It was also fun because it was such a short flight (maybe 30 min in the air?) We stayed most of our time with family piled into their condo in Lahaina. I wouldn't mind going back to visit and explore more of the beach town!
Above is the view of the island Lanai from the beach and the one below is of Molokai. I love how close the other islands were! (For some reason I was extremely excited about being able to see the other ones. I guess after sitting in the Pacific Ocean its exciting to see anything close to you...)
Our first very exciting activity was to go whale watching. Between December and April Humpback whales migrate down (from Alaska...quite the swim!) in order to breed and give birth to their babies.
The mother doesn't eat the entire time she is here raising her baby until he is strong enough to swim back. Go momma!
This is me realizing that I'm on this little raft with a bunch of enormous animals swimming under me. Thankfully they avoid the noise in the water so we weren't about to get breached on!
I definitely struggled with the picture taking- for as big as these animals are they are actually very difficult to get pictures of! By the time you see them peaking out of the water, and your phone realizes you want it to take a picture, the whales have already done their thing and gone back under water.
I did get a clear picture of some tail slapping action in the distance! We had several mothers and babies, though the babies were a lot more visible because they were playing in the water and practicing their new moves.
This tail was from a mother that was demonstrating to her baby. Afterwards the baby didn't want to do anything but tail slap!
He swam underneath our raft and then decided to dive right in front of us (his tail was enormous!) Of course by the time my camera focused his tail was disappearing under the water so you can't see just how big it was.
That odd line at the front of the raft is the last bit of his tail before it disappeared into the water.
Our next adventure was the drive to Hana for camping!
The drive was probably the bigger adventure given that it took three hours to get to the other side of the island, along a super winding road up the mountain. Some places it was only a one way so you had to cautiously round the turn and hope nobody was barreling down it! (and off the cliff you would go....)
We stayed in a little cabin (below) which was only 60 bucks for the night.
It also had a few missing boards in the deck and one of the kids fell through it.
But other than that it was great!
We visited the black beach which was very interesting because the sand is entirely black. Luckily it was an overcast day so we didn't roast!
This was a really cool cave that you could go through and out very close to the water during low tide. I imagine during high tide this whole place fills!
This whole beach made me think it would have been a great spot for filming Pirates of the Caribbean.
One of the paths off the side of the beach led up to the top of the cliff and this amazing view!
The big island is out there in the distance somewhere. The weirdest thing about being on an island is that you don't notice how small you are until you stand at the ocean.
Then you just look out and its like "yep. this is all there is."
The rain cleared up the next day and we went to the Venus Pools for some cliff jumping. It was a pull off on the side of the road with a little trail that you follow through this field. (so open and pretty! Hard to believe that there is a cliff diving spot here)
This is what is left of one of the kids.
It was such a beautiful spot! The highest point to jump from was probably 50 feet in the air. (That's why I'm standing here taking pictures ;) )
Our last task before driving back around the island was to hike at Haleakala National Park.
A beautiful Banyan Tree for shade and climbing!
About a mile up the trail was a bridge that over looked a little water fall. Up stream was a nice shady spot to cool off your feet (and be eaten by mosquitoes)
These stairs led to a bamboo forest and higher view of the water fall.
We had to cut the 2 mile a trail a little short so that we could begin the long drive back around the other side of Maui.
Here's a shot of the view of our drive back (once again on a one lane road across the other side of the island)
This view made me feel like I was back home again in Colorado!
Overall we had successful short stay in Maui!