Day three in Maui was an early early day. This was technically our second full day on this island and Kourtney and I had to take full advantage of it. We got up at about 330 am and drove, half asleep to Haleakala National Park. If you are ever on Maui this is a must! The best time to go is super early for the sunrise or later in the day for the sunset. The summit of Haleakala is 10,023 ft. To put that into perspective: that is the time you can turn on your electrical devices on an airplane (well 23 feet higher). Thats quite a bit up there in elevation. The drive at night can be a little nerve-racking if the driver happens to think about the twists and turns up the mountain without any guardrails. Kourtney and I reached the top with a decent amount of time to spare. I got some heat from my friends back home when I posted photos that I was freezing due to the temperature being in the 30s when we got to the parking lot. The thing to keep in mind is that in Hawaii one lives in tank tops and shorts all day, so 30 degree weather is almost frigid.
There are many people that head up to the summit to watch the sunrise. If you are lucky when you make it to this point the weather will cooperate with you. The sun comes up slowly behind the mountains and finally up past the clouds. The sunrise very difficult to witness when we were there because it was a very overcast day. We drove over to another parking lot to see if we could luck out and only for one brief moment did the sun come out. I tried to snap a photo as best I could of the Haleakala Observatory which is pictured below.
It was still a wonderful sight but I knew if I had the chance I wanted to come back and see the sunrise without it being overcast. As we started making our decent down the mountain we had the chance to get a much better view because the clouds began to lift and the sun started to come out. The view was beautiful. The mountains, water and landscape were breathtaking. it was clearly worth the early early morning (and I hope I stressed early enough!).
I was not kidding about the amount of rainbows we witnessed. I'm not sure that I had ever seen a rainbow from start to finish before this trip but afterwards I saw several. Kourtney and I decided our next adventure on this day would be to go and see a lighthouse on the northwestern part of the island.
The lighthouse we were off to find was at Nakalele Point. We put directions in our phones and we were off. Little did we know, the road that led to this lighthouse was a much scarier road than the Road to Hana. This road ended up becoming a one lane road that hugged the mountain and had a steep drop off. If we happened to met another car on the road, the opposite car would have to pull up on the mountain slightly to let us by. I really think at one point we had less than a foot till the drop off but I had complete faith in Kourtneys driving. She did perfectly, even though I think we were both pretty anxious during the drive along what I believe was Country Road 340. Of course we were on the side of the drop off instead of the moutain side which would have been maybe 5% more relaxing. It was a fun experience though and I'm glad we ventured off the beaten path. After awhile we got to a part of the road where there were actually two lanes again and it was even paved, I believe this was Highway 30. There was a turn out right after the road improved and we stopped to take a quick photo (as shown below, with a rainbow of course!)
Theres a road there on the mountainside photo below. Its insane to think that we drove that. At the pull out we met two guys were got out and were taking photos as well. They told us to be careful the road ahead was quite dangerous and we needed to be extra careful. Kourtney and I looked at each other... did they not realize that we were on a one lane road hugging a mountain while cars had to drive up the side of the moutain slightly to wait for us to pass? What type of road could be worse? We drove on and noticed a few rocks that had fallen across one of the lanes. This must have been the dangerous part they were talking about. We laughed because we knew if they kept driving the route we just came from they were going to actually see a dangerous and scary drive! We ended up missing the lighthouse exit somewhere along the way but the views had us interested the whole time, so we were not too upset with missing out on it.
I should have counted all the warning signs I saw while I was in Hawaii: beware of blowholes, hazardous cliffs, dangerous riptides, do not stand too close to the edge of the shore when massive waves are coming... the list goes on and on. The photo offering a warning below was one from our journey that day.
After heading along the safe Highway 30 (silly boys to warn us of this perfectly fine road) we just drove for a bit taking in all the beauty the island had to offer.
When we reached Ka'anapali, it was starting to get close to sunset. We ended up parking and taking a stroll on the beach and just enjoyed the pinks and purples in the sky right before sunset.
After the sun went down we went and showered and had a nice meal in Lahaina and hung out in their "downtown". I think this may be the city with the biggest nightlife on Maui and we had a hard time finding dinner past 9pm. The way back to the hotel I don't think I will ever forget, we had the convertible down and Taylor Swift came on the radio. I was belting out the lyrics to Trouble and taking in the fresh air and the amount of stars that filled the sky. Those stars were endless and stretched out as far as you could see. It was a perfect last night on that island.
We had to catch our flight in the afternoon the next day so we had to be at the airport about one in the afternoon. We ended up heading back to Paia and having lunch there. Our next stop was the location of the "infamous fall". It was time to redeem myself for busting my tail and getting scraped up. The weather was gorgeous and we got a photo (of course) but the biggest surprise were the honus (turtles) on the beach . There were several turtles sunbathing and getting in and out of the water.
The photo above is not too far from where I fell two days before.
I was so excited to see these turtles!
We had to leave our new friends not too long afterwards to head to our delayed flight, but every moment of the trip was worth it. I love how easy travel was with Kourtney and I knew I could travel anywhere with her in the future.