Monday, October 8, 2012

Haleakala ~ 'House of The Sun'



We spent 3 nights in this quaint cottage in Makawao which is near for us to travel to Haleakala National Park.  This is the Rainbow Bridge House  but I like to refer to it as the 'Sun Cottage' because of the image of the smiling sun on the facade of the cottage.  This cottage is nestled in the Eucalyptus forest of Upcountry Maui, full of pristine green lush.  Each morning we were greeted by the symphony of tropical birds and fresh mountain air and we had total privacy.


This is the view taken from the loft of the cottage.

Haleakala,  in Hawaiian, the 'House of The Sun' rises 10,023 feet above Maui's coastal areas, a massive shield volcano that doubles as an easily accessible visitor destination and a drive up to see is a definite must for any Maui visitor.


This picture is not a crater or caldera, but an erosional depression or erosional valley created by wind, rain, freezing and thawing over many thousand years.
  • The volcanoes that make up all of the Hawaiian islands are shield volcanoes and have a large round shape and many eruptive sites.
  • A long time ago this mountain was approx. 3000 feet taller than it is today but erosion has shortened it.
  • The valley here is 7.1/2 miles long and 2.1/2 miles wide and 3000 ft deep.
  • In the centre there are a number of cinder cones that were each once an eruptive site over many years.
  • Those eruptions occurred between 1000 to 5000 years ago.
  • The valley was much deeper before that period of eruption.
  • That lava filled in some of the erosional valley.
  • Since then a lot more erosion has taken place.








Haleakala Visitor Centre... See the lady ranger with the hat on the left next to the board?  She'll be delighted to answer your questions and explain to you all you want to know about Haleakala.


The summit @ 10,023 feet







Ahinahina (silverswords) is a unique flora that thrives in Haleakala's volcanic areas.  They have shallow roots that allow them to tap moisture in the porous, loose cinders and long tap roots that anchor the plants in high wind.


Dense covering of silvery hairs on the leaves helps preserve moisture and protect the plants from the intense, high-elevation sun.





Can you spot the white objects on the top right hand corner?  


These are the  Haleakala Observatories

As we made our way down from Upcountry, we passed many gorgeous slopes of lavender fields at Kula and we visited one.........


Alii Kula Lavender Farm is located 4000 feet elevation on the slopes of Haleakala crater.


We paid  US$13 per person  for a guided tour so we knew what we were looking and smelling at.  As she went along, the guide snipped off cuttings of the different varieties of Lavender and other flowers grown on the farm.


The fields are not large with different Lavender varieties and most of the plants have been harvested.





 Spotted a Chameleon on the branch of a tree, much to our delight.





Can't resist taking a picture of this flower ..... no idea what's its name! 
Update :   A reader just said that this is a Protea.



The farm is somewhat like a small botanical garden with a number of succulent plants and here is a peach tree with peaches in full bloom.






Interior of the souvenir shop





We had a bite of the Lavender scone (had to heat it up in the toaster oven ourselves) and of course a sip of the Lavender Tea, and their Lavender Brownie.



  
  
A small bouquet made from the cuttings we had from the Lavender farm.

22 comments:

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  1. Thanks for being our ' tour guide ' :) and sharing the trip with us. Lavender scones and the lavender brownies looks delicious.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Cheah, thank you for sharing this beautiful post. I love the Ahinahina (silverswords), so pretty and I think I saw once at the SG Garden show.
    Oh.. how I wish I can try the lavender scones and brownie, look very delicious too!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Lavender scone was so, so only but the Brownie was nice.

      Delete
  3. The pink flower is a protea :)I wonder if I could find seeds to that amazing Silversword plant! What an amazing adaption to living without much water!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Hi Cheah, thanks for sharing such lovely photos of natural beauty. I can imagine the cool and clean air. So tempted to get there too. For the time being these photos should suffice, hahaha.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, the air was very fresh and clean and we had to put on a jacket!

      Delete
  5. Great shoot on the Chameleon. My saliva came out when i saw the Lavender scone and brownie... Looks good..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes the brownie was nice but the scone, so, so only!

      Delete
  6. from the pictures, the erupted site looks quite a view..i can imagine when you were there, you must be awed by the sight! so were you inspired to make some lavender bakes soon?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The scenery was awesome. If you want to view sun rise, have to drive up around 3 or 4 am to get the good view. Lavender bakes, never cross my mind.

      Delete
  7. Hi Cheah, thanks for sharing all the beautiful photos. Love the gorgeous flowers and lavender.

    Have a nice week ahead.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, glad to know that you appreciate!

      Delete
  8. What a lovely vacation you'd had! Beautiful photos!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Cheah,

    Everything looks so lovely and relaxing for your Hawaii country-style holidays. Very nice!

    Zoe

    ReplyDelete
  10. Cheah, thanks for taking us along the trip for free. haha.... Wow, what an amazing place with such beautiful plants around. I simply adored the sunflower. Very very interesting. I bet the brownie is very very yummy too. :o)
    Kristy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad to be your guide. Yes it was delicious!

      Delete

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