Our time at our cabin was coming to a close and we needed to figure out our next move. We had plans to camp at the Kipahulu area of Haleakala National Park, but they had a plumbing issue so there was no running water and no bathrooms. On top of that it was still raining in the area. With only 2 bars of data service on our phones, we managed to find a reasonably priced Airbnb in the city of Kihei.
Before we left the Wainanapapa State Park, we went to visit a lava tube with a folk lore story associated with it. (To find out what a lava tube is check out this out: Lava Tubes – OSU.)
We did not see the tinted water described in the legend, but there was a family illegally swimming in the lava tube.
We were completely determined to see one spot we found on Pinterest, the Kaihalulu red sand beach. Our friend Marc said that he was unable to track it down and we found several different posts on on the internet that said it was very difficult to find and that locals are typically unwilling to give directions to it. It was pouring rain. We needed to leave the Hana area soon to get to Kihei. Despite all of those factors, equipped with our rain coats, we managed to find the hidden, and very narrow trail. When we got to the shore, the rain stopped for a bit and we were able to enjoy the amazing views.
Wet and with our hiking boots stained with red mud, we hiked our way back to our car and DB did a great job of driving the rainy Road to Hana out of Hana. During our drive we found ourselves in quite a traffic jam due to a rockslide! Thankfully, nothing was damaged and nobody was hurt.
At the official half way point we made a quick stop for a snack.
When we hit the town of Paia, we stopped for lunch at Flatbread Company (another great recommendation from Marc’s friend). We had the pesto pizza and Marlaina really enjoyed the Bikini Blonde lager from Maui Brewing Company.
We finally made it to the Airbnb in Kihei and we were so glad we made the decision not to camp. We enjoyed the real bed, the wifi, the washer and dryer, and the ocean breezes from the windows of our upstairs room. Most of all, the weather in Kihei was perfect! No rain!
For dinner we treated ourselves to a yummy meal at Miso Phat Sushi, which was just a short drive from our room.
The next day we checked out of the room and drove down the street to Kihei beach. For such a beautiful beach, we were amazed that it wasn’t crowded.
We had lunch and then we made the drive to the summit of Haleakala. Most folks, and websites, and guide books rave about the sunrise, but we decided to view the sunset in order to avoid the crowds and having to wake up super early.
When we arrived, we first did a portion of the Sliding Sands trail which was an unforgettable experience. The views were incredible!
After our hike, we drove up to the summit and we managed to get one of the last parking spots as people were already positioning themselves for the sunset. At over 10,000 feet above sea level, it was very chilly. Thankfully, we were properly equipped. And the sunset, oh the sunset. We have seen so many sunsets around the world… and this was the best. We were literally on top of the clouds.
Once the sun set, we drove to the town of Oluwalu to our campsite. The drive down the summit was long and dark. When we found our campsite it was really late and we were beyond pooped. When we woke up we were greeted by lovely ocean views right from our tent!
Next post will be about our time in Lahaina and Napili and our journey back to the mainland.