The Enchanted Floral Gardens of Kula

We decide to visit the Enchanted Floral Gardens of Kula, eight acres of tropical and subtropical plants endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and other islands worldwide. 

I would have made a GREAT geisha!

I would have made a GREAT geisha!

I can’t resist posing as a geisha.  In a past life, perhaps…   šŸ˜† 

On the hiking trail in the enchanted gardens.

On the hiking trail in the enchanted gardens.

The gardens have more than a mile of paths and over 100 fruiting trees nestled on the slopes of Haleakala the 2500 ft. level.

For those of you interested, we’ve identified a handful of plants.  Click on each one and learn a little bit more about Hawaii.

Blowhole!

We heard there were blowholes in the area, so we set out to find one.

Thatā€™s me in pink, hiking to the blowhole.

Thatā€™s me in pink, hiking to the blowhole.

It’s a long hike down to the blowhole, but the rock is very rough, so our footing is secure.

Look! Water is coming out!

Look! Water is coming out!

As powerful waves hit the coast, water rushes into these crevices and bursts out in a high-pressure release. It is often accompanied by a loud noise and wide spray

Hooray!  We found an active, working blowhole!

Swimming Under a Waterfall

Our plan is to find a waterfall that flows into a pool and have some fun, so we’re off, driving the winding highways and keeping our eyes open.  As you probably know, Maui gets a lot of rain (it can be over 400 inches annually in some places (that’s over 10 meters)), so it’s not too long before we find what we are looking for.

Finding our first waterfall to swim in.

Finding our first waterfall to swim in.

The water looks cool, there’s no one around — let’s go!

A secluded pond for swim.

A secluded pond for swim.

The water is cool but not cold. Although it appears green, it’s is actually clear; the plants growing on the bottom give it the color.

Wave to the camera.

Wave to the camera.

Hi, mom!

The cool, clear water feels wonderful!

The cool, clear water feels wonderful!

It’s so inviting. We wish we could stay here all day.   šŸ™‚ 

A waterfall massage in Hawaii.

A waterfall massage in Hawaii.

The waterfall lightly thumps our muscles, relaxing and invigorating us.

Playing in the River

We found a river where we can hike up, then slowly float down the cascades and pools.  Let’s do it!!

Playing in the river on Maui.

Playing in the river on Maui.

The river is shallow; it’s rare we can find a spot where the water is over our head.

Refreshing on a warm Hawaiian day.

Refreshing on a warm Hawaiian day.

Wheeeee!  The rocks are covered in moss, and I slide right over them.

I could relax here all day.

I could relax here all day.

This is a little piece of paradise, hidden in paradise.

Is this great, or what?

Is this great, or what?

Maui == happy.   šŸ˜Ž 

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A rare Hawaiian mermaid.

I thought mermaids were just a myth!! 

Bridge Jumper doing what he does.

Bridge Jumper doing what he does.

Although we find the river to be peaceful, not everyone shares our sentiment.  This fellow obviously knows what’s he’s doing, both avoiding the rocks and finding a deep pool to land in.

Okay, enough serenity and calm.

Get to the choppa!!!

Get to the choppa!!!

Helicopter Ride

In the helicopter with our pilot, Steve.

In the helicopter with our pilot, Steve.

We have watched the safety video and are now onboard a helicopter from Sunshine Helicopters, enjoying the Molokai Deluxe Tour with our pilot, Steve. Steve is ex-military and flies the craft with marked precision and confidence.

Some things can be seen only from the air.

Some things can be seen only from the air.

Helicopters can go places nothing else can, and we see sights that amaze us in their beauty.

A seemingly endless parade of wonderful scenery slides past us. 

Flying above the ocean off the coast of Maui.

Flying above the ocean off the coast of Maui.

Above the ocean, we have a view to the horizon and, in some places, to the ocean floor.

Steve finds a Manta ray and zooms in for a closer look.  We can’t be certain, but it’s probably over five meters from wing-tip to wing-tip.

We should do this again!

We should do this again!

All too soon, the adventure has ended.  Would we do it again?  Of course!!

Haleakalā National Park at Sunset

Haleakalā is the highest point on Maui, and is part of Haleakalā National Park. We have decided to travel to the summit to watch the sunset.

Atop Haleakalā just before sunset.

Atop Haleakalā just before sunset.

It’s cold here, and the wind is blowing. Fortunately, we have our leather jackets to keep us warm. The ground is lava, and barren of vegetation.

The volcanic crater on Haleakalā.

The volcanic crater on Haleakalā.

This volcanic crater isn’t a typical volcanic crater. Rather, it was formed over eons as the result of erosion of the entire volcanic mountain top. Over this period of time, smaller lava flows back-filled the eroding valley, building up the floor of what is commonly called the Haleakala Crater. The cinder cones that dot the landscape here are the last of these most recent eruptions (and these individually have true volcanic craters.)

A man pushing a stroller on Haleakalā.

A man pushing a stroller on Haleakalā.

We are here to watch the sunset, but other happenings draw our attention. Here, a man pushes a large baby stroller along the crest of the crater.

A unicyclist enjoying the evening on Haleakalā.

A unicyclist enjoying the evening on Haleakalā.

This fellow is pedaling up the crater.  Seems to us he would better enjoy a more gravity-assisted journey, but who are we to judge, right?

At any rate, we are here to enjoy the sunset, and we do.

Hawaiian Sunsets

We leave you with these memories we’ve shared, hoping to inspire you to find your own romance.

Aloha, Maui.

awa Travels Tip: There is beauty on the bottom of the ocean and on top of the mountains, in the water and in the air. Indulge!