Friday, February 4, 2011

Hawaii Day 3 - The Road to Hana - halfway

By our third day on Maui, most of the beaches were still closed or at least had very dirty water, so we chose today to drive the Road to Hana.  Hana is a small community on the easternmost point of Maui, accessibly by one very curvy, narrow, paved road with loads of one-lane bridges. 

The destination was not actually Hana, but the sights and smells along the way.  We got an 8 AM start and drove once again by mile after mile of sugar beet fields and the big ugly sugar factory.  

As we traveled farther to the windward side of the island, the vegetation got thicker and thicker.  

Our first excursion was the Four Waterfalls of Na’ili’ili-haele.  We hiked through tunnels in the bamboo forest much more like Costa Rica than anywhere in the U.S.  

The trail was unmarked and had several spurs leading off into the shadowy bamboo. Our sense of adventure and the unknown was high!  We lingered at the first waterfall for a few minutes 

before continuing on a relatively wide but very steep trail.   As we continued to claw our way up through the jungle using vines like monkeys, I had a strong feeling that we would soon pop out onto someone’s marijuana field.  Finally, the trail got so steep, narrow, and overgrown, we decided we must have taken a wrong turn. Back to the waterfall to discover a steep rock wall we had to scale using a rotten rope to pull ourselves up.  From there, the trail was flat and easy to the next waterfall.

To see all Four Waterfalls of Na’ili’ili-haele would have required a 100-foot swim holding our bags above our heads and climbing ladders in the jungle.  We stopped at two. There would be more waterfalls along the way.

And indeed there was. Next stop was Lower Puohokamoa Falls for which we had only to walk a couple of hundred yards to see this 200-footer.

By this time we had worked up an appetite, so we headed off on a road spur to Ke’anae peninsula and village to find a fine spot to watch the waves on the rocks while we ate our packed lunch. We ate our turkey sandwiches, pita chips and hummus as we soaked up the sounds, sights, and smells of waves pounding this rocky point. 

Back on the windy narrow Road to Hana

every couple of miles we would come upon another gorgeous waterfall like this one, Hanawi Falls 

and cool Makapipi Falls, where, when we looked down from the bridge, we were looking directly down onto the pour off point. 

We were getting closer to Hana, but first a diversion to one of the only black sand beaches on Maui. 

Unlike the younger, still volcanically active Big Island of Hawaii, Maui’s volcanoes have been dormant long enough that the black sand, which is really just small pieces of lava, has been broken down and washed away.  The exception is this protected cove near one of the youngest lava flows on the island (500 years). Drew innocently noticed one topless sun bather, who does not appear in this photograph.

We swam a little in the warm water and lounged on the hot sand and pebbles.
After collecting a bit of sand for my sand collection, we said farewell to the black sand beach and its little sea arch.

It was getting on in the day, so it was time for destination Hana.

1 comment:

  1. I did not enjoy that road. Made me a bit car sick. The scenery was amazing though. Erich must have jumped off this thing 20 times. It was around mile marker 12.!/video/video.php?v=1320309628119