Saturday, January 7, 2017

Instead of Haleakala

The biggest reason we came to Hawaii was to see volcanoes.  Maui has a dormant one, Haleakala, and our goal for our first full day on the island was to go to the national park at the peak of it, and hike in the crater.

We stopped at this lookout on the way.  We're still on the north coast of the island here.  There's a mountain in that cloud on the horizon.  The weather has so far been very volatile and was forecast to remain so:

Here we have turned inland and are heading up towards the volcano.  It's in that rain up ahead.  The guidebook says that the mountain can be ringed by rain and still be clear at the summit, so we decided to give it a go:

Driving in and out of showers as we proceed upland.

Shortly after this the rain got too relentless for photos.  When we got to the park entrance, it was windy with horizontal rain and poor visibility.  The ranger advised that while we could go up, it was no better at the summit and they were recommending that people not go.  Sigh.  This was our only chance to go up, as well, but the weather was dangerous (winds gusting up to 60 mph) so we turned around.

There were sunny patches, but in that cloud on the horizon is the other mountain, so weather is still not great over most of Maui.

We got out the guidebook and looked for something we could do in this volatile weather.  We decided to go to a botanical garden first.  Here are just a few photos, we saw lots of interesting plants and flowers:

Next we thought we would try a drive along the southern coast of the island, as that is the dry side.  Here we are heading south, and that is the small island of Kaho'olawe in the distance.

This ended up being a spectacular drive.  The ever-changing clouds were amazing, and the semi-barren land gave impressive expansive views.

This is our rental car.  I picked the orange one as I correctly figured we'd find it more easily in parking lots:

Note the rainbows in the next two photos:

I had lots more interesting photos, but that gives you a taste of the south coast of Maui.   Not your average tropical landscape, but totally breathtaking.

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