Monday, April 1, 2024

The Road to Hana

I lied—there is a post today. I have some time this morning before we have to vacate the condo, and well, I might as well write now!

First, here are a couple of comments about where we stayed. I HATE hotel rooms. Wait -- I'm OK if I'm alone, but if I had to share one room with DH, that would be bad. I get up early, and it's hard to be quiet in one room or to do anything with the lights off. But you have multiple rooms in a condo, so I vote for condos for future vacations. Besides, the condo was way cheaper than a hotel would have been. 

We purchased supplies for breakfast, so all is good. It's better to save a bit of money on breakfast, as the meals are NOT cheap around here! But we're good! I so wanted a cinnamon bun from the place down the street, but they were closed when we returned from our adventure yesterday. Darn!!! But I had fried banana cheesecake for dessert at the restaurant, so that was a close second!!

I must admit that I didn't do much research before we came here. The goal was to get here and then figure it out. I HATE planning—I love spontaneity!! So, it took a bit for me to realize that the Virtual Challenge called Road to Hana was in Hawaii!! Since I will do that virtual challenge at some point, I NEEDED to drive the Road to Hana, and we did that yesterday!!

OH MY GOSH—has anyone else driven that road? It's insane—that's all I can say. Because I was driving, I don't have the best pictures, as DH is NOT a picture taker, but I stopped a couple of times to get some. 

We stopped for banana bread at Aunty Sandy's in Ke'anae. It was amazing!!!!! And then we went down to the beach. Wow -- the waves were spectacular!!! It's probably NOT a place where you want to go swimming. 

Crashing waves

If you're not familiar with the Road to Hana, it's a curvy (that's an understatement) road that goes from Kahului to Hana. The distance is nothing—about 52 miles—but it takes hours because of all the hairpin curves and one-lane bridges. 

The road has been cut into the side of the mountain (crater), and it's epic. WOW!!!! If you look closely, you can see the cut line of the road on that hillside. 

The Road to Hana cut into the side of the mountain

DH was checking out statistics, and there is a total elevation gain of almost 8,000 feet!!! Yes - we could have taken a tour bus, but it was way more fun to drive. I drove all the way there and all the way back, and it was a LONG drive. 

And I loved the YIELD signs—they said, "Yield to oncoming traffic." The problem was you could NOT see the oncoming traffic. So, with a wing and a prayer, I forged ahead! We did have the top down, but we had to stop and close it due to rain. 

Yielding to traffic

The climate on that side of the island is completely different from this side! We had rain on and off—mostly sprinkles, but enough to get wet. The temperature was also much cooler, and when we ate lunch on the open patio, which was a distance from the ocean, I was freezing!!! Technically, you're driving through a rainforest, and I wanted pictures of the massive bamboo growing, but I did not find a place to pull over. 

We didn't stop at all the places as parking was at a premium, and I hate to say this, but once you see one waterfall, it starts to look the same. The same thing happened with me and the cathedrals in Spain!! You see one cathedral? You've seen them all. 

One of the many waterfalls

Those bridges were crazy and looked like they had been there forever. They are moss-covered and old, single-lane affairs. 

One of the bridges

Here are some "fun" facts about the road. Let's say I drove that Camaro, which was NOT the appropriate car to drive on that road. It was big, low, and had tons of blind spots, which, with the blind spots on the road, made it a challenge. But no scraps, no fender benders—all was OK. My heart pounded only once! I think an average of 68 people die on that road each year, but it wasn't us!

If there were people on my back, the moment I could pull over, I did. I hate having someone on my bumper!!! There were lots of pickup trucks and jeeps, but lots of cars as well. 

I think this was a bathroom break, where the water was much calmer, but still not the shores for swimming. 

More Hawaiian coast

OH -- here's a wall of ukuleles at our lunch stop!!! 

Ukelele collection

While we were there and had some time to spare before we headed back, I decided we should do an Earthcache (part of geocaching). You find a specific geological spot, take a picture or two, and answer some questions. 

This was the RED SAND BEACH - the only one of its kind in Hawaii. Or at least Maui. The beach is on the left of the photo, and it was cool. The "sand" was more of a gravel texture, and there's no way we would have found it or even known about it except for geocaching!!! It's well hidden, and there was nudity on this beach, but that's OK. And as we arrived, a whole pile of people came behind us. We didn't climb down to the beach but got our information and the picture from here. 

Cinder cones behind me act as a breakwater

It was very cool. This rock formation is called a cinder cone, a common formation created by an erupting volcano!!! The remains of the cinder cone made for a very protected beach, but the waves crashing onto the cinder cones were wicked! 

Looking out to the ocean

The Road to Hana is dubbed "the road to divorce," assuming the non-driving spouse is a backseat driver. Thankfully, DH said nothing. It's not that driving was stressful, but it required all your attention, and I didn't need comments from someone. Thank you, DH!!!!

We got back to the condo and headed out for dinner. Alas, the cinnamon bun place was closed, so I had a salad and cheesecake instead. Then we went to the park and watched the sunset!!!

Our last sunset 

We've got one last adventure today before we head to the airport at 5 PM for our two flights home. DH is trying to get us checked in and is unhappy that he cannot do so. I'll let him deal with that. 

Have a super day!


1 comment:

  1. I have been on that Road to Hana and understand exactly what you are talking about! Enjoy your last day.