Saturday, October 4, 2014

Road back from Hana > Road to Hana

Two years ago Graham and I had our hearts set on driving the back, unpaved road from Hana, but we chickened out after reading online posts about how it can be dangerous and rental car contracts are void there. This time we decided to go for it, but more on that later.

Our group of friends was nice enough to do the Road to Hana with us the day before the wedding. We woke up with the sun and set off in three cars. From the beginning I knew it would be a challenge to communicate and keep a caravan together. Our plan was that some people would switch cars throughout so that we can hang out with other people.

We started at a Lava Java coffee shop in Kihei and the ABC Store, where we picked up snacks for the road. (The iced Granita at Lava Java is heavenly; I had about five of them on the trip!)

Tip: We downloaded the Gypsy Guide app for Road to Hana. We linked it to our Caddy so that we could hear the narrator as we drove. It was so helpful! It was a little glitchy, but overall we appreciated the app's honesty about what is worth stopping for and what isn't.

Stop No. 1: Ho'okipa Beach Park to watch the surfers.

Stop No. 2. Twin Falls for a short hike. This stop became increasingly more crowded as time went on, but it was a nice little hike to see the waterfalls.

Stop No. 3: Coconut Glen's coconut ice cream stand. Coconut Glen was nowhere to be found, but an eccentric woman told us some entertaining stories and shared her colorful viewpoints.

Graham loved the chocolate ice cream!
We quickly stopped at a viewpoint along the way before going to Stop No. 4: Wai'anapanapa State Park.

We swam and checked out the little cave and blowhole, which wasn't as active as it was on our last visit. (But I swear I saw a dolphin!) It was a warm, windy day and I could sense our friends were starting to get worn out.

Our next stop was the snack bar at Hana Bay, where we had lunch. We decided some of us would head back, while our Caddy would venture out around the back way from Hana. Best decision ever!

Some of the sights:

The dirt road is a little sketchy in some spots, but it was so much fun! You'll see the variety of climates found on Maui.

Pretty soon it is green again and the altitude changes as you drive through upcountry Maui. Plus you don't run into lots of tourists.

The entire trip is a bit exhausting but well worth it. I'm so glad our friends were troopers that day.