Mar 18, 2013

National Parks- Haleakala, The landscape from Moon


hawaii maui haleakala waimoku waterfalls
Oheo Gulch waterfalls

Hawaii- everybody's dream destination ... huh? Yeah, it was for me too ... Tropical Paradise they say ... I was fascinated, mesmerized, speechless by the live volcanoes and the landscapes created by this fury of nature! These islands away from the mainland have very interesting weather, their eastern coasts get rainfall almost throughout the year and western coast is hot at the same time! Well, my first stop was Maui, rated best in the islands to visit the most beautiful volcanic beauty! Well, I took an accommodation in Kihei with the view of Charlie Young Beach.

hawaii maui haleakala oheo pools
Pools of Oheo
Haleakala National Park, which houses the highest peak Haleakala Volcano (10,023ft) on the island, which errupted last in 1600AD. Haleakala means house of sun in Hawaiian. The legend says that the demigod Maui imprisoned Sun here to lengthen the day! The park is divided into two parts based on the landscape- a volcanic crater and the lush coast. Both have different climatic conditions anyway :) Most popular,  most beautiful and most unique is the Haleakala crater. It is huge, 7 miles across and 2600ft deep studded with numerous cinder cones within. It seems on clear days it looks like the landscape from moon! The Kipahulu coast is different all together. Lush forests with streams, waterfalls and pools- another beauty to behold. And that is the reason Maui is considered the best of islands. The island has so much to offer- I could easily spend 6 months, everyday discovering something new which is mesmerizingly wonderful! Hikes, sports, unique flora and fauna, history and the finest observatories to name few.

First thing, I wanted to explore the green heart of the island. I went driving on the most popular winding Hana Highway. A narrow road through lush rain-forests, roaring waterfalls and swollen streams. Though driving on a narrow road with hairpin turns is tedious people can enjoy the incredible island views and dramatic seascapes. My destination was the mesmerizing Haleakala National Park's Kipahulu coastal area, 10 miles from Hana. I went on a hike Pipiwai Trail to the 400ft high Waimoku Falls on the lower slopes of Haleakala volcano. But, more than the Waimoku falls I enjoyed the other unnamed waterfalls and beautiful pools on the way. 

hawaii maui haleakala waimoku waterfalls trail
Pics: Trail through bamboo forest, Makahiku waterfalls, Waimoku waterfalls.

It rained all the time leaving almost no opportunity for photography! I saved myself and my camera gear with a poncho. When the rain subdued mosquitoes from bamboo forests took the charge. Well, when I almost reached the destination there was a considerably swollen stream on the way. Slippery rocks, rushing water got me down twice, fortunately my camera gear still remained dry. Couldn't even be there for long due to rain. Retraced my footsteps ...  Then went up on another short hike to see the Pools of Oheo. Flowing out of the lush forests the stream that feeds these pools empties into the ocean.

hawaii maui haleakala crater

It was time for the Haleakala Volcano, the highest point on the island. This part of the park could be reached by Hawaii State Road 378. My expectations were high! I didn't sleep whole night thinking about early morning drive up the winding road just to witness the specatcular, enchanting and popular sunrise over the vast volcanic crater. Well, I was there in time but, the whole landscape was covered with thick blanket of fog. Leave alone the sunrise, I couldn't see the sun for all most whole day. I wanted to hike down the crater and wander around to check the cinders. I went down on Sliding Sands trail which almost felt like walking on the clouds! When there was a bit of clearing and no rain I clicked few pictures. 

hawaii maui haleakala crater silversword
Ahinahina or Silversword
I had my point-and-shoot handy while my other photo-gear was safe in the backpack. At times I could see well ahead and at times I couldn't even see the land below my feet. At times it rained like forever! Still, I felt great while my friend was not happy. She wanted to get over with the hike and almost ran ahead of me all the time, she didn't like that rain. Everyone has their own choice :) This is one of the unique landscapes I have ever seen. We went up to Puu o Pele crater before retraced our steps back on the uphill trail.

Ahinahina or Haleakala Silversword is an endangered species of grass only seen in Haleakala. Now, seen sparsely on the slopes of crater. I wished to have a sight of nene, a Hawaiian geese, in their very natural habitat. But, no! The trails down the crater are equestrian and once in a while a group of horse riders could be seen. I saw a horse rider just 4-5ft away in the fog filled landscape which really threw me off, I screamed a loud scaring the horse and its rider!

hawaii maui haleakala crater cinders
Pics: Haleakala Crater landscapes

In that pouring rain I felt wearing waterproof sandals was comfortable, though waterproof hiking shoes were recommended. Hiking in that rain was an experience in itself. After hiking in the fog and rain whole day, I drove to Lahaina to see some sunshine. Wandered around the black sand beach. Now, having seen the fog filled crater, having tasted the most-talked-about-rain in the eastern coast I took a flight to Hilo, in Big Island. I was wondering how a live and most active volcano would be!
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Leave a comment to share your beautiful thoughts :)

Related article- Hawaii Attractions.

