Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maui, Hawaii - Day 5 Coming back from Hana

Any guesses what breakfast was?  Cereal and bagel?  You got it.  Here's our view from our balcony.  In the morning the palm tree trimmers were there.  Pretty high up for only having a rope keeping you on the tree.  And the way they were swinging those machetes, I wonder how often they almost hit their safety rope.  We packed up and headed back down the road.  There were a few things on our list that we didn't get to do the day before.  

Along the road there is a guy who has a huge underground lava cave running under his land.  He rents flashlights and lets people go exploring.  We loved this stop!  We got there right when it opened so there was almost no one else there. 

It was a little creepy being underground like this.

There were lots of informative signs telling us what we were seeing throughout the cavern.  One of the best parts was just turning off all the lights and being completely in the dark for a solid minute.  You couldn't even see your hand directly in front of your face.  Awesome!  

To get these shots, I set up the tripod and used the flash to light Theresa and I up, then we walked back over to the camera and swept our flashlights over the rest of the cave to light it up.

You can see how in this picture, the flash lit Theresa up but then when we waved the flashlights around after she moved, we lit up the rocks behind her and she looks see through.

Here's one with both of us a bit see-through.  She calls it our Back to the Future picture.

There were some interesting formations from the lava that once flowed through here.  This one had a scientific name, but looks like brownie batter.  So, this is brownie batter lava.

900 years ago when this volcano tube was filled with molten lava, a rock forced its way out through the ceiling and caused a blow-out.  The result is this hole in the cave ceiling.  

As the lava receded, it left lava stalactites on the ceiling.

We got to the end and it was filled with mosquitoes.  We turned around and encountered a lot more people on the way back.  It was nice to walk through the cave by ourselves earlier.

After we finished the lava tube tour, we stopped by a fruit stand and got some more local things.  Banana, passion fruit, papaya for Theresa.  Banana bread for me.  Now normally I wouldn't care much for banana bread, but this one was different.  It seemed like they used fresher bananas instead of the old over-ripe bananas. Yum!

As we were leaving the fruit stand, we noticed the sky was starting to clear up, so we went back to the state park to see if we could get a few more better photos than the day before.  It was much more crowded than yesterday, but we were able to find parking and go exploring again. 

Hopefully a few of these will end up on our walls.  

 Theresa started eating some of her bananas.  They were really orange compared to bananas we're used to.

Along the road there are some places you can look out over a wide open valley from the side of the road.  The cliff you're on is a straight down drop so we were very careful where we steps.  Some places looked like regular ground cover, but it was just weeds growing off the side of the cliff.  

We also stopped by a few more waterfalls that were pretty.  

We were almost finished driving the road to Hana when we just finished coming around a particularly windy area and Theresa asked me to pull off to the side so her head could have a break.  We stopped and she took a couple minutes, and as she was coming back, a chicken came out of the trees to see what we were up to.  We just happened to have some popcorn in the front seat of the car, so we tossed it some pieces and it would come grab one piece at a time, then run away to eat it, and keep doing that again and again til the popcorn was all gone.

It had been a long day and with all of our stops, we never did get a chance to eat lunch.  Theresa read reviews about a local place called "da kitchen" that we tried.  They had teriyaki beef and teriyaki chicken thighs that got good reviews.  The chicken was great, but the beef was sliced way too thin and then cooked too long so it made it dry.  After that it was a 40 minute drive in traffic to get back to our hotel.  

Once we arrived, we went to check-in and checked to see if we could stay in that building we had seen earlier from our explorations.  After some back and forth about which room type we reserved and which type this one was, the desk clerk relented and we got exactly what we wanted.  Sweet!  Once we got to the room, Theresa looked up the prices.  We reserved a hotel view room for $185 a night.  The first time we were here, they upgraded us to a Deluxe ocean view room that Theresa saw was going for $350 a night.  She found that the one we're in right now is a Deluxe Ocean front room that goes for $509 a night.  Awesome job Theresa!  And one of the best parts about the room that it's fairly isolated from everyone else in the resort, and being on the first floor gives you access to a wide grass field overlooking the ocean.  It pretty much extends your deck and there are beach loungers right outside so you can walk right from your porch and lay out.  Sweet!

At sunset there is a cliff diving ceremony from the black rock.  The diver lights the torches, bows to the sea, tosses his lei in the water, then dives in.

We decided on a late dinner and right around 8:30 walked to Whaler's Village.  We grabbed Subway for dinner (prices weren't bad at all.  $6 footlong here vs. $5 footlongs on the mainland).  We kept walking until we reached some hammocks where we laid down for a while and watched the stars.  The Night Sky app on Theresa phone is really cool for this.  Unfortunately the hammock we found was right by the smoking section of a hotel, so we decided to take off early.  Ate dinner and went through a few of my photos before calling it a night.

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