Author Topic: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta  (Read 41308 times)

Online Something Fishy

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #150 on: March 09, 2015, 01:45:24 AM »
Milky and the last one

Both are Milky ;)...

The exposure is quite simple; 30 seconds at f/2.8 and ISO 3200. The trick is composing, as it takes a lot of trial and error (and waiting for the clouds to be just right).

The last picture is also light painted, which was far more complicated. I used my headlamp from around 30 feet away, and lit only the last part of the exposure. The light needed feathering to keep it soft, as well as different amounts on different parts of the scene to keep it even (the closer the light,the less you need, as light increases by the square route of the distance).
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Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #151 on: March 09, 2015, 01:57:01 AM »
Wow, those Milky way pictures are unreal. Amazing!

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #152 on: March 09, 2015, 02:05:24 AM »
The last photo is a true masterpiece.

Offline skyguy918

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #153 on: March 09, 2015, 09:59:09 AM »
...as light increases by the square route of the distance).

Is that something like this? ;D


Online Something Fishy

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #154 on: March 09, 2015, 10:18:28 AM »
Is that something like this? ;D

Oops. That's embarrassing :-[.

But at least I know that people are paying attention ;D...
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Online Something Fishy

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #155 on: May 10, 2015, 04:15:36 AM »
Day 8, Sunday:

Sunday morning we woke up and got ready to leave for the Road to Hana.

The Road to Hana (RTH) is one of the most famous drives in the world, and rightly so. Cut into a cliffside by hand, the road runs along the coast, past unbelievable waterfalls and pools, and transports you through stunning jungle and more shades of green than you ever knew existed. Past the town of Hana, the road swings around the east edge of Maui and continues along the vast, barren, and wild south flanks of Haleakala. The road is never straight - the official number of curves is 620. There are nearly 60 bridges on its 65 miles from Paia to Hana; most of those are one lane.

This screenshot from Google Earth gives you a good idea of how crazy this road is:



The trick to enjoying the Road to Hana is to take it slow and be flexible. Youre in no rush to get anywhere; Hana itself is relatively boring. You want to drive slow (preferably with the roof down!) and let paradise sink in.

There are countless possible stops along the road, and its pretty much impossible to see them all. We made a list beforehand of the sights we wanted to see, and ranked them in order of importance. In reality however, we found that we weren't always in the mood of stopping at a particular spot for whatever reason; having a pre-determined list allowed us to make quick and easy decisions. In the end, we skipped a few of our highest-rated stops and did some which weren't on the list at all and had no regrets at all. Being flexible is key.

There are three ways to do the RTH. The vast majority of people start out in the early morning, make a beeline for Hana, and then swing right back. This makes for a very long and tiring day, and you cant really see too much either.

The other option is to do the full loop youd continue past Hana to the south side of Haleakala and on to Kula. This is more preferable by far, as you see the wild, hardly traveled side of Maui. However, its still one long, rushed day.

We were going to do option three, which is to split the drive into two days and overnight in Hana. This lets us get a later start, avoiding most of the traffic, and gives us twice as much time on the road than most people. We will be able to see more and do more, and not feel rushed.

The RTH is notorious for car break-ins, so it is not recommended to keep too many things in the car. Since we would be flying home the next evening, this meant that we were leaving our cottage now and would be schlepping all our luggage to Hana. On top of the risk of theft, this would make our car extremely crowded. To avoid all this, we were going to leave our luggage at a storage facility next to the airport for around $40. In the end however, our hostess graciously offered to let us keep our luggage in the cabin while we were in Hana. Since the house was in Kula, we would be passing by on the way to the airport anyway, so this worked out perfectly. We were also able to keep the last of our Pom meals in her freezer so that we could have them on the plane.

We ate one last breakfast on the deck of our glorious cabin, and then packed up all our stuff. I took some pictures in the garden and we then said goodbye to our host. All we took with us was a little carry-on with the essentials for the next two days, some food, and the snorkeling and camera equipment.

We made the traditional stop in Paia the official beginning of the RTH for gas and ice for the cooler, and then hit the road.

