Ok, this trip might not be for everyone as it requires getting up at 2am, but believe me, it’s definitely worth it. The sunrise at the Haleakala ( Hawaiian for House of the Sun) summit is magic, beautiful, amazing – just all in one. Haleakala is a not active volcano which summit is about 10,000 feet ( 3,000km) high and from where you can witness the sun waking up slowly somewhere on the horizon. Best part is that you are above the clouds, so you get to see a spectacle on colors and shapes. But as I sad you have to get up super early. Where ever your base is on Maui it will take you about 1,5 – 2,5 hours to get there. And you should get there at least one hour before the sunrise as it can get pretty crowded up there. Walking with all those other people in the dark at the top of a volcano was such a cool experience. A big bonus for conquering your sleepier self is that you also get to see the milky way, pretty clear. So many reasons to get up so early.
But one thing you should really be aware of – it’s freezing cold up there and you should dress warm. I don’t mean shorts and a hoodie warm, I mean pants, socks, shoes, t-shirt, another t-shirt, sweater, jacket, scarf and a beanie warm. Sure you can also wear less, but I saw those people wrapped up in beach blankets and I doubt that it was a pleasant experience waiting for the sun and shivering from cold. The temperature drops there to about 3 Grad Celsius (37 Fahrenheit). So just for you to know and be prepared.
We got there about 4.45am, dressed properly in our car, walked to the viewing point and waited for the sun. You could already see a small light stripe on the horizon, but it would take another one hour and amazing color gradients until the sun would rise. I personally, have never seen such sunrise. There was something truly magical and spiritual about it. For a moment you could think that you are able to see earth’s curvature. This sunrise is so fascinating in many ways. For Hawaiian people it’s also a holy place and at the same moment when the sun was fully risen, a group of young Hawaiian people performed a ceremonial chant.
We spent some more time at the Summit walking around and admiring the moon-like landscape. You can see the Silversword plant which is only growing here and also walk into the crater, which we didn’t do as we were kind of tired and hungry.
On our way down you could still see the amazing clouds and it’s so funny to recognize things and views you weren’t able to see in the dark.
Our trip didn’t end with the sunrise, there were few more places to explore in Maui’s up country. I had on my list a visit to a really pretty Lavender farm, but we arrived too early and I didn’t wanted to wait and Patrick was also fine with not waiting until a Lavender farm opens, so we cruised a little bit around and headed towards the next point on our list – The Surfing Goat Farm. Yeah, you are right there will be cheese. Luckily we just came in time when they opened. This goat farm produces some super delicious, award-winning cheese. And the farm itself is also super cute, decorated with surf boards, a nice seating area and the cheese shop. We bought some cheese, drank some coffee, snacked on our provisions and enjoyed a quite morning on the farm. Life should be more often that slow, don’t you think?
Next stop was the old cowboy town of Makawao with its galleries, jewelry & clothing shops and some food spots. After a short stroll we had really delicious breakfast at Market Fresh Bistro and continued our journey towards Paia.
Paia is the surfer town of Maui. Looking similar to Makawao, but a little bit bigger, with nice beaches and more touristy. I personally liked it here a lot. You could feel the surfer life. Every pick up was loaded with few surfboards and most people walked bare feet. Some really nice shops are inviting you to shop more then you would usually.
My fingers were pretty itchy to spend money, but I could control myself. Or did I bought something? I cannot remember.
While I was jumping into each and every shop, Patrick decided to wait for me at Anthony’s Coffee Co. It’s was vacation, too. Some of my favorites from my mini shopping trip are:
Pearl Butik – beautiful home stuff like blankets, napkins, pillows. I could have bought everything in this store. Really beautiful.
Wings Hawaii – handmade jewelry, home stuff and clothes from local makers and artists
Tamara Catz – store of the Maui based designer Tamara Catz.
A jewelry shop – I cannot remember the name and I really regret not buying jewelry here. They had a jewelry bar with beautiful stones, crystals and pearls, where you can create your own necklace. So beautiful. I only know the store is on Baldwin Avenue, but ever after researching yelp & google I couldn’t find the name.
San Lorenzo – bikini paradise Because we were still full from the breakfast we didn’t tried any food spots in Paia, but from what I saw, there are quite few you should have on the radar when in Paia.
Flatbread Comany – the name says it all
Paia Fish Market – the gathering spot in Paia
Cafe des Amis – crepes heaven with some nice patio seating. I got here a berry smoothie.
Paia Bay Coffee – quite oasis with really good yelp reviews.
Paia was a really nice town to spend and afternoon and I wish we would have come here one more time, but we had to go to the beach.
On our way out of the town, we stopped at the Ho’okipa Beach Park, which was nearly empty due to cloudy weather, which I LOVE. I couldn’t resist the turquoise ocean and spend enough time in the water to get a sunburn. What teach us that? Always apply sunscreen.
Pretty exhausted we spend the rest of the day on our lanai sleeping.