We heard and read much about the Road to Hana and decided that it was definitely something on our “approved” list, despite the many stops I would probably require. We started out by going back through Pa’ia and stopped off at a coffee shop recommended by one of Scott’s coworkers. It was a quaint little coffee shop, and they would even pack you a picnic lunch for your trip to Hana if you wanted. We passed, figuring we’d find something on the road.
They sell much more than coffee here as you can tell when you peek inside.
The concept of the Road to Hana is that you stop off along the way at places that sound interesting to you. There are many hikes, waterfalls, viewpoints, and places to picnic along the way. Our mission was to see beauty, stay comfortable, and avoid crowds. We avoided places that were loaded with cars (45 Sebring convertibles anyone?). Our first stop was at Keanae Peninsula.
The water was rough and crashed against the beautiful black lava rocks. Given we were staying in West Maui, the more jungle-like flora was a fun change for us.
I found some handsome man with a nice camera. After taking this picture, I wandered off to a different part of the peninsula where a family stopped me and asked me to take their picture in front of the rocks and water. I obliged. I found out a few minutes later, that my lovely husband posed as “The Captain” (captain morgan spiced rum) like in all those dumb commercials and billboards in the background of this poor family’s picture. I’m so embarrassed. You’d think he’d had a couple mai tais for breakfast (I can confirm he did not).
I was an absolutely terrible blogger and didn’t take any pictures at the road side stand in the jungle outside Hana where we stopped. I got the most delicious loaf of bread (still warm from the oven). It was puréed pineapple bread with toasted coconut flakes on top. I also got a fruit smoothie with papaya, strawberries, bananas, kiwi, and pineapple. No ice cream. No yogurt. Just good old fruit and ice. Awesomeness. We also watched some other tourist take a machete to a coconut and bust it open for the little brown papery nut we know. A sleeping dog nearby was terrified and scooted away quickly. We probably should have as well.
I did a good job and took pictures of our next stop in Wai’anapanapa (glistening waters) State Park.
This is by far the best black sand beach on Maui (at least the ones outsiders know about). Most of the ones I saw looked more gray. This one looks really black. And the water is a beautiful blue.
When the waves crash up on the beach, it’s just the color of sea glass contrasting with the black sand.
There was a group of people climbing up the rocks and jumping off into really rough, rocky waters. I thought they were bananas. And just like the paparazzi, I just took pictures instead of being ready to call an ambulance when they crack their heads open.
No heads were cracked. They came back for more.
I got bored and took pictures of my feet. My puffy, puffy feet. They took a few days to recover from the six hour flight.
Black sand is a result of lava flowing into the ocean and shattering immediately upon hitting the cool water. The beach was fairly crowded, but at some point everyone got up and made their way into the lava tubes.
Which we of course did too. You have to duck pretty low to get in, but it’s pretty spectacular when you do get in there.
One opening breaks to the sky.
The other breaks to the ocean. Apparently once a year the water flows in red in color. There are ancient polynesian myths about the blood of a queen, but it’s really some microshrimp that come in and make the water tinge red.
On the hike back up, we noted a cool swimming hole. Apparently down here you can swim into a lava tube similar to the one we walked in.
If you haven’t driven the Hana Highway, I suggest you do. But drink a can of patience before you go. The road can be a little stressful at times. The road is only 68 miles each way, but there are 59 bridges. 46 of them are one lane. We saw many hilarious mishaps along the way. A convertible mustang with it’s back tires off the ground because it tried to make a too-tight-turn to one of the sites/hikes…a truck towing a truck passing on one lane bridges…people stopped in the middle of a one lane bridge around a blind curve because they wanted a picture… it could go on. We had a great time though! I thank my patient, master driver.