Sunday, October 17, 2021

Two Island Hawaii Vacation

After some unplanned cancellations, we finally got to Hawaii.  Instead of just going to Maui, we added on Kauai to join up with friends and family.

Day 1

The flight from San Diego to Maui was uneventful and the plane was less than half full.  Getting the rental car took a while since they Hertz office only had 2 employees.  This would prove to be a common theme during out time in Hawaii.  We then drove through central Maui to our first stop in Lahaina.  Downtown Lahaina is a nice compact town.  Since most people stay in the resorts up the coast, the town is fairly empty during the day.  We stayed in an AirBnB that was right in the middle of town.  It was very nice and convenient to walk around from.  We visited the Baldwin House and the Old Courthouse Museums.  For dinner, we hit Lanai Fish and then dessert at Fleetwood's; both are recommended.

Day 2

We woke in quiet Lahaina and got some coffee at Bad Ass Coffee.  We then headed north up the coast.  Winding around the island, our target was Olivine Pools. These are kind of small versions of Queen's Bath on Kauai but much smaller.  Today, the sea was very rough so we didn't go to the outermost pools.  Heading back the way we came, we stopped at a overlook point and then at the parking for Nakalele blowhole.  The hike down was nice and the blowhole sometimes spouted and sometimes not.  It was fun.  When we got back to the lot, we picked up some snacks from a local vendor, Mama Lei's Homemade Goodness.  I like getting food from the roadside stands in Hawaii.  It is usually very tasty and you are helping out a state still reeling from government mismanagement.  We then stopped at another overlook to see the snorkel cruises at Honolua cove.  Next up, we stopped at Fleming Park.  From the parking lot, we hiked the public path through the Ritz Carlton resort to the Dragon's Teeth. Cool hike among the unusual formations.  There was also a labyrinth to calm the spirit.  Back in the car, we drove to Oluwalu for lunch and pie at Leona's.  Back in Lahaina, we couldn't get in anywhere for dinner, so had drinks at Lahaina Fish and had an early night.

Day 3

We checked out of our cottage and headed out along the fabled road to Hana.  Jyoti bought a Gypsy audio tour for the trip so we had someone to guide us the entire trip.  I highly recommend getting this.  The road was as advertised, long and windy.  But the guide told us about the best places to spot and some great side trips that we probably wouldn't have noticed.

We spent the night at the wonderful Hana Kai hotel and got dinner at the local food trucks.

Day 4

It rained and howled most of the night in Hana.  But being from SoCal, it is nice to have that once in a while.  Today we continued along the Hana Road into the Kipahulu section of the Haleakala National Park.  Getting to the parking lot, we quickly put on rain gear since it started to pour again.  We did the short loop along the pools.  However, due to the rains, they were overflowing like Niagara Falls.  We then started up the Pipiwai Trail.  The mud wasn't too bad but it rained on and off along the way up.  The stream was really flowing and the views from the bridges was amazing.  We hiked through the bamboo forest and finally made it to the falls.  This is one of my favorite hikes and should not be missed. After getting some local intel, we decided to gamble and take the road through the back side of Haleakala.  It was a bit rough in spots but even the unpaved sections were perfectly fine in our rental compact sedan.  That side of the island is a very odd mix of ranching and what looks to be abandoned plantations.  Since we were heading to Kula, it made sense for us to go that way.  We made a quick stop at Maui Wine to get some bottle of local wine but then quickly were stopped by police.  They had blocked the road to investigate a fatal accident that must have happened just minutes before us.

After waiting for a couple hours without news of the closure, we decided to go off road.  It ended being a fairly easy trail and we then drove around the island to back to our hotel at Kula Lodge.

Day 5

After a great night's sleep, we made some coffee and tea then headed up the mountain. Our plan was to park at Halemau'u trailhead then hitch a ride up to the Sliding Sands trailhead.  We were then going to hike down into the crater then back up to the car.  However, the weather was really bad going up.  Visibility at Halemau'u was less than 100 yards and it was cold, windy and rainy.  We ended up going in few miles from the top.  As we hiked down, the clouds lifted and we could see the entire crate.  It was an awesome view.  We decided to head up back while the clouds came and went.

We ate at the lodge and had an easy night in Kula.

Day 6

Our first stop on our last day on Maui was at the Lavender Fields.  It was nice walk through the gardens and having tea with great views.  We then drove by Surfing Goat Farm.  Unfortunately it was closed but the goats we could see looked very happy.  We spent the rest of the day before our flight exploring the southern resort area.  We stopped at a few beaches along the way but the wind made it somewhat unpleasant.

Day 7 - 11

For the second half of our trip, we headed to Kauai where my parents, brother, his wife and the Martin's were already there.

We didn't do as many activities as in past trips but still got in Sleeping Giant, walks on the beach and some other stuff.

We were able to get in dinners at Beach House, Gaylord's, and Oasis.

Lahaina Harbor

Olivine Pools

Moonrise over Lanai

Hana Bay

Hiking in the rain

Waimoku Falls

Haleakala Crater

Pono Kai beach

Dinner at Oasis

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