Sunday 15 May 2016
Waking up cruising alongside Maui was exciting and we just stayed on the balcony for a little while watching Maui go by. It was still almost two hours before the scheduled docking time so we had showers and headed to the buffet for breakfast.
After eating we hung around on deck to watch the ship pull in to port and look at those great views of Maui.
We realised that people were already leaving the ship before 8.00am so we headed down to make our exit as we were being picked up at 8.05am for our Road to Hana tour. To get off the ship you need to get down to deck 3 and the only way there is via the mid ship stairs or two of the mid ship lifts. We took the staircase from deck 5 and followed everyone else because we hadn’t yet sussed out how to get there.
Don’t leave the ship without your ship card and photo ID because you need the ship card to leave and re-board and you need the photo ID so you can get let into the passenger terminal at the port when returning to the ship.
She looks good.
I had heard a lot about the Road to Hana, the twisty, turny 52 mile drive with 617 curves and 56 one lane bridges and have been looking forward to it for a long time. The tour went beyond the 52 miles to Hana and the map below from the tour’s website shows the route we took from Kahului to Hana and around the back side of Haleakala and back down to Kahului.
We were soon on our way and eager to see as much as we could. I got a seat behind the driver on the left side of the bus so I could be on the same side as the coast and get some good views and hopefully some good photos. I am particular with my photos and reject a lot of them so here is my disclaimer – despite being in a good seat with good views it was a sunny day and there were a lot of reflections in the big windows of the bus, so a few of these photos you can see a few reflections even though these would normally be photos I would immediately reject.
Leaving Kahului behind. Our driver was Walter and he was a very friendly and knowledgeable guy. He was also a very talkative guy.
We are officially on the “Road to Hana” now
We stopped to look at the painted Eucalypts, so pretty.
If you look closely you can see the road coming up
The forest and the ocean
We stopped at a lookout point for a pit stop and to get a view of this
On the road again
Keanae Peninsula – I can’t get enough of the rocky, volcanic coastlines of Hawaii
This picturesque scene is also at the Keanae Peninsula
There were several waterfalls easily seen from the road
We had just travelled over that bridge, or we were about to travel over that bridge, I can’t really remember but it looks good.
The bus pulled over and we were able to get out and get a better look at this waterfall
Wai’anapanapa State Park has a black sand beach and lots more of that rocky, volcanic stuff that I love.
Not too much further and we reached Hana, and left Hana.
We drove for a few more minutes and had a picnic lunch at a flower farm. There was a short spiel about flowers and buying them and sending them home to mainland US. Not being from mainland US I wasn’t interested in the spiel and just wandered around until it was time to eat.
This is a citrus flower which doesn’t have much in the way of scent – until you crush the flower in your hands and the scent is released, it smells like citrus. They gave each woman one of these to take with them.
Leaving Hana behind
Another waterfall on the road side
The Pools of Oheo at Haleakala National Park, Kipahulu
The visitor centre at Haleakala National Park, Kipahulu
The view from the visitor centre
A mongoose and a bird were also hanging out at the visitor centre
Palapala Ho’omau Church where Charles Lindbergh is buried
These guys were also there to say hello
We drove along some beautiful coastal cliffs where there wasn’t much between the road and the ocean below, here you can see the road hugging the edge of the cliff.
Yeah, this railing didn’t make me feel very safe, and it was much further down than it looks in this photo
Quite a drop to the ocean below and no safety railing to protect us!!!
We left the paved road and the lush, green landscape behind and were heading round the back side of Maui.
The views of the back side of Haleakala sloping into the ocean were amazing and spectacular and these photos just don’t do it justice. You can see that this side of the island is a lot drier and has a lot less vegetation.
You can see the ribbon of the road in these shots
Haleakala last erupted about 200 years ago and you can see the evidence of several eruptions along the coast
This ravine was gorgeous
After going around the bottom corner of Maui and we stopped at a road side coffee stop with a lookout point where we could see Kaho’olawe Island, this island is not accessible to the general public.
Got a glimpse of Molokini Crater
Heading back up the mountain road we drove through this cute little town of Kula
I absolutely love this view of the northern end of Maui because you can the whole of the “head” part of the island and the coast on both sides (see the map above to get an idea of what I mean)
We got back to the ship around 5.00pm and had this great view of Haleakala. We are doing the Haleakala sunrise tour tomorrow morning and this view was just making me impatient to get there and see it up close. You can see the observatories in the photo and although you don’t get to go there as they are on a different peak, you do get to be on about the same level as them.
Back in our cabin we had a towel animal waiting on the bed for us. We had an early night as we were waking up at 2.00am for our 2.50am pickup.