Tag Archives: Maui

A new route up Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a

A view of PuuWaaWaa, Hawaii
Williwilli flowers at PuuWaaWaa, Hawaii

Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a is a cinder cone on the slopes of Hualalai volcano. The name means “many-furrowed hill,” and it’s a place I like to walk at least once a year, but it had been a while since I was up there. Usually, I go there in the spring when Jacarandas and other flowers are blooming. I also try to go in the early morning, since the area tends to cloud up during the day and the wonderful views become obscured.

A couple of weeks ago I made a late decision to do the hike again since the weather looked unusually good. I got there around 2pm and it will come as no surprise that I spent the first 15 minutes of the hike taking photos of Williwilli flowers on a tree about 20 feet from where I parked! (More of those in a few days.)

Silk oak flowers at PuuWaaWaa, Hawaii

The trail follows an old road up the hill past Silk Oak trees, at the tail end of their flowering and sporting a deep red hue I hadn’t seen before. Turn around, and there are good views of Maui to be had. The old road peters out near an old blockhouse, now lacking doors and windows, which offers shelter to livestock on the ranch here. Off to one side is an old quarry, which cuts into the side of the hill. Usually there are goats in this area, but I didn’t see any on this day. Farther up is what’s left of Tamaki Corral, which dates back around 100 years.

Not far after the corral, the trail climbs steeply toward the top. This was where I found a change in the trail. Whereas before the trail was an out-and-back up a steep slope to the top, now a loop has been created. I took this new option to the top where, on this remarkably clear late afternoon, I had great views of Maui, Kohala Mountain, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, and Hualalai. A new sign at the top welcomes hikers to the nearly 4,000 foot summit, and there’s a survey marker at the top riddled with holes, not from gunfire, but to let the wind blow through. There are also a couple of benches where one can sit a while enjoying the views (weather permitting). The hike is steep in places, but not difficult, though not everyone makes it back alive!

I followed the old trail back down and ran into several sheep, which have the run of the land up here, as the sun dipped behind the ridge.

One other difference I noticed with this afternoon hike was the proliferation of birds. There were large numbers of finches, mostly Saffron Finches flitting about, preparing to roost for the evening. Yellow-fronted Canaries were all over the tree tobacco flowers. I also saw, and heard, several Erckel’s Francolins doing their usual fine job of blending in with the vegetation.

And as I walked back down the hill towards my car, the late afternoon sun still shone, illuminating grasses alongside the trail.

Grasses on PuuWaaWaa, Hawaii

Posted for Jo’s Monday Walk. See more walks here.

Small plane and Maui

A small plane taxis at Upolu Airport in Hawaii

I was going through some old photos when I came across this one and was struck by a couple of things. One was the dramatic clouds in the channel and over Maui. The other was how green the grass looks at Upolu Airport. Currently, it is uniformly baked brown owing to the lack of rainfall in this area.

Hapuna house construction

House construction at Hapuna Estates on the Big Island, Hawaii
House construction at Hapuna Estates on the Big Island, Hawaii

This week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme is ‘Under Construction.’ See more responses here. I thought I’d post a few photos of houses being built at Hapuna Resort. Views of Maui are a big attraction, though the island can be hidden by clouds there, or tumbling down from Kohala Mountain. Of course, there are also ocean views and killer sunsets.

A half-acre lot will cost you $1.5 million and up. One of these houses, when finished, will likely set you back $7 million or so. I can manage the zeros, but it’s that pesky digit at the front that will keep me out of this neighborhood!

Construction work here pays well (but not that well), but it’s a tough job since the work is often out in the full sun all day. Hard hats might be the choice (or requirement) on the mainland, but here a broad brim is more essential.

House construction at Hapuna Estates on the Big Island, Hawaii
House construction at Hapuna Estates on the Big Island, Hawaii