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Hawaii - December 2003


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Shortly before Christmas Eve we arrived on the island of Maui after a 5-hour flight from Los Angeles. After getting our rental car, we arrived at our hotel - the Renaissance Wailea Beach .

On our first day, we drove to the West and North side of Maui , where we visited the town of Lahaina . One of its attractions is a Banyan tree that (although it is a single tree) has 20 or more trunks and stretches out over at least 100 square yards (this picture shows the entire tree from one side). On our way around the west/north side of the island, we stopped by a spouting hole . It took us a little while to hike down the unmarked trail , but when we arrived, we got splashed to our hearts content . Further up on the road, we found interesting remains of the original lava flows that formed the island (this section is called "Dragon's teeth"). But we also visited some amazing beaches and coves .

On Christmas Day, we had dinner at a great place - Sorento's on the Beach . The food was fantastic and the service was outstanding. This was a very nice treat for Christmas.

The following day, we embarked on the attraction that every visitor to Maui should take time to see - the Road to Hana. It is a long drive (approx. 4-5 hours) for a relatively short distance (approx. 50 miles), but there is so much to see, and one should take the time to stop and look. It is hard to sum it up, but since we don't have much room here, it can be summarized as waterfalls , amazing coast line , waterfalls , amazing coast line , ponds generated by waterfalls , and more waterfalls .

One of the main reasons we drove to Hana was the opportunity to participate in a powered hang gliding flight. Instead of driving up a mountain and using a hang glider, this aircraft provides comfortable seats and take off and landing using an engine. Once in the air, the pilot shuts off the engine and glides back down to earth. Marc got dressed up first and was rearing to go for the first flight , but Jana was not far behind and was excited to get going as well . From 2,000 to 4,000 feet we had some amazing views of Maui's coast, but these pictures are only a small impression of the feeling in the glider . Unfortunately, we had to land  way too soon .

Although many (especially the car rental agencies) do not recommend driving around the South side of Maui to return from Hana, we took the drive anyhow, and do not regret it. The road is a little rough, but definitely passable (unless there had been lots of rain). And we were treated to some pristine landscape and a wonderful sunset .

Our four days on Maui were over much too soon, but we were able to enjoy some relaxation at the hotel as well to round out our stay.