Waking early (or not going to bed at all) was well worth the experience of watching the sun rise from Haleakala. Don't dismiss recommendations to dress extra warmly even if you're accustomed to cooler temperatures. You will be outside for a while, and it will likely be windy. For me the most exciting part was the opportunity to stargaze before the main event. The downhill bike ride was a breeze. The guides from Cruiser Phil's Volcano Riders were very professional and took great care to ensure everyone was comfortable and safe. Take the time to notice the various scents in the air on the ride down. Afterwards, treat yourself to a donut at the Komoda Store and Bakery in Makawo. The burrito-sized cream puff is well worth the extra calories. Besides, you'll burn it off on other activities.
I'm very glad I selected this tour. Even with a knowledge of Italian history and art, I can't imagine trying to maneuver the Vatican museums and St. Peters alone for the first time. Many of the rooms were very crowded, but Rosanna was witty, engaging and knowledgable, making the experience positive.
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