WONDROUS DAY, FULL OF EXCITING ADVENTURES

Day 5, Jan 3, 2018 – DOCTOR’S SURFING GALLERY, WAIMOKU FALLS HIKE, KOKI BEACH, HANA HIGHWAY BY NIGHT, MOONRISE OVER HALEAKALA, ELIZABETH’S FIRST EVER NIGHTTIME OCEAN SPLASH

Visit to Doctor’s Office and and His Surfing Gallery

I used the opportunity of us being back on Maui to set up my annual dermatologist check up. So after our morning walk on the beach, I left Elizabeth to talk to some of the local artists who were painting some beach scenes, and went to see Dr Martin.

You can’t say this about many doctors, but I have always enjoyed my annual visit there. Because the walls of his surgery are adorned with marvelous photos of surfing and marine life,

A dermatologist is an essential part of a surfer’s and sailor’s support team. So most of these photos are signed in gratitude by famous surfers or sailing competitors from around the world.

Here are some I wanted to remember. This will likely be my last visit here as Dr Martin has given me a referral to a top dermatologist at the Medical School of the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Don’t worry. I passed again my annual examination with flying colors. That was the bonus of this pleasant experience.

Destination Waimoku Falls: Panorama views from Kula

I know it will sound weird, but the only way to go from Kihei in southwest Maui to farther points south and east is to first go north, then east then south.

Blame the lame Maui County officials and Oprah for such a convoluted road system. They are blocking public acess to a road the locals have been waiting for over 40 years — a potentially golden road that could radically ease traffic congestion in Central. Maui. Just another example of Maui oddities and Maui political corruption.

Never mind, we drove the way we had to until we eventually ended up above Oprah’s 1,000-acre estate, apparently one of many across the US and around the world that this $2.7 billion-TV star owns (see https://mauitime.com/news/business/deal-oprah-winfreys-private-maui-road/).

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Once out of the settled part of Kula, we stopped to take these wonderful panorama views of Maui from about a 3,000 ft elevation.

Destination Waimoku Falls: FANTASTIC MOUNTAIN SCENE

Our next stop yielded an amazing photo I took of Elizabeth in the middle of nowhere, on the souther shore of Maui, near Kaupo.

I did not realize it when we were there “live,” but when I saw this photo this evening on my computer, my jaw just dropped. It looked positively ethereal. Otherworldly.

When I showed it to Elizabeth, her reaction was similar. Stunned by its beauty.

The scene looks like Elizabeth is standing in a sea of golden grass, like summer wheat before the harvest, under a massive mountain.

Which is what the 10,000 ft Haleakala volcano really is – massive! You can even see one of the telescopes atop the Haleakala summit which I blew up in that shot.

There is a certain haze surrounding Elizabeth and the mountain, as if Monet had painted this scene in his impressionist style.

The reason for the haze was a strong wind which was blowing from the ocean, bringing ashore the mist from the crashing waves behind us.

You can see how strong the wind was at this spot from the last shot. My hat barely stayed on for this selfie. And look at my hair flying.

Absolutely an astounding scene! And a great surprise for both Elizabeth and me when we saw it this evening.

We then drove on to Kaupo where Elizabeth took a picture of St Joseph’s church, and I of her doing it. 🙂

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Destination Waimoku Falls: Getting there is half the fun?

After about a 2.5 hour drive, we finally arrived at the Waimoku Falls parking part of the Haleakala National Park.

We had done the 4-mile round trip Pipiwai Trail to and from the 400 ft Waimoku Falls there three times before together. And I had also done once before by myself. Still, every time we get back here to this remote and beautiful part of Maui is an exciting adventure.

The trails is pretty hard. Not just because of the 1,600 ft elevation difference during the roundtrip. The ground is quite rough and often slippery, though that was not the problem this time. It was a very dry day.

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But there are rewards. One of them is a marvelous bamboo forest through which one has to pass before reaching the final destination, the majestic falls.

“I am so excited to go through the bamboo forest again,” Elizabeth said as we started our climb.

Well, by the time we did get to the bamboos, which is about 2/3 of the way up, we were both gasping for air. And Elizabeth was not talking much, trying to preserve the oxygen she took in.

“You said you’d be excited to be here,” I reminded her at one point.

“I am,” she said. “I just can’t talk right now.” 🙂

And on we went.

 

Destination Waimoku Falls: At the target

We finally got to our destination – the 400 ft Waimoku Falls – a little over an hour after departing from the National Park office. We spent about 10-15 minutes relaxing there and taking photos before heading back down the Pipiwai Trail.

Destination Waimoku Falls: Return

Our return hike was mostly downhill. So Elizabeth became quite chatty. Which was nice to see.

She has more trouble with her heart and lungs going up a hill, whereas I suffer more going downhill because of my bad knees.

Anyway, we amused each other chit-chatting along the way. And I did some pretend-exercises in the jungle hanging off a fallen bamboo.

We were back in the National Park parking lot about 2.5 hours after we had started our hike.

Overall, this Waimoku Falls hike was Elizabeth’s third most favorite experience of the entire trip – ✮✮✮ (Elizabeth).

Return from Waimoku Falls: Koki Beach, Hana

We arrived at another one of our favorite places on Maui – Koki Beach in Hana – just as the sun had set on the other side of the island.

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This beach, which is the final resting place of Goddess Pele, according to Hawaiian legends, faces east. So it is a place to be at sunrise. Alas, we did get that choice.

The beach was wild and woolly and windy as usual. We have been here many times before. And it always felt the same. The only difference is that this time the surf was up. The high tide had pushed the waves right up to the rocks, wiping out the sandy part of the beach.

Return from Waimoku Falls: Road to Hana, or in our case – FROM Hana

The road to Hana, or in our case from Hana, is world famous. The 64-mile stretch that connects Hana to Kahului along the picturesque north shore has 620 curves and 56 bridges, mostly single lane. Which is why the locals have been selling T-shirts that read “I survived the road to Hana” since time immemorial.

Well, we made it Kahului by about 8PM, and then stopped at a Starbucks for a drink. We did not take any water on our Waimoku Falls trail, except what we drank at a fountain before and after our hike.

And then on our drive from Kahului to Kihei, we witnessed a most beautiful full moon rise over Haleakala volcano.

ELIZABETH’S FIRST EVER NIGHTTIME OCEAN SPLASH

After we got back home, Elizabeth said she would go to the beach. She had promised to do it twice today, but because of our trip it never happened.

So it was a little after 10 PM, and – believe it or not – that we just got back home from a day full of wondrous adventures.

The grand finale was Elizabeth’s first ever nighttime splash in the ocean under a full moon! She is afraid of water even on the best days, but doing it at 9:32 PM, and on her own initiative – that’s something unheard of. 🙂

Stand by to find out the reason why in my tomorrow’s update.

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