This post is linked to Our World Tuesday and Nature Notes.

If you want pictures please ask me :)
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Scrapbook- A Travel Blog by Kusum Sanu is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

46 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Glad to see you back Ajeya! Thanks :)

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  2. Really, an amazing post.
    thanks for sharing.

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  3. I love this -- definitely not the tourist Hawaii most of us think of and have seen. You can always get dry after a rainstorm! Especially when it is not cold.

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    1. Thanks Sallie! Yep, Hawaii rain is not cold :)

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  4. Stunning shots. Apart from the rain and fog, it sounds like a fabulous vacation. Good thing the horse didn't kick when you spooked it! That silversword is incredible!

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    1. Thank you Linda. Yes, it was a great vacation! I was saved of getting kicked by the horse!!!

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  5. These are awesome captures, Kusum!! I do love the waterfalls and Sallie is right, this isn't what most people see in photos of Hawaii and I love them!! Thanks for sharing!! Hope you have a great week!

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    1. Thank you Sylvia. Though it is not totally off beaten path but, sure not very common. Hawaii is amazing!

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  6. Great area!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

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  7. Lovely place, such trials you had to go through to get such great shots.

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    1. Thanks Karen. Hiking in the rain is fun!

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  8. What a lovely place. Your photos are wonderful and thanks for all the info about Hawaii.

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  9. What wonderful piece of earth. Thank you for the journey. Please have a good Tuesday.

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    1. Definitely slice of heaven on earth! Thanks :)

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  10. Nice to hear about the silversword. How big do they get?

    Love those landscapes of the volcanic mountains in the mist. Perfect pictures, Kusum.
    Visiting Volcanoes is something, right? Visiting Volcanoes National park on Big Island and going through the Thruston Lava Tube is an experience I'll never forget.

    I would love to do the Hana drive, sometime. :)

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    1. Silversword in the picture is about the size of big exercise ball. Though there were many of them with different sizes. It seems when in bloom they look gorgeous! Visiting volcanoes is truly fantastic experience!

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  11. Must have been a great trip! Wonderful shots.

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  12. Lovely waterfalls! And the bamboo shot is great, I have the same photo from my visit there. Thanks for sharing, have a great day!

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    1. Thanks Eileen! I am sure you have the lingering memories from MAui!

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  13. This is a great post. I was half way towards getting a trip to Hawaii when I left my last job - its the only thing I regret about leaving.

    I'll have to save my pennies and get there one day.

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. Thanks Stewart! Sad you missed the chance! The trip would be worth every penny! But, saving them is a big thing!

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  14. Wow - love the misty shots and those amazing crater landscapes.

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  15. Replies
    1. Ha ha ... dreaming is good, some day you will be there! Thanks :)

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  16. You were busy on your trip. Great shots!

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    1. Yep, I am always busy on my trips :) Thanks!

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  17. Nice captures of the falls!

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.in

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  18. Hi! Beautiful captures. I went to Hawaii island and climbed Mauna Kea and looked very beautiful sunset and starlit sky a few years ago. I looked Silversword too. Wishing you a wonderful day.

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    1. Wow! Climbing Mauna Kea- that must be a great experience!

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  19. Wow, beautiful images! Looks like a photographer's paradise!

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    1. Thank you Gail! Yep, photographer's paradise!

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  20. Oh I have always wanted to visit, but it is such a long flight with 2 stop-overs.. I guess that shouldn't keep me from doing it should it? LOL.. How beautiful it is even with the rain.. not so much with the insects. But you have had some amazing adventures traveling and thank you for sharing them with Nature Notes Kusum... Michelle

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    1. It is worth changing two flights! Thank you Michelle!

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  21. hello, love your travel blog here. the misty fog photos are so nice. I like to learn about other places and see them as I never travel from my island. Hawaii would be another nice island to go to though....perhaps. Your blog is worth a long read here so I am off to travel with you for a while. thanks for visiting my island blog also. cheers.

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    1. Thanks Nora. Glad you like my blog and you are very welcome to travel with me!

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  22. OH i love your shots most especially the first waterfall photo. I am biased on long exposure falls shots, so even ripples are my pacifiers. I haven't seen Haleakala, but been to Kilauea, the more active one in Hawaii.

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    1. Thanks Andrea! I too love that silky smooth water in long exposure shots. And yes, Kilauea is one fantastic active volcano!

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  23. Hawaii- my favorite place to visit in because of their beautiful spots to see, especially their beaches.

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    1. Hawaii is beautiful, but has a lot to offer than just beaches!

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