Jason and Dawn - Around the world 2011 travel blog

Day 22 (Feb 28) Woke up to a very chilly morning at 5:30am. Travel up to the mountain summit to see the sunrise at 6:40am. Packed with excited tourists, it was hard to get a good vantage point to take photos so we climbed up a dark rocky trail to a peak where we had the best views and seats (rocks) on the mountain. The wind was intense but we brought our sleeping bags up with us and wrapped them around our bodies to keep us toasty warm. There were tourists that did not come prepared for the cold and you could tell their lips were turning blue, some brought their little thin blankets but that didn’t even begin to keep them warm. We were above the clouds and the air was fresh and clean. I was having a bit of a hard time breathing due to my cold but I wouldn’t have missed this for the world. On our way up the mountain to the 10,000 foot summit we followed a train line of vehicles racing up to the top to get there before the sun rose without us. It was a neat site in the pitch black, winding curving roads which cars seemed to take the corners better than the tourist vans did.

It seems like you go through three levels of clouds as you get to the summit. As the sun started to rise you saw colors of immense orange, yellow and pinks. At one point the peak of the clouds turned an electric yellow with the arrival of the sun rising. The crowd was noisy before hand but as the sun rose their became dead silence as everyone was in awe of the beauty happening above the clouds. What an awesome sight, words cannot even begin to describe the scene. So tranquil and peaceful to the point of where you forget where you are and your mind shuts down so you don’t even think. Jason got some great photos so we hope they portray the breathtaking beauty we witnessed. We waited out the crowd and sat to enjoy the views. The observatory was cool to see but the wind never gave up its rage so we decided to start our descent down to our camp. We crawled back into the tent to sleep a few more hours as we were both tired and I felt really feverish (with no fever of course) in hopes this would make the rest of our day more energetic.

Once up we headed out the the Tendeschi Winery to indulge in a few samples of their award winning wine. However once we entered the crowded room and finally got a spot at the tasting bar I was asked for my drivers license for ID. I produced my passport and once the server reviewed the year she exclaimed, “ Wow you look at lot younger”. As we observed no once else in the entire room got carded, with the exception of Jason to which I responded she had to do that because of me….he didn’t seem too impressed with that response. LOL He will be 34 very soon (10) days to be exact. After our tasting we drove to the Surfing Dairy Farm which is a goat cheese farm. We tried four of their sample and they were all delicious. There was one called the “Canadian” which was cranberry and cinnamon. One of my favorites. Nothing like clean organic goat cheese. The owner happened to be there so we spotted him and his Hawaiian wife working away. Goats were being milked and any spilled milk was being lapped up by the dogs hanging around. Baby goats were playing and jumping up and down on a surf board in their pen. We even saw a girl goat drinking the urine of a male while he stood there and just let it go - kind of gross really but that’s nature. The owner started out as a software owner that visited the Island and fell in love with it. He sold his software business, bought a goat farm and saw a need for organic goat cheese on the Islands so he started to make his own. It flourished from there, 98% of the world’s population eats goat cheese with the exception of Europeans and some North Americans. It is easier to digest so most babies who cannot drink milk thrive on goats milk and can easily digest both the milk and cheese. Even in extreme cases of an intolerance to milk most people can eat goats cheese and drink the milk due to the thinness and small particles in the milk which the body does not need to break down as much. After that we found the Papalua Beach Park to camp for the night.

Day 23(Mar 1) Woke up early and headed down south Maui to Makena area. Went to Boss Frog’s dive shop and rented two sets of snorkel fins, mask for Jason (his leaks) and a boogie board. Drove down through the resorts to Anini Bay which the dude at the dive shop recommended for snorkeling. It’s a little cove which has houses very little sand for the beach spot but it did have a cement ramp in the water to help those of us going out with our fins on. Easier to walk backwards or just go out far enough that you can put your fins on in knee deep water. Waves were coming in so I quickly paddled out on the boogie board, Jason being the “Newbie” fish that he is just jumped in and started snorkeling right away. An abundance of fish greeted us from the time you stepped into the water. Coral reefs everywhere which made it a lot more exciting for viewing many different tropical fish.

