21 November 2010

The Road to Hana

November 16th 2010
Day 8

Much to Will’s dismay I was still determined to head down the road to Hana. I thought it would be a good idea to get out of the sun for a day (for the sake of my skin) and I really wanted to see for myself if the Hana Highway was the “paradise” I keep reading about. He was a good sport and didn’t argue with me- too much anyways. So I didn’t put a rush on the morning, just let everyone get up and mosey about, eat some breakfast and get packed up for the day. Ideally we should have hit the road around 7:30am but I wasn’t going to push my luck. So I think we headed out the door closer to 9:30am-oh well, better late than never right???

We stopped to gas up the car at a Shell station- to the tune of $3.85 per gallon!!! And that was on the lower end of what we had seen other places. Then off we went on our adventure, starting back in Pa’ia. We wandered through a few gift shops then headed to the Hana Picnic Lunch Company for a sack lunch to eat along the way. You need not worry about starving along the road to Hana however- there are little food stands around every turn! We each got a sandwich, fresh cut pineapple, a bag of chips and a cookie. When we got back to the car I reached for my trusty Maui Revealed guidebook- and it wasn’t in the car. It was on the table back at the condo. Uh oh. Now what?

I am one of those people who plan things, research them and follow all directions so I don’t mess up or miss out on anything. I had reread the section on Hana last night, but there was no way I could remember all the secret spots we were supposed to go find!!! Well, there was only one option at that point so we pulled into the local gas station and grabbed the available tourist books there (the free ones) and I decided we would just wing it. Deep down I was totally pissed off at myself but I didn’t want to ruin the day. This would be fun- what an adventure!!!

We stopped at one of the lookouts a couple of miles in and ended up getting some great advice from the girl working there. After I told her I had left my guidebook at home she gave us a map and circled several key things for us to see, told us what to skip and gave us a great tip. If you see something you like, just stop and check it out! There aren’t really any rules on the road to Hana, except to drive slowly and enjoy the views! So that is what we did, we stopped when he saw something interesting. We saw plenty of waterfalls- Will and Devan hopped in a few times. We bought banana bread at 2 local stands that have the “best” in the world and compared them. Both were good- Devan liked the first one best at Aunty Sandy’s and Will and I liked the one from Halfway to Hana.

We saw beautiful landscapes, lush mountainsides and a black sand beach. We took our time and explored- we got in and out of the car about a million times. We ate local apple-bananas and fresh cut coconut. We almost got demolished by a psycho school bus driver around one of the corners. The locals drive so fast down that road it is scary! I really enjoyed the trip and I think Will and the kids did too. Where else can you see such scenery??? It was very surreal and peaceful.

The black sand beach

The beach in Hana
We arrived in Hana right around 5pm, and just like it says- Hana is not the destination, there really isn’t anything there. It's about the journey!  That is a true statement!!! We stayed for a few minutes on the beach there, then headed back down the highway for home. A 5 ½ hour drive there was only 1 ½ hours back! We arrived in Pa’ia hungry so we decided to try The Fish Market restaurant which has great reviews (and we were not let down). Dinner was amazing, we all had fish tacos and they even had our Maui Brewing Co. beers available so it was perfect. We walked across the street for some Ono Gelato and wandered around town a bit more. We got back to the condo around 9:30pm- our trip to Hana had taken us twelve hours!

Oh, and since we had lots of time to chat while we were in the car I decided to check Niko’s understanding of extinction and dinosaurs. Here’s how it went. Me “hey Niko, do dinosaurs eat people?” Niko “yes” (not untrue). Me “so where do dinosaurs live?” Niko- completely serious, “the zoo”. Awesome. Guess I need to go back over that one!

And to top it all off?  Will told me this was one of his favorite days and that he was glad we went on the trip to Hana.  Whew!  It really was a beautiful drive as long as you take time to stop and enjoy all the wonderful things that you find on your way to Hana! 

On the beach in Hana.  Proof that he still loves me!

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