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Splendorous visit to Maui, Hawaii
We have just returned from a splendorous holiday in Maui - one of the Hawaiian's favourite islands. Heading straight from Kahului Airport in a rented car, we enjoyed our 20-minute drive to our Resort located on the south coastline of Maui. Our unique 2 bedroom suite had an unrestricted view of the golden sand beaches.

Modern and tastefully designed, the condo offered all possible luxuries that we had expected. Lady at the Concierge services was helpful in chalking out our week's itinerary.  

Sunrise at Haleakala

Early next morning, we were on our way to the Haleakala national park to enjoy the beauty of the sunrise, 10,000 feet high above the sea level. As we were short of woolens, we were advised to carry blankets from the hotel to face 35 F (2C) at the summit. This site was a massive black gash of lava wasteland, created by the volcano eruption almost 3 centuries before. On a fascinating drive with lots of serpentine curves, it was almost a two hours drive through trees of the fragrant eucalyptus forest. Our stay on summit admiring the great views has created memories to last a lifetime. Nature has something to teach us here. Happiness is a marvelous thing: the more you give it, the more you have. 

The Luau-Drums of the Pacific

Our seats for Luau were arranged out of special quota available. The show was impressive from the open terrace giving spectacular view to the rainbow and later dramatic sunset over Kamaole beach. The cultural programme started with an opening conch shell, followed by traditional local dances on beats of pahu drum. Experiencing a traditional Luau tops the to-do list of most first-timers to Hawaii.

The climax was when couples having completed their 50 years of togetherness were invited on the dance floor. In no time we both joined few others dancing the waltz "Fall in love again". We got a nice ovation from the crowd. In fact, one honeymooner couple was so moved that they took a vow to keep smiling next 50 years like us. Life is wonderful when the most joyous moments appear in our life. These special moments are there for a reason - and deep inside us. We should accept them as a beautiful gift from the Almighty.

Snorkeling

The main Maui excursion is incomplete without snorkel. Though kids had fun swimming, we enjoyed the boat cruise. This was a great trip for the entire family from young kids to grandparents. The adventure included 3 hours cruise, lunch, and hot BBQ grill on board.  We were disappointed by not seeing turtles or other marine life during our expedition of world-famous Molokini crater. After a long day of exploring this beautiful island of Hawaii, we spent a quiet evening relaxing taking dinner in one of the restaurants nearby.

Rain forest

On our way to Hana passing through the lush green rain forest, we experienced the thrill of cascading waterfalls. Highway crossed a number of hairpin curves, bridges, majestic waterfalls and ocean views in the pacific. Forgetting our age, we too dared hiking trail into the magnificent rain forest and on way chatted with few friendly hikers. We both realized that perhaps this place of unparalleled grandeur was the quietest place on the earth. We were delighted to read one signage "Quiet trees at work". Life at this moment appeared to be the result of everything that we had ever thought, done or felt up until now. Thanks to our dear children for their love and affection that they took us around such beautiful places.

On way to Hana

We were delighted to observe the flora and fauna of Hawaii. We found biodiversity that thrives all over in the rain forests, from coastline to the mountaintops. Perhaps the ecosystem has a large treasure of herbs than any other place on earth. The region looks abundantly rich in natural resources, with miles of untilled horticultural land. On our way, we found forestry consisting of sugar cane, pineapple banana, and mango. Being wettest island, the very sight provides feeling of peace and tranquility.

Iao Valley State Park

The day before leaving back we happen to see another most popular attraction. This place surrounded between high peaks signaled as if it has some relationship with India. Later, we came to know that the place has a significant history. Adjacent to this was famous Needle (a towering peak) having awesome natural beauty. Looking to the true abundance and diversity of flora and fauna, Indian scientist can play an important role. Analytical studies may be useful in harnessing the wealth of information/ documentation on the variety of plants useful for Ayurvedic medicines.

Conclusion (Some thoughts)

a)  Tourism as an industry

During travel, it is seen that travel industry is being treated on priority as a high-reward opportunity in the US. It is not only being viewed as the most efficient job creating industry but also as means to promote tourism. Marketing, Advertising, and Promotion are being handled professionally with utmost awareness.

On the contrary, Publicity and Marketing efforts appear to be not only half-hearted and very humble but official back home. Like any other industry, there is a lot of scope in promoting tourism all over India including heritage and monumental places adopting new initiatives. We need to conduct more cultural programmes in 4/5 Star Hotels.

b) Population control

With population expanding exponentially, our efforts to control cleanliness, poverty, and supply of safe drinking water do fail or achieve only partial results. Looking at the tourism abroad, the curiosity invokes a concern - why everything seems so peaceful, clean and unique and why do we not exercise our right to a healthy environment back home? Though each one of us feels the same, we fail to achieve the desired results. Unless conceptual framework on controlling India's population is unanimously adopted - backed up by the political parties, our "abhiyans" would continue to remain clumsy.

It is high time that stern measures like "one family - one child policy" be adopted irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

c) Food for all - Foreign land investments in agriculture

All over the world, there are large un-tilled farmlands available for cultivation. Like other agreements, India can explore its global reach by entering long-term land lease and economic ties with friendly countries.

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