The first stop we made was at the grove of rainbow eucalyptus trees. The bark on these amazing trees have amazing patterns in all different colors, hence their name:



I knew before I came to Maui that I want a picture of these trees that I could hang as a giant abstract in my living room, so I went searching for the perfect bit of trunk. Unfortunately, this was easier said than done. Why people feel the need to deface every beautiful thing they come across is something I'll never understand, but each tree was etched and scratched with people's initials till at least five feet off the ground. Eventually I was able to find a couple of spots near the roots of some trees which worked well:





This picture now hangs as a 4x4 foot canvas on my wall:



From here it would be a while till our second stop, so we put the roof down and simply enjoyed the incredible drive (the lower quality pictures are GoPro screengrabs):
























At one point we passed a classic car club going in the opposite direction - talk about a cool way to experience the drive:







Other times the traffic was more annoying - being that the road is often only one or one and a half lanes, you'll find yourself waiting for traffic to pass. Thankfully things like this didn't happen more than once or twice:


 
a couple of the 49 one-lane bridges along the way:





Eventually we got to the turnout to the Ke'anae Peninsula. This is a spectacular spot place to stop and have lunch along the rocks.

The shoreline along here is absolutely wild:








Back on the road, we stopped at the famous 14 mile marker pullout for the classic view of the Road to Hana:



A while later we arrived at Chings Pond.

What a wonderful place! Completely hidden from drivers on the road, this is a beautiful waterfall and the most amazing pool. You park on the right side of the road (just before the bridge), and then take a short but very steep hike down the gulch to the pool. The water is ice cold, and most welcome after the heat of the day. The pool entry is extremely shallow (and slippery!), but gets progressively deeper. Closer to the falls, the bottom drops off suddenly to maybe 40 or 50 feet. This is a must-do, whether to swim or snorkel. We had the place to ourselves most of the time as well.

The first picture is right before the drop-off, and the second one is after. The bridge on top is the RTH:







The first part of the pool is maybe two or three feet deep and makes for a very easy entry:



The middle part is around ten feet deep and has the best swimming:



This is a straight-down view of the bottom falling away into the abyss (at least it looked like an abyss to me ;D; you just see the blue fade to black and no sign of the bottom. Took my breath away the first time I swam over it.):



We spent around an hour here, then back on the road. A quick stop at the Wailua Valley State Wayside pullout, with some incredible views.

Wailua Village:



Kaupo Gap on Haleakala:



An interesting note about these two pictures: they were taken from the very same spot and less than a minute apart; all I did was turn 180 degrees. Yet look how vastly different the weather and terrain is! This is Maui: unbelievably varied in every way.

Next up was the world-famous Three Bears Falls (official name Upper Waikani Falls). But instead of stopping, we breezed right past it. We simply weren't in the mood of seeing another waterfall right then.

Blasphemy, I know. But the key to the RTH is not to run around around collecting all of the must-see sights. It's doing the road at your own pace, and choosing to stop at only the places which interest you the most at the time. So instead of seeing what is probably the number one sight on the road, we instead decided to do something that wasn't even on our list of possible stops: explore the lava cave past mile marker 23.

A couple of tips regarding this cave. First of all, I highly recommend checking it out. It's very different than many of the sights along the road, and is tons of fun. But if you're extremely tall, be prepared for a world of pain ;D. The entrance is maybe three feet tall, and you'll have to crawl or walk folded over most of the time. I actually bloodied my entire back from scratching it on the ceiling of the cave. Also, don't do what I did and shlep a gigantic camera bag and tripod along with you ;D; there's barely any room for you, let alone your bag.

All that being said, we had a heckuva lot of fun exploring. We went in through the entrance on the side of the road, went through the entire cave (it's a couple of hundred feet long), and came out through the back. From there it was a ten-minute hike back to the road.

Trying to figure out how in the world to squeeze myself in:



Crawling through (with all my stuff ::)):





These roots are everywhere and will really hurt you if you're not careful:



The exit of the cave, and what made carrying all my gear worthwhile 8):



Back at the car, I'm loading my camera bag into the trunk, when it occurs to me that the bag feels a bit too light. I open it up, and to my horror I see that half my gear is missing! I hadn't noticed this in the dark cave, but now I stood looking disbelievingly at my half-empty camera bag. Turning the trunk upside down yielded nothing.

