The road to Hana is a famous driving day trip here in Maui, you get to drive all the way through the rainforest region (the third wettest place on earth!) And then on through to the south of the island where the surf pounds black volcanic rock beaches. One review said "prepare to see all your favourite house plants on steroids!" and it was true! Huge great tropical trees and plants, and every mile of so a stall selling fresh fruit, coconut ice cream and banana bread. It's a totally different vibe yet again from Upcountry Maui and Beach Maui, for such a small island it has alot to say. Tomorrow is our last day and I will miss it, there's definitely a part of me that resonates to Hawaii energy.
We drove up to the extinct volcano crater Haleakala this afternoon which in Hawaiian means House of the Sun. It takes two hours to drive up the long winding road from about 1,000 feet above sea level to the crater rim at over 10,000 feet, and about three quarters of the way up you break through the clouds and drive up above them, so you see the summit above you and then the layers of cloud below you, its a very humbling and spiritual experience. Its so peaceful and quiet up there, and the landscape becomes more and more like that of another planet. It's the fourth best place to observe space in the world, so there is a big "Science City" at the top where many countries have their own observatories, so it gives even more of a sci fi feel to the landscape. We walked around the crater edge and saw some of the very rare Silversword plants, and then sat in the car and waited for sunset. Just amazing! We watch the sun dip below the clouds and then as it set on the horizon below us, it lit up all the clouds from below and painted the sky some amazing rainbow colours. We then had a picnic and waited for night to fall for some star gazing. I tried in vain to take some photos but nothing worked out, but it was so clear and we could see the milky way and hundreds of stars and galaxies, again it was totally silent and it felt like we were on top of the world! As we drove back down the moon cast light in waves across the clouds, which was eerie but wonderful to see! We then ducked back down under the clouds and zig zagged our way home! An amazing evening!
Today we went Upcountry, to see misty National Parks, rainforests, cowboy ranches and wineries, stopping off to catch a glimpse of the rare day hunting hawaiian owl and to smell eucalyptus and lavender as we rose higher and higher above sea level - no whales yet though!!
And finally, I couldn't let my favourite man drive the boring Toyota Corolla I reserved at the car hire place could I? Not really... so we upgraded to a convertible Mustang instead, that's happiness all round then!
We have now finished the "work" part of the trip and headed a bit more south to Kihei where we have rented our own apartment and a car. We have great views from our balcony out across the ocean and whales are regularly seen apparently (hence the binoculars in photo one - so watch this space!) The sunsets here are beyond beautiful, and the clouds look like impressionist paintings! It finished up as night came in with a delicate crescent moon above the tree tops - perfection!
....I need it, I work hard for it, I love it, I get scared of it and want to hide - now there's a contradiction in terms (fairly standard "me" really!) But I know when I am old and look back and tell my kids I got to be called up on stage with the CEO and Global VP of Sales for being number one in my job that i'll be proud (and not distracted / tortured by thoughts of tripping up steps in heels and coasting to the floor in front of 1200 people...) :)
No words really necessary! But this is me so I will always find something to say! The sunsets happen really quickly here close to the equator, and every 30 seconds or so the scene and the colours have changed dramatically. The beauty of digital photography of course is that you can just go crazy with the amount you shoot and then edit back afterwards. Every view in Maui is picture postcard perfect, I have never visited any country with people so proud and careful to preserve the beauty of their island, except perhaps Iceland, but then there is more than just a glancing similarity between the two islands, both volcanic with extremes of temperature and precipitation, and to me - stunning beautiful and with landscapes that just fill me with emotion.
Aloha! I am in Maui with the fiancé celebrating my success at my company in 2011. I came in at number one in the world in my job role last year, and so we have been treated to a fairly luxe experience (and by fairly I mean HUGELY) of 4 days of all inclusive fun and activities on the stunningly beautiful island of Maui. It's my third time here, and for some reason, like some places you visit in the world it feels like home (and I so wish it was!) For the company's "Top Achievers" on day one a really special lunch laid on by the OC of the company is held and we were flown in or out by helicopter to a beautiful plantation owned by the famous Bev Gannon and Joe Gannon. WHAT a treat! We had chef demonstrations, wine tasting and champagne on the lawn of their beautiful house and then an exquisite lunch cooked by Bev and her team under canvas marquee tents in their gardens, with a live Hawaiian three piece band and hula girls to entertain us, just amazing! We then flew back by helicopter and had a tour over the amazing scenery and contours of Maui, I love flying by helicopter, it's like gliding through the sky, the next best thing to being able to actually fly by yourself I think :)