Maui: The Road to Hana   2 comments

This is no simple road trip.  But if you are fortunate enough to visit Maui, you need to go on the road to Hana.

A tropical paradise is all around you!

This trip is not about the destination: it’s about the journey.  We’ve been to Hana, and found there really was no there there.  This isn’t about going to Hana … it’s about how beautiful it is to get to Hana.

Your driver will be busy.  There are 57 one-way bridges on the Road to Hana.  The drive is not that difficult, but it does require some road etiquette (let the first one to the bridge go through first) and patience throughout the drive.  Remember a few things:

  1. You are on vacation.
  2. You are not on a schedule.
  3. People want to pass you?  Let them.  More open road for you.  It’s prettier that way.

Gypsy Guide mixed historical trivia with scenic outlook tips and directions.

A great tool that we found for our trip was Gypsy Guide, which provides a purpose-built GPS system that will direct you to the wonderful sights along the road — it even shows you pictures of famous Hawaiians and explains their roles in history during your journey.  Just the thing so I didn’t have to talk to Velda on the road; well worth the nominal cost.  JOKE.  Joking.  I love talking to Velda.  Talk talk talk, that’s me in the car.

The Garden of Eden, currently $10 per person, is a nice diversion.

Picked the unit up in Lahaina at 6:30am; it was a great addition to the trip.  $39 for the day: very cheap for a guided tour.

But back to the road.

We got a recommendation to get on the road early, so we were through Kahului by 8am, and began our day with an early visit to the Garden of Eden Arboretum & Botanical Garden.  You’ve got to admit:  it’s a pretty grand name.  It’s definitely a good side trip:  it was a couple of hours in an interesting garden, but not essential.  Spend your time as you choose (remember, it’s about the journey).

We chose to stop at every waterfall.  Particularly noteworthy were 3 Bears Falls and Wai’anapanapa State Park and its black sand beach.  Don’t miss those!

Once you get past Hana, you can continue to the Seven Sacred Pools, which are a part of Haleakala National Park if you want to see it all … or wander back and see what you missed while you were driving east.

So, the day is yours.  Wander from waterfall to waterfall (see the pictures below), fruit stand to fruit stand (we found Longans, AKA Dragon’s Eye Fruit, for the first time on this trip, and that is no small thing!), Kodak Photo Spot to Kodak Photo Spot (remember those?).

Remember:  it’s about the journey.

It’s a short walk down the path to Ching’s Pond, where we saw some locals “cliff diving” from road level down into the pool about 25′ below. Not for the faint of heart!  Note the guided tour bus … just driving by.  Not the way I would choose to see the sights!

3 Bears Falls, AKA Upper Waikani Falls, is a gorgeous 3-part waterfall in a spendor of ferns and tropical jungle. This picture was simply taken from the road’s shoulder!

This spectacular shot is my favorite shoreline picture I’ve taken in Hawaii … and I’ve practiced extensively on 4 islands!

Wai’anapanapa is the only black sand beach on Maui.

Koki Beach has signage warning of the dangerous offshore currents. Not much danger when you take pictures from terra firma, though!

2 responses to “Maui: The Road to Hana

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