After our adventurous day at the Maui Ocean Center, and a few more food comas, we decided that it was time to make the trip up to the Haleakala crater. Now, everything that I had read and heard about the crater said the absolute best time to get there was for sunrise. This would have been a great adventure had we done it in the first couple days before acclimating ourselves to Hawaii time. But, alas, we waited until a couple of days before we headed home. The night before we used my iPhone to figure out how long it would take us to get there, and approximately what time sunrise would be the next day. Sunrise was set to be about 6:10am that day, and according to SIRI it would take us…two hours (?) to get there.There was no way this pregnant lady was getting up at 3:30am to make sure to get there on time. So, we gave up on the sunrise idea and set out for the crater about 7:00am. It was shaping up to be a beautiful day, and despite the windy mountain road, I managed to not get carsick (trust me, this is VERY IMPRESSIVE). We arrived at the park about an hour later, and we were SO GLAD that we didn’t give in and leave at 4:00am to get there an hour or so early for sunrise only to have to sit that time in the freezing darkness.
Even in the sunlight it was pretty chilly, but the views were spectacular!
That peak in the distance is actually the Kilauea volcano on the Big Island
One of my favorite adventures from my first trip to Maui with my parents was visiting the Seven Sacred Pools, or the O’heo Gulch, which is also part of Haleakala National Park. I was really excited for Mr. B and I to make the drive to the pools and travel the road to Hana. We set off a couple of hours earlier than the guidebooks suggested (around 6:30am), hoping to get ahead of all the tourists who preferred to sleep in. This plan was pretty successful, and we were pretty much on our own on the road and at every stop we made. One of my favorite stops was at one of the black sand beaches we had stopped at as a child. This beach is seriously gorgeous.
The view from where we parked
We even made the short hike around the cove to get an alternate view of the beach (thankfully I was prepared this time and NOT wearing a strapless bra!).
After a few stops, we finally made it to the Seven Sacred Pools, only to find out that due to some serious rainfall they were closed and there was no way to reach them. We made the short hike around them anyways, and even though I was bummed about not being able to go down to the pools, they weren’t exactly the serene blue waters I remembered, so we continued on with our day. Instead of making the drive back the way we came (and fighting all the drivers heading towards the pools), we decided to continue around the backside of the island, which is mostly a dirt road, and in many places only wide enough for one car! Had we not rented a jeep, this would have been a terrible idea (although, we did see a few Mustang convertibles on the road, so maybe this a matter of opinion). Not too far past the pools, there is a turn-off (that would be really easy to miss if you’re not paying attention) to the Palapala Ho’omau church. This is a very beautiful historic church on an ocean-side bluff. The most significant reason we chose to stop was that Charles Lindbergh was buried there, and my grandparents had said they had always meant to make the trip that far, but never had.
The Palapala Ho’omau Church
The drive around the backside of the island took us probably an extra hour than if had we just gone back the way we had come that morning. But Mr. B and I both agreed that it was well worth it. We saw some awesome views we would have otherwise missed, and even saw a second church an hour and a half into the drive, literally in the middle of nowhere. Not to mention that side of the island looked like a completely different world altogether! Sadly, we didn’t take any photos of this part, but Mr. B thought it looked like Mars with all the red rock and desert climate.
Despite all of our fun adventures while on Maui, I would have to say my favorite part about the honeymoon was the food and relaxation! We did so much, and still feel like we could go back to Maui again and still have plenty left to explore!
Did you go somewhere on your Honeymoon where you feel like you need to make another trip just to see everything?
Coming up next on the Buffalos Roam: all the yummy food!