Friday, August 12, 2011

Aloha and Mahalo Maui

After we finished house sitting for Kelly and Allan Cozette and I set out on a mission to see the remaining eastern shore of the island we had not gotten to yet. From the house in Haiku we hitched up to the 10,000 ft summit of Haleakala, House of the Sun, "the world's largest dormant volcano". The road to the top from sea level to summit is only 37 miles, ending above the clouds. From there we spent three days packing across the crater floor and descending down the Kaupo Gap on the eastern side of the National Park.

Yellow Line Shows Our Route.

Once we reached the Kipahulu area on the eastern coast we camped for a couple of nights before continuing through Hana and back around, Northwest, to complete our circuit. The trip took a total of 6 days and was a great end to our stay on the island. We managed to circumnavigate the entire island while we were there for our month and two weeks, seeing everything there is to see on a backpackers budget. From our calculations we spent roughly $500 each while on the island, including concert tickets and a couple of nights eating out. Not bad considering Maui will probably be the most expensive leg of our trip.

Here are the pictures from our last bout of backpacking around up and over Haleakala and around the Eastern coast.

The 'Ahinahina, "Silversword" is found in the Haleakala crater and nowhere else in the world. It's leaves are covered in small silver colored hairs to reflect sunlight and retain moisture. It is a member of the Asteraceae or sunflower family.

Areas of the crater floor are devoid of life. No plants, insects or animals are found here. It is uncomfortably silent. It's rarely windy and on calm days scientific instruments used to measure sound have read zero decibels.
In such a lunar scape we thought it appropriate to take gravity defying pictures.
Near the Paliku camp. On the other side of the ridge is a restricted tropical rainforest preserve.
Views of the ocean coming down the 7000ft decent of the Kaupo Gap.
The steep 8.6 miles to the coast was hard on our knees and feet, but worth the view.

When we made it to the coast we camped for two days and played in the pools before continuing through Hana and completing our circuit.
The "Seven Sacred Pools" are formed in a gulch as the rain water flows down the mountain out of the rain forest valley.
The pools are right where the steam meets the ocean. The top pool at the largest waterfall has been carved out to a depth of 40ft!

A beautiful red sand beach with clear blue water and a perfect wave break made for good swimming. In Hana.
You enter the cave by swimming a little ways under water. The cave extends 800 ft back or so.

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