy bits of the area below. That was followed by excellent pizza at the Flatbread Company in Paia. I also highly recommend the Maui Brewing Company, whose beers became a regular part of my Hawaiian diet.

The next day Simona went biking along the winding, twisting, hairpin-turn road coast of West Maui. I drove the area and took photos. Fun, occasionally nerve-wracking driving. Beautiful coastal scenes. Followed later the day by excellent fish at the Paia Fish Market (south Kihei location). We went back there several times. I drank more Maui Brewing Co. beer.

One cloudy sunrise morning we went whale watching, with the Pacific Whale Foundation. We got lucky. A lot of active whales. Here’s one slapping his tail on the water, and some shots of the shore.

Later that day, a hot sunny afternoon, we hiked the fantastic landscape of the ‘Ahihi Kina’u Natural Reserve in south Maui. It has a mix of gorgeous areas to snorkel and forbidding lava fields that feel glowing hot. Gnarled trees. endless lava mixed in near the shore with dead, faded coral and occasional pools of water with life, even birds. Notice in the picture with Simona west Maui and windmills in the distant background.

For both of us, the highlight of the trip was hiking in the crater of Haleakala. It’s a stunning volcanic desert landscape with almost no life. A few plants. I saw bits of ice in a few shaded areas. A couple of species of birds. And some insects. My favorite Halaekala denizens are the Nēnē geese. Prehistoric “snowbirds.” Canada geese that that ended up stuck on Hawaii, evolving in such a way that they lost the ability to fly.

I will follow up with a few more images next week, as we transitioned from adventures on Maui to the Kaluhui airport and home in Michigan.

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