My 2014 Retirement Trip Hawaii travel blog

Maui Cave Adventures - venture into the 18th longest lava tube in...

This entrance was caused by a collapse of a thin ceiling of...

Series of steps go down 50' to floor of the tube. This...

Calcite stalactites are formed by dripping ground water and grow at a...

Lava Stalactites grew from dripping lava 960 years ago. Unlike calcite stalactites...

The "glitter" is Chemolithotrophs - rock eating bacteria that live in total...

A contraction crack in the lava tube. Lava shrinks at a rate...

A large flat area called "The Bowling Alley" was set up as...

This opening is an "Internal Lava Tube Rupture" (see journal entry for...

The lava tube was used for years as a dump for the...

The maze at Maui Cave Adventures

Our guide with an Ipu (bottle gourd) introduced by the Polynesians and...

Uala or Sweet Potato - another staple in the early Hawaiian diet...

Uhi or Yam - a staple in the early Hawaiian diet

The Kahanu Garden emphasis plants used for food, medicine, rope, clothing, baskets,...

Noni - most widely used medicinal plant in Polynesia

Ki - Ti Leaf - used for preparation and storage of food,...

Me

The Hawaiians spent a lot of time constructing their canoes. They kept...

Hoana - grindstone - used to sharpen and polish implements

Hawaii's largest heiau (sacred structure) with Haleakala in the background. The heiau's...


Just past the 31 mile marker, off to the left, runs Ulainao Road. With some planning you could spend half a day right here in this area.

Maui Cave Adventures is about 1/4 mile off the Hana Road on Ulainao Road. It offers a hike through a lava tube AND a maze to attempt to solve. To date the tube has been cleared for 1.5 miles making it the 8th longest lava tube in the world. The public can only hike to the end of the Maui Cave Adventures' property, which is about 3/4 of a mile. The "cave" has informational signs along the tube but no lighting. A flashlight is provided as part of the $12 entry fee. I had been through a lava tube on the Road Scholar tour on the Big Island but it was not as long or as developed as this one.

This tube is about 960 years old. It is believed it took over 2 years of flowing lava to create this tube. The pictures attach provide the most interesting points.

In addition to the lava tube there is also a maze on the property. It is similar to an English hedge maze or a corn maze but this is made with a tall red leafy plant that I have seen a lot (see the Kala Gardens posting) but don't know the name of.

I have always wanted to do a maze so I was looking forward to this. It was laid out well. However, there were spider webs running between many of the stalks across the maze path. I don't really mind spiders but I don't like to tear up their webs because they stick to me and occasionally the spider comes along with it. So I was more intent on avoiding the spider webs rather than getting through the maze. Thankfully, the maze hadn't completely grown in and I was able to slip between the stalks and cheat to get out.

The attendant said right now is peak spider season. She said the spider season runs with the whale season and when there are a lot of whales there are a lot of spiders.

I spent over an hour in the tube and the maze.

Then further along Ulainao Road is the Kahau Garden and the Pi'ilanihale Heiau. I had been here with the Road Scholar Tour and did not want to go there again but it was interesting. The Garden is part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden. They have a self-guided tour for $10. The emphasis is on native and Polynesian introduced plants. I did not post pictures of this during the tours so I have posted a few here. The focus here was plants used for food, medicine or other things like baskets, rope, clothing, etc.

In the garden is the Pi'ilanihale Heiau. This is a massive temple, the largest in Hawaii. It covers almost 3 acres and an estimated 128,000 man hours to construct in the late 1200 AD's. Again, I have included a few pictures of my Road Scholar Tour here since I didn't do it previously.



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