top of the world

Most, if not all, of the Maui guidebooks will tell you a must-see on your visit to the island is Haleakala National Park, preferably at sunrise. The volcano (which last erupted in the late 1700s) makes up more than 75% of the island and is 1.2 million years old. If you google “Haleakala sunrise” you’ll see some spectacular images. Since the weather had been unsettled, we weren’t certain we were going to make it to Haleakala. On the loose itinerary I’d made up prior to the trip, this day was called “goats, wine and a volcano”. We decided to head in that direction, stopping at Surfing Goat Dairy and Tedeschi Vineyards and make a decision to drive up to the summit (which take about an hour from Kula – a town in Upcountry) for sunset as we got closer. In total, it’s approximately two hours from Lahaina.  I did a bit of research prior to the trip and found out that some people actually prefer sunset to sunrise at the summit. And this trip was all about sunsets! It’s a curve after curve after curve kind of drive as you wind your way up to the summit. Make sure you bring your warmest clothes. The elevation is 10 000 feet and by the time we got to the summit, the temperature dropped to 8 degrees celsius (and it was windy, so felt much colder).  We arrived before 4 o’clock and decided that if it seemed like it was going to be an interesting sunset we’d stay for the show.  As it was, the clouds rolled in and we were on our way back to Lahaina by 5:30.  I took a lot of pictures and I’ll post quite a few this week, but this one of the Haleakala Observatory in a shroud of clouds is my favourite (click on the pic to enlarge it).

Haleakala Observatory covered by clouds

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