Hello Friends and Family,

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Maui: Kula Lodge

I went Upcountry (the populated area on the slopes of Haleakala) to see the lot in Kula that old friends had purchased for their retirement dream house. While there, on their recommendation, I had lunch at the Kula Lodge. Not only was the lunch excellent, the views will take your breath away.

This is a panoramic photo pieced together in Photoshop from three images. If you would like to see a larger version, click here. I must say that no matter the capabilities of Photoshop or the skill of the photographer, these results do not do it justice. Go experience it yourself.

In back of the restaurant is an interesting terraced dining area that almost looked like a fairy-tale setting. There are even small channels that funnel running water among the tables.

And this would be a perfect place for a pizza party — the pizza oven is on the patio so your hot pizza only requires a few steps before it is on your plate.

Meet Joe, the pizza chef. He was quite friendly and willing to answer my questions. He said that he builds a big fire in the pizza oven each morning — the bricks absorbing the heat so that a relatively small fire will keep the oven hot for the rest of the day. He's only been doing this for four months but it appears in that short time that he has mastered his craft — the folks who sat at the next table from mine ordered the pizza and they said it was excellent.

The Kula Lodge gardens contain some of the prettiest and, in some cases, most unusual flowers one would ever see.

I do not know the varieties of many of these (and they were not labeled)…

but they certainly made a walkabout mandatory.

Ah, I know this one — Protea. Most unusual and native to South Africa and Australia — but now almost synonymous with the slopes of Haleakala.

A succulent? Upcountry where the weather is cooler? I guess anything is possible.

Ah the sweet perfume of white ginger — I love it. You can even buy perfume with this scent — although it is only a pale imitation of the flower's real scent.

And what do we have here but blue ginger. The only other place I have seen it growing is on Lana`i at the Blue Ginger Cafe in Lana`i City. It doesn't have the fragrance of White or Yellow Ginger but does exhibit such gaudy blossoms.

And what photo safari to Upcountry would be complete without the showy blossoms of a Jacaranda tree. Although these trees grow in Phoenix, Florida and California (probably elsewhere too), this was where I first noticed huge trees covered with purple blossoms. Lovely, simply lovely.

More from Maui next week.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com