The Glorious Road to Hana

Trip Start Feb 05, 2011
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Trip End Feb 24, 2011


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Flag of United States  , Hawaii
Thursday, February 17, 2011

The road to Hana is right up there with going to the top of Haleakela on the generic Maui to do list.  And for good reason.  We didn't make it all the way to Hana, but even then saw an incredible range of scenery.  We saw the huge surf pounding on the lava rocks, waterfalls and the thick rainforest that formed a canopy over the Road.  The vegetation included palm trees, rainbow eucalyptus trees, bamboo groves, vines and so many plants that we couldn't begin to name.

The road itself was remarkable.  It had single-lane bridges that looked like they were built in Roman times.  As the road weaved in and out of the stream beds occasionally it too became single lane.  Both lines of traffic have yield signs when the road becomes single lane.  All but the locals respected those signs.  

Overall, the driving wasn't bad.  With a speed limit of 10 or 15 miles per hour, and plenty of pull off spots, it was all quite manageable.  Even the driver can appreciate the scenery.  I got a grand total of three deep inhales from my wife and mother-in-law.  There were no screams, no hands in front of the face and no "what are you doing's?"

We got to mile 26 out of the "official" 42.  (The first ten miles, between Kahalui and the start of the official markers, are interesting too). 

We walked through an arboretum and did a few other hikes (we opted not to do the costly drive- through arboretum)--including a couple of long diversions down to the shore.  One of those roads took us to a small shop with fresh banana bread, Max's highlight of the trip.  Most of our pictures were from these shore excursions.  Taking pictures of the vegatation in the shadows doesn't work so well.

Although it makes it a very slow haul, numerous stops is definitely recommended.  We left Kihei at 9:30am and got into Kahului at 5:30 for the long-promised supper at McDonald's.  Obviously, our approach did not allow us to do the full length of the road. 

We had to consider Laine's car sickness.  We gave her a gravol and there was no issue on the drive out.  She started to complain of nausea on the trip back, but it only got intense as we finished the trip.  A five-minute walk and a straight highway to follow made her feel better.

Another option would have been to spend one night in Hana and return the next day, but Sal and I agreed that we'd rather not have spent two days on this excursion.  Those less interested in beach time might prefer the two-day option.  You don't need to return on the Road to Hana; there is a route that you can take on the South side of the Island, but it includes a non-paved portion.  Although people do it, it is questionable with a rental car.  I read somewhere that the community of Hana is nothing notable in itself, so our thought was to make the most of the drive.  While we may have missed more beautiful views by not doing the last portion of the trip, we had no regrets.

Dare I say that Maui has the most beautiful drive in the world as well as the most beautiful beach?
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Comments

Aunt Sue on

Most beautiful drive, maybe. The jury is still out on the most beautiful beach!

Smev on

Your blog has been great! I read it daily and live vicariously as the snow beats down day after day...but for you to suggest that there could be a drive better than the Cabot Trail, and a beach superior to The Shore, makes me wonder about the Mai Tai effect or island fever. Reminds me of your brother telling the nation on TV that his favorite place in Canada is the Banff Jasper Hwy!!
Great Blog Pic - keep it coming and keep soaking it all in!

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