Saturday, January 18, 2014

Maui Day 2

Up at a reasonable time for a change, and after admiring the passing whales, off by coach to Iao Park to see a 5200-foot high lava tube.  We were delayed on arrival at the park by a half-dozen police cruisers, a fire truck, a rescue truck and  an ambulance.  While we waited, a helicopter landed, hooked up a harness and a rescue technician and whisked him off into the forest.  Seems a Canadian tourist had managed to fall off a mountain and hurt himself.  Soon the helicopter returned without the tourist; firemen had reached him, put a splint on him and declared him fit to walk out.  Couldn’t help wonder how much all that was going to cost.  Hope he had good travel insurance.

Then we were off to the center of the island to visit the last remaining pineapple farm on the island.  Farming some 1500 acres, they seed and harvest 30 acres a week, year-round.   The crop is all used in Hawaii and is pressed into juice.  En route, we passed miles of sugar cane fields.  Sugar cane is still grown in considerable quantity here, but only brown sugar is produced.  For white sugar, the product is shipped to California for further processing, then what is required to service local needs is shipped back.  The pineapple is usually allowed to grow for only two harvests and then is plowed under.  The fruit gets too small for commercial use after two crops.

That was followed by a brief visit to a glass factory and a demonstration of glass-blowing.

While the north side of the island gets over 400” of rain a year, the south side averages about 12” per year and is basically a desert.  We’re here just after the rainy season when it is at its best.

Mother and calf Humpback whales swimming by hotel

Mile-high lava tube at Iao Park

Pineapple bud

Pineapple field

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