My first suspicion was theft, which is unfortunately not uncommon along the road. I forced myself to think, trying to figure out when and where everything could have disappeared. Thinking back, the last time I used one of the missing lenses back at the Ke'anae Peninsula. However, I took stuff out of my bag at both Chings Pond and Wailua Valley State Wayside, and didn't notice anything amiss. Standing there all confused, it hits me that I still have my camera and main lens, as I've used them in the cave just now. Why weren't those stolen as well? Turns out that at Wailua Valley I had grabbed just the camera and lens and left the rest of the gear in the locked trunk. This means that while I was out of sight (there's a little trail to the lookout there), someone had popped the trunk and cleared out everything of value from the bag.

However, we decided to retrace our steps back to Ke'anae and stop at all the places we had stopped earlier just to double check that I simply hadn't left anything there. An act of desperation for sure, but I was grasping at straws. Needless to say, I did not find a thing.

My $2000 14-24 f/2.8 lens... gone. My $500 85 f/1.8... gone. A multitude of accessories... gone, gone, gone.

Standing there back at Ke'anae, my wife and I discussed our options. Other than filing a police report, there was absolutely nothing else we could do at this point. We decided that instead of letting this ruin the rest of our trip, we'll try to put this out of our mind as bast we can and focus instead on having an awesome time. We decided to take care of the police report when we got to Hana, then put the loss firmly out of our minds and moved on. I'm happy to say that this attitude was successful (mostly :P).

Back on the road, we discovered a flaw in our planning. As the Revealed book sensibly suggests, we had relied on our odometer to let us know when and where the next stop or sight is. We had set it to 0 when we got on the road, and used that in lieu of the very hard to find mile markers. However, the instant you double back, all that goes out the window... Luckily we had the Revealed app; it proved, once again, to be a lifesaver.

By this point it was late afternoon, as we had spend a lot of time trying to find the gear. Next on our list was Nahiku Road, a little road off the RTH which is supposed to be even lusher than the RTH itself. Our destination was Nahiku Pond, a place described in the book as being "so perfect it can't possibly be real".

Surprisingly enough, the description of Nahiku Road held up; it was even lusher than the RTH. How that's possible I still don't know, but you simply have never seen so much green as on that little road. We got the the bottom, parked at the shore, and followed the directions on the app. Alas, the stream and the pond were utterly and completely dry; there was not a trickle in sight. Apparently our luck for the day had given up and curled itself into a fetal position. Thankfully, our day could only get better from here.

Ha! Whom am I kidding. It's about to get worse, much worse :'(...

At least the view and the sunset were stunning, and we actually did manage to enjoy it:







We drove the rest of the way to Hana in the dark. Of course, this is absolutely not ideal, as we didn't see any more of the the road's beauty. However, there was one great and unexpected benefit. During the day, it's impossible to drive the RTH at anything past 30 MPH or so, and that's only in spots. You're usually driving much slower. There are cars in front of you, cards opposite you, and a thousand blind curves. That's all good and well, of course. But at night, there's hardly a soul out. Blind curves are suddenly not blind anymore, as you could see headlights lighting up the vegetation even from afar. The result of all this is that at night, you could drive pretty darn fast. On a curvy, twisty road like this, this is an incredible amount of fun. And here, 60 MPH feels closer to 100 :D.

Roof down, music blaring, driving too fast... it almost made the delays we had worthwhile ;D.

We got into town around 8 o'clock, and headed to the police station to file the report. They were nice and helpful, and it was pretty painless (the paperwork that is, not the reason for it :'(). They were not at all surprised, and said that the Mustang convertible is known to be extremely easy to break into, locked or not. There was not even a sign of forced entry or scratches around the lock - it simply takes almost no effort to get in.

We had booked a room from www.hana-maui.com/ cottages for $125+tax, to be paid in cash upon arrival. This was not a fancy place by any means, but it was fresh, clean, and had a small kitchenette. Perfect for one night. The place was about 15 minutes past Hana, right across from Venus Pool. Crucially, it had a microwave so that we could warm up our Pom meals (we had specifically gotten two meals microwave-wrapped).

We show up around 8:30, tired, hungry, and grumpy. I park and head to the room, only to find it locked and the promised key nowhere to be found. I go around to the office, and - surprise! - it's dark and locked. Getting annoyed, I give them a call. From outside, I see the office phone light up. Of course, no one picks up. Instead I hear a message telling me to call an after-hours number in case of emergency. I head back to the car to call, and whaddya know! No service. Back to the office, pick up a tower, call the number, and listen to it ring. 5 times, 10 times, 20 times.

