We arrived in Maui to fine weather, and seized the opportunity to go and see the Iao Needle, which tends to be wet at the best of times. Then we went out to the Kolealea Retreat for a few nights. This was a lovely place, set for religious retreats, with a goddess shrine in the garden, and a room for yoga. But as it mostly rained for the days we were there, we didn't walk about much.
Next day was a trip to Haleakala, the Place of the Sun. It is a huge volcanic crater, big enough, I was told once, to fit Manhattan. On my previous trips I had walked through it three times, once getting the wettest I can remember, once getting a bad lip burn (it is 10,000 feet up), and the other unmemorable. I was not intending to do the walk again - it is about fourteen miles, I think, from memory - but this group was not going to do that. I suspect because we were all too old. Two of the tourists did very little walking. One man, 87, was still a capable walker, but had trouble with balance, so he missed a lot of the harder walks. I was badly prepared for the tour, because I ignored the advice to bring arctic-type wear - never need that in Hawaii! I just intended not to do walks where coldweather gear was required. In this instance I stayed with the other two in the carpark while the main group went on a four-hour walk. And we froze. And it was blowing a gale.
There was a ranger station, open till 3.30, which was warm, and I oscillated between that, the bus, and little walks, and took a lot of photos. On the way down there were spectacular cloud formations, all lit by the setting sun.
Next day we set out along the Hana Highway, which is famous for being a twisty road along the coast. We stopped occasionally for photos, and lunch was at a waterfall where testosterone-filled young men were leaping off, and ten mongooses, a cardinal and a cat were competing for food from the passers-by. We stayed at the Hana Kai resort, which was very nice, and had a surf beach just outside. But it was not a swimming beach.
Hana is tiny. It had two shops and a restaurant, where we ate. Maui had had the least rain of the main islands. On Kauai a dam collapsed, killing seven people. In Honolulu, I found later, sewers were overflowing into the canals, and people were advised not to swim near them. Since many of the tourists spoke little English, this did not stop them. It was supposed to be going to rain this day, however, so we reversed the order of our walks. It did not rain either day.
Thursday we drove to the Waianapanapa State Park. We saw a pool with a legend, which I forget now, and did a walk along spectacular cliffs of aa lava from Haleakala several hundred years ago. We ate there and went on to some Botanical Gardens, which were not only interesting in themselves, but had some of the best coastal scenery we had seen. (Possibly because it was not raining!)
Next day we set off for the other side of Maui, East to West, via the South coast. It began to rain, and we had two nights in Lahaina, where it basically rained all the time. Lahaina is a very pleasant tourist town, but constant rain thwarts most activities. I finally bought an umbrella. Next day we set off for Kauai.