Hawaii is called the 50th state for two reasons in my book. Number one, it is the 50th state to be added to the United States and number two, it was my 50th state to enter! With a huge amount of excitment, we began our 2 and a half week trip to Hawaii in late January. For the first 9 days, we explored the island of Maui.
Maui is an exceptionally beautiful island that, despite it's relatively small size, contains a little of everything. It has rain forest, desert, high moutains and beaches. It also has brilliant blue water filled with countless tropical fish and massive humpback whales.
Of our 8 nights on the island, we camped for 5 of them. Interestingly enough, 4 of those 5 nights camping were free! Much of our time camping was spent in Haleakala National Park. We spent two nights along the coast near the Pools of Oheo and two nights high in the mountains. We went on an overnight backpacking trip deep into the Haleakala Crater, a beautiful and desolate old volcanic area. We encountered heavy rain in the evening and overnight temps which dipped to below freezing. The nightime stars were out of this world though and the mornings sunrise was equally as incredible.
Other highlights of Maui were focused around the water. We spent a good deal of time snorkling and diving. One of the most magical moments came underwater while diving. I was well underneath the water when I began hearing what sounded like kids playing. There were screams and whistles, grunts and groans. This went on for quite some time until I began to wonder if I was going crazy. Suddenly, I realized that I was listening to a humpback whale conversation! It was like listening in on an alien conversation. We were both utterly mesmerized by it.
We ended our time in Maui by going to a Luau along the beach. This involved a huge dinner at sunset along with hula dancers and fire twirlers as darkness became complete.
And now we are on to the Big Island for a whole new set of adventures!