For the next 45 minutes I play this sick game. Getting service, losing service, calling and calling and calling. At this point I'm ready to kill people. In the meantime, there is not a soul to be seen on the entire property. The entire time I'm trying to go online to find alternative accommodations, but I don't have enough of a signal to get to Google, let alone any website of value.

At 9:30 we come to the realization that we are getting absolutely nowhere. We decide to go back to Hana and see if we could find a place ourselves.

The first place we passed turned out to be the Hotel Travaasa Hana. A more welcome sight could not be imagined: lit tiki tourches lighting a huge circular driveway, leading to an open-air reception desk. The place looked absolutely wonderful.

Not five minutes later, our car had been whisked away by a valet, and we were on a golf cart being driven to our suite, complimentary leis blowing in the breeze :D. I did not care how much it cost for the night; all I wanted was food and a bed. (We ended up paying $340 all-in for a garden suite, which was the cheapest room available then.)

The room was wonderful. I'm a vacation rental guy who's never really stayed in a fancy hotel, so I don't really have a good baseline to compare it to. But the suite was absolutely tremendous. Two queen beds, a living room, dining area, lanai, and the largest bathroom I've ever been to. For some reason there were four roll away beds in the room as well, and with all that there was still gobs of space left.

The only thing missing was a microwave, which they were't able to provide. However, the front desk staff was nice enough to let me into the employee area to use their own microwave.

Funny thing is that I had never even heard of this hotel before. But it turns out that they're consistently rated as one of the top hotels. For example, they've been in the list of the top 100 hotels in the world by Conde Nast a couple of times. We ended up having a fantastic experience with them in the end.

All in all, we had a pretty wacky day. I never did hear from my lenses again, but regarding the hotel all's well that ends well I guess. Looking back now nearly a year later, we only have good memories left. The bad parts of the day are just an another part of the adventure.

And I'm happy to say that for the next day - our last one on this trip - I'll have no bad times to report ;D ;D ;D.
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 11:47:24 PM by Something Fishy »
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Offline MosheD

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #156 on: May 10, 2015, 07:20:38 AM »
I'm only up to day 5, but this tr is awesome! I really appreciate the time and effort that went into this
Totally makes me want to do Hawaii in the summer.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #157 on: May 10, 2015, 07:56:42 AM »
Thanks for another wonderful segment, SF! Boy, that must have taken too long once again to put together, so thanks!

Do you know what time you got to RTH in the morning?

Offline Aj3042

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #158 on: May 10, 2015, 08:37:29 AM »
Wow time and time again SF probes himself as one of the only guys here who can take a real photo. Amazing pix great composition!

Offline Luvtotravel

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #159 on: May 10, 2015, 11:37:43 AM »
Absolutely beautiful. I love how you focus on your destination more than on the trappings...
Don't wait for the perfect moment; take the moment and make it perfect.

Offline Yehoshua

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #160 on: May 10, 2015, 12:04:49 PM »
Wow, great segment. Awesome pictures. Brings back great memories!

Offline Dan

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #161 on: May 10, 2015, 12:24:08 PM »
Wow, what a day. And amazing pics and TR as always.

That sinking feeling in your stomach is just awful.  Had it in HNL 2 weeks ago myself for a few minutes at least...

Surprised you didn't want to do the hike down to 3 bears.  But I guess you really can't do it all.  I've done RTH 3 times and still want more.
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #162 on: May 10, 2015, 04:49:57 PM »
Wow!! Fabulous pics and TR!! Sorry about the mishap :P! I once had my camera stolen at Disneyland (it was only a $250 cannon ::)) so I am sure it was that feeling I had in my stomach the rest of the day x10000000!!! (Especially when I was taking pictures with a disposable camera-every wind and click just made me cringe  :D)

Offline VacationLover

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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #163 on: May 10, 2015, 06:51:35 PM »
Nice job.

I feel so sorry for your stolen equipment. fortunately it was only your lenses (imagine your SD card would be in your trunk then...) and lucky for us you had all equipment until almost the last day  ;D


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Re: Something Fishy's Maui and Lanai Trip Report, Courtesy of Delta
« Reply #164 on: May 10, 2015, 11:33:00 PM »
(imagine your SD card would be in your trunk then...)
From what I know of SF, it's highly unlikely he would lose more than one day's worth of pictures in that case...

(unless his backups were also stolen)