Sunday, October 2, 2011

Maui hiking and cycling fun

(My bike poses by a waterfall on the highway to Hana)

We've been back from Maui for a week and I am still basking in the glow of a fantastic trip. We packed in a ton of activity into 8 short days, but to sum it all up (more details may later be added), we hiked or rode each day. Here are some highlights.

Cycling on the Hana highway:  This was a fantastic ride. As Dan put it, "Hana Highway is an absolutely drop-dead gorgeous road. There's no prettier road anywhere: a series of one-lane bridges, spectacular waterfalls, and sheer drops. Due to the constrictions, cars go slowly, and while it's slightly nerve-racking by car, ironically it's virtually care-free by bike due to the slowness of the vehicles".

[Warning: mushy emotional paragraph follows. Skip to go directly to pictures]
This was such a fun ride-- hilly, crazy roads, tropical rain (intermittant, then steamy roads as the sun baked the moisture away), smells of flowers and guavas, curvy descents-- and I was happy to be able to ride again (no matter how slowly :) ). I thought about all of the people who helped me along the (slow) road to recovery from my injuries: Dan, my family & friends, health care/PT folks (Dr Fred, DePrato, Greg at SMI, the folks at Pilates, many others). I am so grateful for all of the help and support. I also thought about how much I've missed riding, especially this type of riding: exploration of new roads in new places. Anyhow, without getting unduly sappy, this was really a milestone ride. I had a huge grin on my face the entire time!

We also did some amazing hiking and other activites. Here's an assortment of photos from the rest of the trip:

Sunrise at Haleakala summit:

Followed by a hike into the crater on the sliding sands trail:

View of crater from lower down:

The views were clear and we could see all the way down the slopes to the ocean:

(Dan checking email at 9000 feet)

Then, onto Hana via the highway to Hana. We hiked on the lava trails at Waianapanapa State Park in Hana:

(Black sand beach (left) at the start of our hike at Waianapanapa State Park)

Hiking on lava was hard! Very shifty, hot and pointy!

After staying overnight in one of the cabons in the State Park (economical but very basic-- plastic sheets on the beds and I got about 90 mosquito bites during the night), we headed onto Haleakala National Park on the backside of the volcano and did the hike to the "seven sacred pools" (actually more like 14). Here's a representative pool:

We clambered around rocks near some of the pools and scrambled up a small hill (clinging to tree roots) to view a pool in a cave:

This was the reward at the end of the hike-- a 400 foot waterfall. Amazing even with reduced flow at this time of year:

We also enjoyed the west side of the island, and hiked and cycled on the Kahaheli highway

Hiking into the west Maui mountains on the amazing Waihe'e ridge trail: a short grunt of a climb, but well worth it for the amazing views on the ridge:

View to the west- rippling hills and the ocean:

View to the east -- Haleakala volcano and north Maui coast:

We also rode on the Kahaheli highway, another doozy of a road with long single lane portions (two-way traffic!). Another fantastic ride, much recommended.

What a great week. We look forward to returning.


Christine said...

Incredibly beautiful photos. Thank you for sharing them.

NadiaMac said...

Thanks Christine!