Sometimes fate helps you out, you had plans to do one thing and then you end up doing something much better. Sometimes you meet just the right person in your adventure at the right moment. And that is my favourite part of travel – the things I find myself doing that I didn’t plan and the people I meet and have an adventure with even if it’s only for a few days or hours together.
At 4 AM on a Saturday morning in Maui, my alarm went off. My roommate and shuffled about the room in the dark grabbing our backpacks that we packed in a drunken haze the night before. At midnight during the keg party the night before, she had asked me if I wanted to drive up to the summit of Haleakala Volcano with her to see the sunrise. Yes, absolutely, I’d said and we’d hurried to our dorm to pack our bags and try to sleep a few hours.
We crept out of our room and out the hostel into the night in our hiking shoes and raincoats to get to her rental car. We drove quiet down the empty streets, stopping at the 24-hour grocery store for snacks and coffee.
After passing through the park entrance the road became winding as we made our way up the volcano. Being a new driver I was glad she was driving as I was a bit scared by the narrowness and sharp curves and steep drops. We talked to keep ourselves awake as we drove up in the dark.
We made it the parking at the top, already quite full and headed to the path to hike up to the summit. It was cold, chilly even for me who was used to the north and though I was wearing a sweater and rain jacket.
Once at the top, we waited in the dark on the cold rock, amongst the others all quietly waiting for the sun.
It didn’t disappoint, it crept in slowly, pink, gold and lilac streams of light against the blue sky revealing the crater below us. It was beautiful and slightly eerie to be on top of this volcano, so high up looking down at the crater still shrouded in mist and cloud, with the light slowly blooming around us.
We stayed a while letting the sun warm us up, climbing out onto the rocks overlooking the crater to take pictures and talking to people we met up top.
After we drove back and we were so tired, I kept feeling myself almost fall asleep but luckily the view on the way down was lovely, revealing all kinds of plants and birds that we hadn’t seen when we drove up in the dark.
We ended our little morning adventure by stopping at our favourite Maui discovery, Farmacy, which has the most amazing healthy and colourful pitaya/dragon fruit smoothies and acai bowls. I literally went there for breakfast every morning since it was near the hostel. I still have cravings for those acai bowls.
I was supposed to have hiked the crater with the Banana Bungalow and then watched the sunset, which also would have been amazing, but in the end, I’m glad I jumped on the opportunity to drive up and see the sunrise. The activity with the Banana Bungalow ended up being canceled due to there being too much rain the week before and so the path was washed out so I lucked out on having a great roommate to go with!