One of the most beautiful places on Maui is Iao Valley. Tucked away in the West Maui Mountains is the Iao needle, which is a lava formation that appears to be a splash of molten lava covered in vegetation today. Of course the needle shape is more than likely due to erosion from wind and waters but I always imagine the lava boiling and suddenly taking a permanent shape.
Iao Valley is a wonderful getaway for a quick lunch because it is located just above Wailuku Town on Maui. Minutes from the center of commerce on Maui is a touch of old Hawaii to take us back in time and beauty.
About half way up the valley is a little park with reproductions from different cultures on Maui. Here we decided to have lunch next to the Korean building.
I wanted to go inside but my husband said no we eat in the picnic pavillions. I guess he thought that might be disrespectful. I thought it was so unique and beautiful. It looks like a Tea House to me.
My mother-in-law Catherine is Portuguese. Though she has been born and raised on Maui, she still loves a visit to Iao Valley. She would always take the children and grandchildren for picture taking in the beautiful valley.
One of her daughters had been married in Iao Valley. It is definitely a magical place. It is a natural rain forest in the middle of our island. There are trails in the back of the valley for amazing hikes.
Here is the Portuguese oven used to bake the wonderful Portuguese Sweet bread we love here in the islands of Hawai`i.
After a picture taking session we take a short walk through the park and come upon the Hawaiian Hale (house) reproduction surrounded by Coconut palms. There is a small Taro Patch.
It is shady, quiet and a lovely place to enjoy a picnic lunch. We proceed back to our vehicle so we can get to the back of the valley to see the Needle. It happens to be an extraordinary day with blue, blue skies and great puffy cumulus clouds.
Under the Ulu Tree. (Breadfruit tree). We love breadfruit here. I learned how to prepare it many years ago from an old Japanese man in Paia. I describe it in my cookbook. Amaryllis of Hawaii Loves To Cook "Recipes For Life"
The Iao stream was running low today, but at certain times a year the possibility of flash flooding is eminent so always proceed with caution. Be aware!
This gorgeous day was perfect for photos even though it was mid day. I usually never use this type of light for my images. (Too bright)
Here we are finally at the needle! Yay!
The famous Iao Needle. Isn't it beautiful?
Well, it's back to town to take care of business like stopping by the accountant's office, having some keys made, a short side trip to browse through "Finder's Keepers", a 10,000 square foot show room full of antique Chinese furniture and modern reproductions. I love to wander in occasionally to see if anything captures me.
Aloha for now, friends.
Remember to take time to enjoy the beauty wherever you are.
And visit me often here and at http://www.amaryllisofhawaii.com/
Check out my links too for videos about Hawaii and other awesome blogs I'm following!