December 16th. This morning it was not a mechanical alarm clock that woke me up but the slow rise of the sun. It was about 6:30am and the roughly 12 hours had given me a lot of time to rest. We decided to start our day with french croissants and Nutella in the tent. The sleeping bags were just too comfortable and the small window of the tent covered with rain drops, so the motivation to start the day right away rather slim.
On the agenda for our first day was the Haleakala National Park. Our camping ground neighbor Stewart joined us for the day and the three of us loaded up the car, tie up the hiking shoes and got on the road. On the way there we stopped at an amazing food stand where we purchased a giant avocado (imagine the size of a small mellon), four bananas, two cuban bananas and a strawberry papaya for only eight dollar.
In the national park we started to hike up along the seven sacred pools. They still often are referred to as that, but they were never sacred to local religion and along the way you can find more than seven pools. The trail starts fairly easy but towards the end you have to climb over small water falls and hike through rivers. The nature changes several times. At first you walk through a fairly normal forest.
We found this really great tree about 15 minuted into the hike. As Stewart used to be a climbing teacher, he showed Christina how to climb into this wonderful plant, while I stayed down to take pictures.
Here you can see two of the pools along the way. Because of the rain, the water looked very brown and muddy in these pools. Soon the surroundings changed and we found ourselves hiking through a bamboo forrest. This may have been one of the most impressive things for me during this hike. Never before had I seen this much bamboo and I was just amazed by the beauty.
Finally after about 90 (well 20 minutes of that were breaks for me to take pictures) we finally reached the Waimoku Falls. Long before you can see them you will hear them. The last bit of the hike is a little tricky but with the help of other hikers it is fairly easy and well worth it. However, not a hike I would recommend to take alone. To get close to the waterfall you need to cross a fairly fast river and it helps to pass your equipment to the other bank beforehand. I could care less about tumbling into a river. My camera however not so much.
On the roads around Maui you will find a large number of abandoned cars that are just rotting away and being reclaimed by nature. At first it seems a little weird but I would really like to know the stories behind some of the cars. Was the GMC just parked there and forgotten over the years or did the engine break down and it was pushed out of the way to clear the road? What about the old black car next to the fruit stand sign. How did it get there? How long has it been there? And the rusty skeleton laying on the roof. What happened? Did everyone make it out of the car alive?
We followed the road down south for a little longer until it felt too unsafe. The street gets very narrow and you often have to yield for tour busses. The map in the travel guide even warned not to drive any further without a fourwheeldrive so we turned around and headed back north. The views were stunning.
Along the road back north we found a little local church and made a stop to look at it. The simplicity inside was stunning and a striking contract to the overloaded houses of worship you often find elsewhere.
Right behind the church was a small graveyard overlooking this breathtaking seaside.
All along the ways, trails and roads the greatest varieties of flowers bloom and I almost feel as if I didn’t take enough pictures of the flora.
Once back in Hana, we got some meat and salad from the grocery store. For dinner we made a barbecue and turned the oversized avocado into a delicious guacamole. The taste of this avocado was one of a kind. It stands in no comparison to the almost bland taste you find in Europe or even sometimes in Albuquerque. xx