Second week in Hawaii – Maui and Lana’i

Maui is the
second biggest island in the Hawaiian chain, and is a popular holiday
destination. On our first day there we took the Road to Hana, which winds along
the north coast for 30 miles. There are some interesting stops on the way, but
the road itself is not particularly difficult, especially compared with ones in
New Zealand. Hana itself was disappointing – not really a place at all, just
scattered houses and condos – but from there we visited the coastal end of
Haleakala National Park and did a walk to a waterfall, including a trek through
what seemed like miles of bamboo forest. We also did a coastal walk near Hana
which took us past jagged outcrops of lava with the sea crashing on them, which
was fun.

From there our
next stop was the main part of Haleakala National Park, at the top of the main
volcano on Maui, at 10,000 feet. The road up there is steep and winding, and we
drove up there twice – once to see the sunset and the next day to do a walk
into the crater. The sunset was great, and the walk was amazing, especially as
you’re above the clouds there and you can see them blowing across the crater
floor below you. We walked about 5 miles, saw some stunning views, and walked
round the top of one of the cinder cone craters that dot the landscape.

From Haleakala
we went to the south-western coast of Maui, and spent a day exploring beaches
and the lava flow from the latest eruption of the volcano (1790). Finally we
spent 3 nights in the west coast resort town of Lahaina, in the historic
Pioneer Inn on the harbour. From here we visited our fourth Hawaiian island –
Lana’i – on a day trip by ferry.

The ferry trip
over was very smooth, and we were met on the quayside by Bruce, our guide. It
transpired that we were the only people on the tour that day, so we had a
personalised guided tour of the whole island, which is actually owned by a
pineapple millionaire. They don’t actually grow pineapples there any more, but
at one time much of the island was covered in them. Now it’s a sleepy backwater
with 3,000 inhabitants and a couple of upmarket resorts. Bruce took us all over
and showed us the sights, including the Garden of the Gods (an area of
picturesque rocks and eroded ravines), Shipwreck Beach (speaks for itself), and
Laha’i City (a small number of wooden houses arranged around a central area of
grass). In our day trip we pretty well saw the whole island, and understood its
appeal as a laid-back stress-free environment for those who live there – but
it’s not for us.

The ferry back
in the afternoon was quite rough, so we were nervous about booking another sea
trip, but we gambled and booked a sunset dinner cruise the next day. We were
glad we did, because the sea was calm, the food was good, the service was excellent
and we had a really good time. Then it was time to fly on from Maui to our next
destination – Hawai’i, the Big Island.

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