Tuesday, August 13, 2002
If you haven't read em yet, catch days 1 2 3 4
It's always a little bit of a drag waking up on the last day of a vacation. There's mixed emotions because you're remembering all the good times, but you know you have to pack, check out, get to the airport, turn your rental car in, check in at the airport, deal with the airport, deal with the flight, make sure you have a ride home when you land yadda yadda yadda.
Our flight wasn't until like 3:30 though so we had some time to go check out a little more of the island. So we crawled out of bed, shook out the cobwebs, and got ourselves together. Luckily we'd packed most of our stuff the night before. One thing we did have to do was make one more set of sneak attacks to the ice machine to fill up our little styrofoam cooler.
So anyway, this was our day to check out upcountry Maui and cruise through Makawao. The route took us past our favorite K-Mart where we stocked up days ago and onto the same road that keeps going through Paia and the ever-groovy road to Hana. A few miles before Paia, though, we busted a right and headed of the side of Haleakala. Haleakala is a giant dormant volcanic mountain, which from the crater summit is supposedly the phattest sunrise view in the land. The tourist companies offer packages where they pick you up at like 2 in the morning and take you up there, feed you breakfast, show you the sunrise, and then give you a bike, so you can ride the weaving road all the way down, but you can just drive your rental car up there, just keep it in low gear. We didn't make the drive all the way up Haleakala this trip, maybe next time.
So anyway, upcountry Maui refers to all the little towns that are up in the hills along the long slopes of Haleakala. It seems like the main one is Makawao, which is where we went, and even that's just a little cow town, full of art galleries and western style themes and that kind of stuff. There was actually a rodeo in town over the weekend we were there, but we didn't have time to check it out. I would have been down for a nice rodeo, but well, whatever. We did see a bunch of cowboys walking all over the place, though. Supposedly people still ride their horses through town on occasion. Back in the day it was a real deal cowboy town, what with all the ranching along the slopes of the mountain. It all made me really thirst for an old school sasbarilla, but none were to be found. There's lots of cool little stores though for knick-knacks and artsy-fartsy colectibles and stuff like that.
We had a pretty good lunch at a Mexican place called Polli's, which had lots of cool photographs from all over Mexico on the walls. We were wandering around the place checking them out, hovering over people's chile relleno's like "excuse me there bubba, but I'm looking at this, oh can I get a bite of that tamale?" Nah it was mellow. There was one near-altercation, but I handled it with a Vulcan Death Grip in G-minor (non-fatal) and order was restored. The food was GRINDS (that means good) and we were filled up for the journey home. We had just enough time for another walk down main street to digest the vittles, and it was time to head for the ol' airport.
We still had a cooler filled with like 7 sodas, which we gave to the guys working at the rental car place when we returned our faithful Kia, as it was too bulky to take with us on the plane. I was gonna give them to a random person at the gas station before that, but Mrs. P thought I'd freak people out trying to give away stuff. People always seem tense and in a hurry at the gas station and I didn't want anyone to think I was some kind of modern day Jim Jones, so there you go.
The airport was a total and complete shit storm. Maui's tourism has definitely outgrown its rinky-dink airport. But, ya know, that's another story. Let's end the Maui experience on a happy note.
Maui rocked and you should go. I know we'll be back there again.