We went upcountry last weekend - to the slopes of Haleakala. Our primary purpose was that an artist friend has a showing in Viewpoints Art Gallery in the quaint town of Makawao, and we wanted to see his paintings. A side benefit was that we get to experience a bit cooler weather.
On our way to the road to Haleakala, we saw a lot of sea turtles gathering near the shore. The sea turtles are one of our favorite things to see in Maui. Years ago, it was pretty rare to see them, as they are very tasty and easy to catch and kill. It used to be a common thing to do to go scuba diving, catch a turtle, and roast it over a bonfire on the beach. Now, sea turtles are an endangered species and are protected, so they are making a comeback. At left is a picture we took of a sea turtle playing in the ocean next to the roadway. He seems to be enjoying himself, doesn't he?
We stopped for lunch at a restaurant that is very popular with the Maui locals, Da Kitchen. The food is delicious, but the portions are enormous. Well fortified for the rest of our trip, we continued upcountry. Sure enough, we did see Jacaranda trees. The season seems to be a bit early this year, so a few trees were starting to lose their blooms, while others were still in full bloom. These trees line both sides of the road, and in places it looks like you are driving through a purple tunnel as the trees arch over the road until they meet. Our artist friend is Michael Clements. He is a very well known artist on Maui. We works in pastels and oils. His art exhibit was very nice, and several of his paintings on display had the Jacaranda trees in them. He lives upcountry, and at this time of year lots of the scenes he wants to paint will have Jacarandas in them. There were a couple of other artists that we know who were also showing their work there, so we had a very enjoyable afternoon.
May, 2016. The weather on Maui has been delightful. High temperatures are in the lower 80s, and nighttime lows are around 70. We are very comfortable in the Treetop condo without using the air conditioning. The fresh Hawaiian breezes are blowing through the condo, and the ceiling fans are running on “slow” just to stir the air a bit.
I awoke before dawn today, due to the jet lag. My wife was still asleep in the bedroom, so I went into the living room, turned on the lights, made coffee in the kitchen, all without bothering her. When she awoke, we had breakfast on the balcony (this condo has a narrow balcony, barely wide enough for a table and chairs, but still nice for eating outside) and watched the sun rise. We had planned to take our daily walk at 7 AM, but there was a fine mist of rain then. We call these very fine mists “Pineapple juice”, and many people ignore this and go about their outside plans anyway, but it was predicted to only last for a short while. Sure enough, by 7:30 it had stopped, and we did our daily walk, 3.6 miles along the beach in one hour, 5 minutes. It was sunny, cool, with a nice wind off of the ocean. Later in the morning, we swam in the ocean for about a half-hour, then came in to the pool area to warm up in the hot tub and swim in the heated pool.
Jacarandas are in bloom now, and we will go to see them this weekend. The Jacarandas are trees that are covered with purple flowers at this time of year – they look so beautiful. They grow on the slopes of Haleakala, the 10,000 foot tall dormant volcano on Maui. Jacarandas grow at about the 3,000 foot level. If I can get a good picture, I will post it here.
We had lunch yesterday at the nearby Plantation Restaurant, in the clubhouse of the world-famous Kapalua golf course. The food was great - I had grilled mahi-mahi, and my wife had crab eggs benedict. The view is of the gorgeous green golf course on a hillside sweeping down to the ocean.
More will be posted soon….
My wife and I are retired, and we visit Maui three times every year. In May and October, we stay in our Treetop condo, and in the winter we stay in our Oceanfront condo. We fell in love with Maui 25 years ago, and have been coming back ever since.