Island of Maui
The Hawaiian island of Maui can stand alone as a wonder of nature. This island is affectionately known as the “Valley Island,” however it was voted as “The Best Island” by readers of the magazine, Conde Naste Traveler. It is fair to say that the Island of Maui is a wonder of nature.
The Island of Maui is the second largest of the Hawaiian Islands with the county including three other islands, Molokai, Lana and the unpopulated island of Kaho’olawe. Maui showcases three wonders of nature that include the Road to Hana, the dormant volcano Haleakala, and the island of Molokini.
As noted in my earlier Hawaiian post, when it comes to planning a honeymoon you look to do things well and large. My eyes were set on three different adventures as I looked to explore the island of Maui. The first wandering adventure was the Road to Hana.
Road to Hana
The first right move was renting a convertible for the drive. The air is too pristine, the scenery too luscious and the views are too spectacular to let windows and rooftops impede upon the experience. Although I consider this a cheesy touristy thing, the second right move was renting a per-recorded guide (on cassette at the time) to play in the car as we meandered through the beautiful Road to Hana.
This cheesy tourist trap gadget turned out to be an amazing little escort. If you traveled at the appropriate speed, it knew were you were and let you know what was next and when to pull over for views, vistas and more (sounds funny writing that with today’s GPSs). The information helped you evaluate whether to stop or not and made sure you didn’t miss anything.
The third right move was scheduling a night in Hana at the Sea Ranch Cottages. This resort was an amazing place to stay, but it also afforded us the opportunity to make the long drive more leisurely and really take things in, enjoy the Seven Sacred Pools, and then work our way back the next day without having to hurry.
The Sea Ranch Cottages were a honeymooner’s haven and added to experience during this wonder wandering.
Sunrise at Haleakala
Our second wandering adventure involved getting up early in the morning (2:00am) of which of course my wife questioned why so early. We began the journey through the dark trusting headlights to lead us up the mountain of Haleakala. We had no traffic and found making our way up the mountain rather easy.
As we made the turn around one of the switchbacks, we were provided with an opportunity to look back down the road we had been traveling. To our amazement we saw an incredibly long line of car lights and traffic. My wife got it and responded, “I see why we left early.”
We were not the first to the top, but not many were ahead of us. Arriving early allowed us to avoid the traffic, but it also gave us an inside spot to wait for the sunrise. This was a valuable position due to the cold wind swirling around the top of this mountain (above the clouds). We were warmer and we had a front row view.
Watching the sun peak across the horizon was amazing. It almost seemed like a movie set or something surreal. Once the sun was up we started the journey down (couldn’t avoid the traffic this time). We could have ridden (coasting without pedaling) the bikes down like we had in Waimean Canyon, however we had been there done that and this would have been a lot colder.
Molokini is a sea bird sanctuary and a protected nature reserve and it is considered one of the top 10 diving & snorkeling spots in the world. I scored big here with my wife after she had discovered her new snorkeling passion on Kauai.
You had the option of snorkeling around or hanging out at your leisure using a floating support. Fish were everywhere with an eclectic variety of species and colors as you couldn’t help but keep your face glued to the waters below.
This amazing reality has also affected the popularity today and many complain about the overcrowding. Fortunately, for us, we were ahead of the crowds and had the freedom to really enjoy this amazing wonder of nature.
The Road to Hana, Haleakala, and Molokini made this wonder wandering experience one of the best. And without questions, hesitations or reservations, I can easily recommend the Island of Maui to future wonder wanderers whether on a honeymoon or not.