Thursday, December 27, 2007

Day Six in Hawaii

Day Six:
This was the second day in Maui and we were up at 3.00am! Why were we up at such an ungodly hour? We were off to make another dream come true - Sunrise on top of Haleakala. At an elevation of around 10000 feet above mean sea level this is the highest point in Maui. In just 32 short miles you rise up from 0 feet MSL to 10,200 feet MSL. Quite a ride!

Haleakala is considered active by scientists. It can erupt anytime and its last eruption was supposed to have been in 1790 AD. Haleakala means the house of the suns and its story is as impressive and imaginative as the Indian folk lores we grew up with. The story goes that the demi-god Maui lassoed the sun from the summit of Haleakala and made it promise to go slowly over Maui and that is the reason why Maui to this day gets abundant sunshine!

We had booked with Roberts Hawaii - a well known travel agency to take us to the summit and off we went sleepy in the bus. We were there by 5.30am and the sun was expected to rise around 6.40am. It was freezing cold and wind chills were well below 30. Pre-warned we wore layers and layers of clothing and still kept shivering. The biggest concern was the big band of low-lying clouds. Fingers crossed, eyes closed in sleep we waited and unfortunately for us, the clouds hid the sun and we really could not even see the crater.

We were really disappointed but nothing we can do! Nature's will and we go with it. The park rangers chant to welcome the sun, it was like the Indian surya namaskaram! The Hawaiians say watch the sunrise in the East and then turn West and there you'll see your future! We never saw the sun rise!

Our view of sunrise at Haleakala

We were back in the ship by 9am and a quick shower and breakfast later we were ready to head out to the sunny and dry beaches of Kanapali and Lahaina. The top down on our rental convertible, 35 minutes later we were in the pretty beach behind Whaler's Village in Kanapali.
Pretty as a picture, bluish green clear waters, blue skies, people relaxing.. what a sight! We spent a good 2 hours lying in the sand and water. Covered with sand we were then ready to get back to the ship.

We had our own mini-adventure here. The car's engine heated light turned on and we pulled over and then we could not get the car to start! Stranded near a beach in Kanapali, 30 miles from our cruise ship we were worried. Frantic call to the rental agency assured help will be there in a good 2 hours. After a 15 minute wait we tried starting the engine, it started and off we went non-stop ignoring the blinking engine heated sign! Thrifty gave us a 10% off for the trouble and we were in the ship by 4!

And V headed out to the Spinaker Lounge for a quick hula lesson. The Hawaiian ambassador on the cruise had been conducting regular lessons and this was the only day V had to shake her hips to the Hawaiian music. Hula is such a graceful dance and so pretty! Four songs, a lot of hip shaking later V was done!

Hungry and with long waits in all the restaurants we took the short way out - ate at the buffet!
What a day it was!

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