2009.4.19

Maui island is made by two volcanos, Halemahina (House of the Sun) and Haleakalā (House of the Moon). Today, we were going to circle the West Maui. Halemahina is the older volcano of the two. The mountain is covered by heavy forest. Although there are many drainage caused by erosion, there is no path to reach the peak, Pu’u Kukui, which receives more than 400 inches of rainfall every year.

Our first stop was Papawai Point. The outlook is popular for whale watching. We did spot one in the far distance. One guy at the parking lot was making and selling the hand-made clay statues of island creatures, such as turtles, fishes and lizards. We almost bought one before we heard the famous Hawaii myth for the first time: you do not suppose to bring Hawaii rocks back home because it will bring you bad lucks. I’d believe the origin of the superstition is to preserve the nature of the island. Anyway, we left with the empty hand.

Man of Clay
Man of Clay

The West Maui was developed much earlier than the rest of the island because its easy access to the water. Lahaina is one of the oldest town and it is the only town that has a real ‘downtown’  of the whole Maui. It is quite similar to Carmel in terms of size and style. Many restaurants, jewelry shops, galleries and travel agents are crowded in the Front Street which is only one-mile long. My wife stopped at almost every jewelry stores; to me, the most amazing thing was the Banyan tree in front of the old courthouse. The tree covers a 200-foot area, and has 12 major trunks, but it is just one tree.

Banyan Tree
Banyan Tree

We spent almost 2 hours to talk with the travel agent to set up the snorkeling trip, which I should have planed earlier. The misstep not only wasted a lot of time on this day’s trip, but also made the snorkeling trip somewhat unpleasant. That’s two days later. We left Lahaina, stopped at a couple of beaches, missed a couple of “real gems” appointed by the guide book. As we reached the north side of the West Maui, the view kept getting better, but the road became tough to drive. It’s winding, narrow, most of time has only one-lane. It’s maybe the most difficult road I drove in clear day. (Driving in fog and on ice would be the worst).

Kahakuloa Head
Kahakuloa Head

Returned to room with the gorgerous view, sitting on the coach on the balcony, watching the sunset, what a life 🙂

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