Jason met a man from Edmonton who has gone snorkeling a million times and knows these bays quite well. He showed Jason where the largest sea turtle rests in the bay, under a reef edge. He came up for air so Jason had a swimming session with the majestic turtle. He was approximately 5 feet in length and 3 feet across, covered in a microbial fungus all over and even on his eyes. Our Edmonton “guide” told us that he ran into 3 marine biologists in the bay last week which told him about the turtle and that they are researching what type of disease he has. Poor guy, you just want to take it off his eyes so he could see better. Upon more conversation we were guided out farther into the ocean and around some reef into another cove that the locals call the “dump”. The reef here is healthier and carries more tropical fish, many larger in size.

We saw a lot of Jason’s favorite which just happens to be Hawaii’s state fish (Humu humu nuku nuku apua’a) the Rectangular Triggerfish. We saw Moorish Idol (kihi kihi), Blue Cravalle (Ulua), Rainbow Cleaner Wrasse (Hinalea), Convict Tang (Manini), lots of Yellow Tang (Lau’lpala), Unicorn fish (Kala), Needle Fish (A’ha), Trumpet Fish (Nunu) which are very cool, Blue Parrot Fish (uhu), Picasso Triggerfish which are very colorful, Bluespotted Grouper and Saddle Wrasse (Hinalea Lauwili). Those are just the ones we can identify, there were a few larger silver fish that looked big even at a distance closer to the top of the water which I have yet to figure out what type of fish they are. Jason took some pretty cool underwater photos, hopefully we will be able to share them with you soon. The coral reef gets high in some places so we had to be very careful not to get caught up on them as the waves came in and out of the bay. We had another gentlemen join us on our journey as well which we all shared some good conversation time while floating hanging onto my boogie board.

We started to make our way back as I was getting chilly and started shaking, still recovering from my cold however the sun had gone away being replaced with clouds, the wind had picked up and the waves were getting a little more aggressive. I spotted a turtle laying on some coral on the sandy bottom just sleeping away, relaxing. We watched him for a while, an amazing thing to see, so free and peaceful that you forget where you are. Not too far away Jason spotted a group of fish hanging around a large bluespotted grouper fish that had apparently just swallowed his lunch. A large tail hung out of his mouth, silver in color and obviously dead with no movement. Dang, he just wanted to eat his prize catch in peace however these fish following him around had other things in mind. We also saw a group of fish feeding on a dead lobster, it was like watching a National Geographic special but this show was live and we were right above it! How great is that? As we came in around the reef I spotted a large turtle making its way to the top for a breath of fresh air. We followed at a safe distance and swam with him. Watching this gentle creature peak sideways at us as he continued on his journey to the top, not really caring he had an audience. I loved every minute of it. We stopped at the spot where the largest turtle hangs out but he was catching some z’s at the bottom never making his way up so we said our goodbye’s and left him to rest.

After we dried off we made our way to Kama’ ole Park 111 where we staked our claim to a beach spot and Jason boogie boarded the rest of the afternoon. I watched and snapped photos of him from my hot and sunny beach bum location. There were two older gentlemen who were trying body surfing, got some pretty good laughs as they tumbled around with legs in the air as the waves took them out into the whitewash. Jason caught some pretty good air time on the boogie board, taking in a bit of salty sea water and having a blast while doing it. We showered in extremely cold water and made our way back to the dive shop to return our rental gear. Found a picnic table along side the beach, ate or supper and made our way back to Papalua Beach for another restless night alongside the main highway, even the waves along the beach are loud and angry here but since this is our last night on Maui we wanted to be farely close to the airport as our flight leaves at 9am headed for Kaui’i ou r next Hawaiian island destination. Aloha and hope all is well in Canada. Dawn & Jason

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