We left Kauai and made the short flight to Maui where we picked up our rental car and drove to our next condo rented through Vacation Rentals By Owner. Another beautiful condo awaited us with all the conveniences of home including beach towels and a cooler for the beach.
We could tell right away that Maui is more popular with tourists since the traffic was heavier and there were many more restaurants and stores to choose from.
We spent some time snorkeling on the island, enjoying the much warmer water than we found
in California. One day we stopped along the road and walked down towards the shore to find a geocache. After finding the cache we walked down to the secluded beach where we met a local who showed us large turtles swimming right offshore.
One highlight of our time in Maui was a visit to Haleakala National Park. The name Haleakala is
Hawaiian for “house of the rising sun” and according to local legend it is where the demigod Maui imprisoned the sun in order to slow him down and lengthen the day. The main feature of this park is the dormant Haleakala Volcano which last erupted between 1480 and 1600 AD. This volcano was responsible for forming over 75% of Maui. One amazing thing is the volcano is 10,023 feet high above sea level plus an additional 19,680 feet under water.
We drove the long and winding road to the summit rising from near sea level to 10,023 feet in
38 miles which some say is possibly the steepest such gradient for cars in the world. As we drove we passed through several climate and vegetation zones from humid subtropical lowlands to subalpine Desert. We made the journey here to see what is called the Haleakala Crater, though it isn’t really a crater at all but a massive depression caused by erosion. The depression is 7 miles across, 2 miles wide, and nearly 2,600 feet deep. It was fascinating to walk
on the summit of the volcano amidst all the lava. It was like walking on another planet. The temperature at the summit ranges from between 40 and 60 degrees and with a steady wind blowing we were very glad we brought jackets. High above the clouds the air is very thin at this altitude and there were signs warning about activity, dehydration and sun exposure.
slopes of Haleakala. At one time it was almost extinct because of tourists who dug them up to take home. We kept our eye out for the state bird called the Nene, which is a native Hawaiian Goose and can be seen in the park, but never saw one.
We are loving our time in Maui!