Looking for a car in the airport parking lot is never fun. And definitely wasn’t fun in the morning of the last day on Maui. But a little time and patience paid off and – in no time – we were on our way to the Haleakala summit. It was pretty clear from the very beginning that we were not extremely lucky: the peak was surrounded by clouds, which didn’t seem to be in rush to go anywhere else. We kept going anyway, hoping that it would somehow clear up for at least a few minutes. It was getting colder and colder as we were gaining altitude. The wind also started blowing with relentless anger – unfortunately the clouds were seemingly stuck to the mountain. However, the panoramas were breathtaking.
Entering the clouds facilitated encounters with the most beautiful rainbows I have ever seen (at this point I realized why there are rainbows drawn on the registration plates of Hawaii cars). Cold rain came after the rainbows, punishing us for our light clothing. At the visitor Center they confirmed what we already knew: the the weather was unpredictable, but some luck could clear the clouds when least expected. The visibility at the summit was extremely poor, we could barely see the meteorological station once. Since the sudden emergence of a hole in the milky fog was too improbable, we simply turned around and headed back down. Fog… rain… rainbows… panoramas.
Iao Valley (which was an alternative destination) was also under a thick layer of clouds. Because we had enough bad weather for one day, we decided to go to a beach and lay down in the sun. Makena Beach State Park was featured in a travel book of ours and proved to be an excellent choice. Waves were powerful enough to knock anybody off their feet and they did a pretty good job with us. Nobody can accuse us of not swimming while in Hawaii.
In the evening the Haleakala summit and Iao Valley were still surrounded and covered by clouds. Hopefully Maui weather will be friendlier next time… Before the night show (featuring a magician), we started to meticulously scan the ship to make sure we see its every detail. The show ran twice and we saw the first half before dinner, the other half after dinner. This was all because our friends (Lita, Kathleen, and Daren) didn’t have much choice when they reserved a table for all of us at Grand Pacific Restaurant. The food (it was lobster night) was good and making fun of their silly decor was very entertaining.
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