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Maui: From lush to dust

The last place for our journey in Hawaii was the island of Maui. For us this was the place for relaxation and old school chilling at the hotel pool but also some very nice nature trips. Again I have two awesome routes/places for you to visit. Both of these trips will take you one day each. And yet again I’m totally recommending to rent a car on the island. There’s no public transportation to reach these locations. And the Shaka Guide app that I mentioned in my previous post was our tour guide for these tours also. Worked amazing!

ROAD TO HANA 

You’ve heard from this one! I know you have! This route will give you a perfect glimpse of Maui’s greenest rainforest areas, beaches and waterfalls. If you are a plant/forest/green junkie like I am, you will love this!

It will take you the whole day so start early. The thing is that the road to Hana is a narrow road, crawling inside forests, again very serpentine-like and sometimes very slow. The road will take you to the South point of Maui and from there you can keep going to Haleakala park. The drive there will take about 5 hours and, BEWARE, it’s not recommended to continue your drive from there on if the weather is bad, if it has been raining a lot or it’s dark. That’s because the road is not that good there. So before driving there, decide what you want to do. We drived about 3 hours to Hana town, had a lunch and headed back the same route we came.

I had my friend as an awesome driver because I couldn’t have done the driving myself. Just because of my fear of heights. The road sides go down sharply and sometimes you can see big landslides. Also, when you’re turning, after 300 or 400 turns, and you still cannot see if there’s a car coming from around the turn, you will get irritated.

Otherwise the route is so beautiful. You will be amazed and again there’s lots of view points and little trails you can take inside the rainforests. There’s magical old forests that seem that there have been there for millions of years, and there’s breathtaking waterfalls. There’s a black sand beach and little vegan ice cream parlour and some restaurants along the way.

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tattoo

My friend’s tattoo matched our surroundings.

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There’s also going to be a lot of other people driving this road. This is a very big tourist attraction here in Hawaii and Maui so… just to let you know. Like when we stopped to a stop with a restroom I queued for almost 30 minutes for the ladies room. And if there’s a landslide the traffic will stop. But take a relaxed Hawaiian attitude with to this trip you and you’ll be fine!

CHECKLIST FOR THIS ROUTE:

  • A car 
  • A guide like app or CD or a real tour guide
  • lots of water and snacks
  • Rain coat
  • Training/walking shoes that can get muddy
  • a camera

 

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HALEAKALA NATIONAL PARK

There’s lots of green in Maui but there’s also lots of minimal and rough moon-like stone landscapes. Because of the volcanoes of Maui. And Haleakala is the biggest and boldest. I wasn’t too enthusiastic about this trip because (again) my fear of heights. The other places still feel quite safe for me although there might be moments of fear but I ALWAYS AVOID MOUNTAINS!

Well, to the mountain we went because my friend really wanted to go there. So I didn’t resist, I just thought that I will face my fears. It was a 3 hour drive up to the mountain and it’s summit level. Up to 3055 meters. You are above the clouds and you can see the Big Island. The nature up there is rough, not that many plants but lots of beautiful colours made of rocks. I must admit the view was amazing but I was sure not the get too close to the edge.

There’s also lots of arranged trips to Haleakala. If you drive there, you have to pay 20 dollar fee when you enter the park gates. Many people go to Haleakala before sunrise to see the amazing view when the sun comes up. But we just couldn’t get ourselves up that early when on holiday so we went there during the day and that was totally amazing, too.

You can walk to the craters and there’s again trails of different lengths for you to choose. When you come down from the mountain there’s also an eucalyptus forest trails. As a gardener myself, I was intrigued of the few plants. Reminded me of some Nordic plants.

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CHECKLIST FOR THIS ROUTE:

  • A car 
  • A guide like app or CD or a real tour guide
  • lots of water and snacks
  • Warm clothes and long trousers (it will be cold)
  • Training/walking shoes that can get dusty
  • a camera
  • sun glasses
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