Maui: Day 4 ~ Snorkeling at Honolua Bay, Nakaleke Blowhole, Haleakala, Da Kitchen

We slept in a little today, but made it down to breakfast by about 8:00. My plate at breakfast:

I found the croissants today and each day after, and would slather butter and jelly on them.

Part of My Sweetie's breakfast. He was trying the oatmeal with fixings.

The plan this morning was to head north. Another great snorkeling spot was past where we had gone on the first day, to Honolua Bay.

The parking area for this beach was pretty small, as in, only about five cars could fit, but we were early enough to get a spot. You can totally miss this place - there was a handwritten sign that we saw once we got out of the car that confirmed we were at Honolua Bay. To get to the beach you walked down this lovely path.

There were these handmade signs every now and then. They reminded us to pack out all that we brought in, and to be careful on the slippery rocks. I really loved them - SO liked seeing this instead of a formal sign.

The vegetation was so beautiful. There were a few chickens hanging around too.

Walking with my love.

We got to the beach in about 15 minutes. This was where I was so glad we had done our research. When the path dumps you on the rocky beach, your first inclination is to just start snorkeling there. But we had read that the reef is to the north, or to the right side. And instead of entering the water right at the path, the best thing to do is to walk down the beach, on the rocks, a good ways and then go in.

We went about 100 yards down and it still wasn't far enough north - we did swim out about another 100 yards. When you first go under, right by the shore you can really see nothing. And since the water was a bit churned up we really couldn't see anything, not even the bottom, just a big void. A little bit of freaky snorkeling to wake us up.

Finally we spotted some brown blobs below us. We knew we were taking our chances since there were surfers at the mouth of the bay, a sure sign that snorkeling was going to be a bust. So when we went down I was not surprised to see that it was a bit murky, but not as bad as we thought.

But when you dived down things did clear up a bit.

These red sea urchins were all over the place.

We did see quite a bit of fish, but it was harder to see.

The coral here was beautiful.

Here is what it looked like when we came up. You can see that it was a bit choppy.

There were quite a bit of these big guys here.

After snorkeling for about an hour we walked back to our car. Honolua Bay is definitely a snorkeling only spot - the beach is full of rocks and there really isn't a place to sit.

From there were headed further north, about 15 minutes, to the Nakaleke Blowhole.

This is walking right near the parking area, towards the coast. It was pretty windy here.

The path began to creep down. This was a rocky path, but definitely able to be walked down. But do take your time.

We went down above the blowhole and found a spot to sit.

About every 30 seconds the thing would pop. Sometimes it would be smallish, but other times it went up at least 40 feet.

We looked over our shoulder and I was met with the most amazing sight:

This was amazing. The blue ocean with the black volcanic rock, and the green mountains beyond..... the view was simply incredible.

So we would watch the blowhole....

and then look over and see the coast.

After a bit we decided to walk down further. There are those handwritten signs saying to stay off of any rocks that are wet. They are not kidding, people have been sucked down the blowhole, and even while we were watching a couple of idiots were on the rocks right by the ocean. They were up there for a few minutes and then they climbed back down and just a few seconds later a big wave came and crashed over right where they had been.

Down below the landscape was so interesting. Like we were on the Moon.

Such interesting shapes!

Down here, we also saw the Heart Rock. I had read about this spot but wasn't sure where it was. You have to go all the way down and then look towards the east, towards the coastline and you'll see it.

My favorite photo of the day.

We decided to head back up the rocky path.

We got back to our car and headed south to Ka'anapali. We stopped at the beach right next to the highway where there were picnic benches.

Yummy cheese and prosciutto for our lunch.

While we were eating we saw lots of these guys, right in front of us.

It was super rocky so we didn't go in to snorkel, but we did enjoy watching them float in the surf.

Our plan for the afternoon was to drive up Mount Haleakala. We started at elevation: zero.

First we hit fog. This was in upcountry Maui.

We did have to enter Haleakala National Park. There is usually a $20 per car fee to get in, but our timing for this trip was great - the weekend of April 22-23 was National Park Week so admission was free.

Coming out of the fog, and out of the treeline also.

As we got higher, it looked more and more like we were on Mars.

Finally, we got to the summit. Mount Haleakala is unique because you can literally drive all the way to the top. To get to the actual top, you only need to walk up a short path of steps and you are there.

10, 023 feet high.

Yes we were wearing sweatshirts, it had been 79 degrees at sea level and up here it was 49 degrees. We walked around the path for a bit. It was pretty windy and felt colder than 49.

Looking over the southern side, over 10,000 feet down.

Up here there is an observatory and also an Air Force research laboratory. These were off limits to tourists. Off in the distance we were even able to glimpse Mauna Loa on the Big Island.

This was the view looking west, towards the airport and Kahului.

Finally we headed down. We got in the car and turned on the heater. Hard to believe we were in Maui.

It was really cool to think that we drove up 10,000 feet and then back down again. The total trip took us about 3 1/2 hours. 

All roads in Maui lead to Kahului, so we had planned to eat dinner there tonight. We ate at Da Kitchen.

We got here around 5:00. There wasn't a wait, but we got one of the last tables available. We noticed that they were setting chairs up outside the restaurant and when we left about an hour later, they were all full with waiting patrons.

This place had real Hawaiian food. It has been on Guy Fieri's Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives and so we were excited to try this place.

The dish we had to get was deep fried spam musubi. This was good - lots of rice but good flavors.

We got a Plate Lunch, one of the specials. So a Plate Lunch is just not served at lunch. It dates back to the 1800's and began when the plantation workers would break for lunch, and then share the ethnic items from their lunches with each other. It always has a scoop of rice and macaroni salad, topped with some kind of meat.

This one had teriyaki beef, teriyaki chicken, fried fish, and chicken katsu.

It's a dang good thing we were splitting this. These portions were humongous.

On the menu, there was loco moco, noodle bowls, fish, pastas and sandwiches. This is one spot where I wanted to eat at a few times, just to try other items on the menu.

We headed back to our hotel and made some drinks to enjoy on our balcony.

We made it down to the beach to watch the sunset.

My dad had recently visited Cuba, and right before we had left for Maui, had given My Sweetie a Cuban cigar.

We found a designated smoking area and he lit it up. And I did take a couple of puffs so yes, I have officially smoked a Cuban.

We ended the night at the bar at Leilani's, just down from our hotel, to enjoy a couple of drinks and watch the Warriors game.

We did pack lots of stuff in today, but it was actually quite relaxing.

Maui Trip:

Day 1 ~ Arrival, Geste Shrimp Truck, Leilani's
Day 2 ~ Snorkeling, Mama's Fish House
Day 3 ~ Molikini Crater, Eskimo Candy, Coconut's Fish Cafe
Day 4 ~ Snorkeling, Nakaleke Blowhole, Haleakala, Da Kitchen 
Day 7~ Morning Snorkel, Last Day


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