Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Road to Hana

Yes, everyone's favorite part of Maui, the road to Hana. I don't know how people did this back in the days of film cameras: we took over 500 pictures on Tuesday when we drove it. Pretty expensive in terms of film!

I'll spare you most of the craziness and show you the "good stuff," but suffice it to say that if you ever get the chance to drive along this road, you should take it. We didn't even get to finish it because we took so many little side trips. The scenery is amazing. There are many waterfalls, some of which you can see from the road, but many of which you must hike to.

We got much of our information from a book which we found invaluable. There are a couple of things I'd add, but I'll tell you that in this post.

Our first stop is a glorified highway turnout; there was a small parking lot in the Hookipu Park. It's not far down the road. The photo is unretouched in terms of the color of the water, but there is a polarized filter on our camera, which cheats the colors a little. It's fairly true to life, though.

There were some surfers here learning to surf -- the breakers are small and gentle, and they broke for what seemed like a half mile.

The first waterfall we saw was Lower Puohokamoa Falls, or, as we affectionately referred to it, Lower Wannahockaloogie Falls (since the Hawaiian name is so difficult to read).  First the picture, then the advice.

This was the one place we found the guidebook less than completely forthcoming (or maybe it was just outdated).  This waterfall was on private land -- we ended up following some folks through a fence and down a "well-worn path" (quoted from the book) to see it.  In retrospect, we definitely should not have strayed onto private property.  I do wish we'd been warned, though.

Incidentally, there is no sense of scale in the photo above.  This may have been the longest fall we saw all day -- it's 200 feet.  It's just impossible to get that from the photo.

Between the Kaumahina State wayside and the Keanea Peninsula, we stopped at a turnout and took this photo. You can see the road cut into the side of the hill.

We then drove to the Keanea Peninsula, had some of the fantastic banana bread there (sold warm, just like your mama would), and shared our table with this cute little guy.

Then we trundled down to the end of the peninsula, where I took this pic of my honey with the waves crashing behind him.  I'm kind of fond of him, y'know.

This staircase, completely surrounded by dead branches, was at the Wailua State Wayside.  At the top was an overlook where you could see the town of Wailua -- very pretty.

One of the two coolest waterfalls we saw was called the Three Bears Falls, and it's easy to see why in the picture.

This falls is visible from the road, but this shot isn't possible without a good zoom lens.  In our case, we hiked down to the falls (detailed instructions in our handy-dandy book, of course). In many cases, we talked to other people who had the same book and were doing the same things, but in this case, we were the only ones near the falls. It was a challenging hike -- or rather, the first step down off the road was a challenge.  Also, there is no parking near this falls, so we parked at the next turnout up the road and walked back (less than a quarter mile, but apparently no one else was willing to do it).  Well worth it to get the close-up view of this beautiful waterfall, in my opinion.

We naturally had to get a shot of me and my sock monster while we were there.  He was our mascot for the trip.  I will likely do a blog post of just the shots with him since it's turned into such a joke now.

I'm not sure if you can see the stains on the bottom of my pants, but I got those climbing down to these falls.  Follow the instructions; we took another way down and that made it more of a challenge than it needed to be.

Next waterfall was at Pua'a Ka'a State Park.  There is a wimpy waterfall that's easy to see when you walk in, and there is (quoting the book again) an "awkward trail" to another falls father in.  I thought that was a curious phrase to use, but there's a darn good reason it's called an "awkward trail."  It's a bit of a challenge, for one, but it's also not every day you get to walk along an aqueduct!  Just don't look down over the side if you have a fear of heights.

And this is your reward for reaching the end of the trail.  I loved this waterfall.

It drops into a large blue pool.  I was so upset that I wasn't wearing a swimsuit at this point -- it looked awfully inviting.

Here's me and my hubby -- and my buddy the sock monster -- down by the waterfall.

No, I'm not sunburned.  I just turn that color after a hike down an awkward trail or two.

By this time, we were pretty exhausted and waterfalled out.  Fortunately, the last one we came to was right on the road.  Or right under it.  But first I'll show you its namesake road (with my buddy the sock monster, natch).

We were punchy enough by this time that the road and waterfall name amused us to no end. Imagine our amusement when we actually saw the waterfall (photographed from above on the bridge, this is Makapipi Falls).

We hadn't had anything to eat all day other than our banana bread snack, so we stopped at the Nahiku Marketplace, where I got an excellent Kalua Pig bowl (pork and rice, to which I added BBQ sauce).

We then put our tired selves back into the car for the drive back, stopping back at our first stop to catch the sunset, which is where I will leave you, dear readers.  I hope you've enjoyed our photo tour down the road to Hana.  Come again!

1 comment:

Cindy said...

Great post!! There's also a black sand beach, not far off the road. I meant to ask you about it the other night - if you saw it. As I remember, the turn off to it is almost impossible to see, but it was beautiful and almost deserted.

Anyhoo - love the pictures - the waterfalls are awesome! We missed the 3 bears up close, looks like that's one I might have found worth it - 8 weeks prego and all. I also love the one of Robert with the crashing waves. We spent a lot of time there - it was beautiful.

Also love the red version of your face! Hmmm, I think that runs in families. My kids got it too :-(