Edward and Jennifer's Hawaii Journal

Edward and Jennifer's trip to the Islands

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Ohe'o Gulch
Day 5 12/8
Hana and beyond have been used in many movies, parts of Jurassic Park were shot there and and Meg Ryan talks about the Seven Sacred Pools in the movie Einstein. Everyone is quick to point out that there are more than seven pools and they are not sacred, that is just a Hollywood thing. In any case, they are on the eastern side of Haleakala National Park. Keep driving past Hana and you will get there (with only one road that goes through Hana, you don't have to worry too much about getting lost). First stop at Kipahulu Ranger Station and check out the trails and weather then head toward Ohe'o Gulch. It is a short hike to the pools. After, you can hike a couple more miles up the gulch or go back to your car.

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The road past Hana.

Two miles past the park is the church where Charles Lindburgh is buried. You can drive up and see his grave. His wife lived in the area until she died in 2001. A little past the park the road gets even narrower. The yellow line down the center disappears and occasionally, the curves will have a sign telling you to honk your horn before going around. The road is in pretty bad condition and you won't be driving very fast. It does go all the way around the Island, but it turns to gravel so you aren't allowed to take your rental car on it. We turned around at the gravel and headed back, stopping at Paia for lunch. Paia has a popular wind surfing beach and is your typical yuppie antique shop and beach bum town.

Day 6 12/9
Vacation is the perfect time to get up at 3:30 am. Jen doesn't agree with me, but East Coast time it is 8:30, which is still early for vacation. If you want to see the sun rise at Haleakala Crater, that is when you

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Sunrise at Haleakaia Crater.
need to get up. Allow 2-3 hours for the drive to the top, depending on how lost you plan to get. We planned on getting very lost so it took us the full 3 hours. The maps you get from the rental car agencies don't always name the roads the way the highway department does, so that may add to the time it takes. I've always thought that sunsets are more impressive than sunrises are and that they come out better on film than in real life. This trip did not change my mind. It wasn't that impressive and there were too many clouds to actually see the sun, but on film it looks pretty good. Many companies run trips where you go up for the sun rise then ride a bike down. We didn't do that, but we passed a lot of people who did. On the way up, we kept seeing cattle crossing signs, but couldn't figure out why. On the way back, we saw tons of cows along the road and in the road, causing trouble for those ahead of us.

This was the end of the pre-planned part of the vacation, the rest we were going to spend laying on the beach on the warm side of the island. Fortunately, we were on the dry side so rain was less of a concern. After the trip we came back, took a long nap, then went to the beach to read a book. Since we had been constantly doing stuff until now, it was a nice change of pace.

Day 7 12/10
Today we slept in. We didn't have to get up until 4:30am. We went snorkeling at Molokini Crater and Turtle Town.

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A school of fish at Turtle Town.
The tour starts really early in the morning, and you get breakfast on the boat. Molokini is a crescent shaped crater that sticks up out of the ocean, it is a bird sanctuary, so you can't step on it, and you aren't allowed to feed the fish there. You will see lots of coral, fish, and midnight blue sea urchins. The water is pretty warm, so don't worry about freezing. After snorkeling for about 45 minutes we were tired and got back on the boat and went to Turtle Town. Green Sea Turtles live there. They used to be endangered but are staging a comeback and now are only protected. You can't touch them, but you can feed the fish there. Pull out the fish food and you will be mobbed by hundreds of colorful fish. You are much more bouyant in salt water so you can just can put your head in the water, breath through the snorkel and float, without treading water.

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A Green Sea Turtle.
Two hours of snorkeling doesn't seem like much time but you will be tired by the end of it. After Turtle Town, we headed back to the dock and ate lunch and had drinks on the way back.

Before going back to the hotel we stopped by the Hard Rock Cafe for drinks and to get souveniers. We also stopped at a store specializing in gecko merchandise that had the floor covered in sand (on purpose).

For dinner we went to a Polynesian Luau. A Polynesian Luau is diferent from a Hawaiian Luau because they give you a shell lea instead of a flower one. Good food and a pit cooked pig, with dances from different areas of Polynesia and Hawaii. We even learned to hula.

At this time, you have to mention Poi. It is a traditional hawaiian dish made of pounded taro root. Sooner will hear you went to Hawaii and ask if you have poi. If you listen closely, you can usually hear them chuckle to themselves when they say it. If you were ever in kindergarden and ate paste, you know poi. It has the same consistency and taste as paste, but it isn't quite as salty. Of course, you can add salt and take a trip down memory lane.

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