Winterwonderland Hawaii: Crater Sunrise

21.12.

We woke up very early.
As mentioned in the Blogpost of the day before, it was very cold. In addition to that, we also had two snoring gentlemen close to our tent. And if there is one thing that can wake me up or keep me from sleeping, it is snoring. I guess I inherited that from my mom. When Christina woke up, she was a little confused because she thought I left the tent in the middle of the night to go sleep in the car. Barely awake, we layered on more clothes, grabbed our sleeping bags and got to the car. The heater turned up to the highest possible level, we followed the winding road up the mountain. Even though, it was still a while until the sun was to rise, the upper parking lot was already filled and we had to settle of one at about 9,500ft. We parked the car, munched on the last bits of our cinnamon cake, wrapped ourselves in our sleeping bags and headed to the edge of the crater. Up there it was not only colder as it was down on the camping ground, it was also very windy. The windchill bit through my gloves and made taking pictures painful. For the first and only time during our time in Hawaii, I envied the resort tourists. They got to sleep in a nice warm bed AND they all had travel mugs with hot coffee or tea. So mean!!! Slowly, the sun rose over the far rim of the crater and made for beautiful pictures. The level of the clouds was high enough to sprinkle some clouds in the crater itself.

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Once back down at the camping ground, we took the tent apart and let it dry in the sun. We did get some funny glances for taking up a few parking spots and developing a quite elaborate folding pattern to minimize the volume of the tent, but eventually we figured it out.

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We decided against taking further hikes and packed up the car. When we were about to leave, we ran into Alice from Australia and her italian friend again. Alice is not really a person who plans a lot in advance so we offered them a ride back down to the next trail head. The two somehow had managed to lose the rest of their group… and the rest of the group had a car. Anyways, we dropped them off at the trail head and headed towards Wailuku. On the way down we drove through the clouds and were stuck between several groups of bikers. For unknown reasons, it is very popular to bike down the volcano. At first it sounds really cool and the pictures make you believe that it is some off road trail with mud and dusk… To be honest… they just ride down the normal street and are blocking traffic. The slow drive, the bad view and the many turns in combination with the little sleep and little breakfast made Christina feel quite nauseous. Unfortunately, due to the rental contract, she was the only person who was allowed to drive the car, so we pulled over, ate some bread with honey and took a break. Soon after, she felt much better and we headed further down.

In Wailuku, we moved into the Banana Bungalow Hostel. This hostel is quite famous on Maui and it felt as it everyone we ran into spent at least one night there or knew someone who was staying there at the time. It is very popular and a lot of surfer stay there. To be honest, a lot of Germans stay there. The prevalent language in the halls was German and the girl at the front desk (guess what… a German on a trip around the world who somehow got stuck on Maui) told us, that that night over 60% of all guests were from Germany… Austrians and Swiss to be added on top of that.

We threw some laundry in the machine and cooked some spaghetti with tomato sause… the first hot self-made meal in a while. After this lunch, we drove to Paia to hang out by the beach and enjoy the sun. The beach we went to was a very small, almost private beach behind some sports courts. Only a few local people hung out there and a bunch of surfers hoped for the surf to rise. I enjoyed being able to relax for a bit and read Alice in Wonderland in one sitting.

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After the sun started to set, we drove back to the Hostel. We packed up all our luggage; it was quite the task. I mean the constant moving around the island called for unpacking and repacking, but a lot of the thinks were just tossed in the trunk and that was it, however, as we had to take a flight the next morning, all our belongings had to fit in one suitcase and one backpack.
After that was achieved, we got our first hot showers in a week. Trust me, it was divine. I am not really an overly sensitive person and like cold water, but washing hair in ice cold water (okay roughly 16°C) in combination with the breeze coming from the ocean, is not as comfortable as a warm shower inside. The German majority in the house made for quite some interesting conversations and remarkable comments. E.g. while I was still in the bathroom, some gentleman said “Die Kombination von Gras und Herbal Essences riecht wie meine Ex.” (The combination of weed and Herbal Essences smells like my ex.)
I am guilty for making it smell like Herbal Essences and the scent of pot somehow just lingered in the air. One refreshed, we finished the left over spaghetti from lunch and fell to bed.

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