Maui ~ Paradise Found: Part 3

Hopefully I haven’t lost you after that sappy post πŸ™‚
Let’s move on the all the pretty things in Hawaii shall we?
In spite of booking our trip to Hawaii months in advance, our schedules were CRAZY leading up to our departure.  In fact I had an OCSC Bunco event the very night before our 7:00am flight left the next morning. In other words, I wasn’t allotted the days of research and planning I typically work in prior to a trip, and thus we arrived in Hawaii without a plan of any sort.
One thing I had heard of though, was the Road to Hana in Maui. Hana Highway is a twisting, turning little road, characterized by one lane roads and bridges, waterfalls at every turn, and a scenic tour through the mountains along the coast. 
The day we decided to do the Road to Hana we woke up early, having been told to leave our hotel no later than 8:00am. There is a book called Maui Revealed that we slowly learned was the end all tourist guide to Maui, and most importantly the insider guide to the Road to Hana. Of course we didn’t learn this in time to buy it for a reasonable price on the mainland. Instead we ended up calling the Barnes and Noble down the street to see if they had it first thing in the morning, driving there on our way out (Hana Highway was an hour from our hotel), realizing they didn’t open for another hour, calling back and begging the saleslady to do a purchase over the phone and slip the book through the door, and $20 later we were on our way.
The reason for the book is so naive tourists know exactly where to stop along the highway to find all of the picturesque waterfalls, hidden beaches, and primo sites.
And I will agree, it was a must have.

This was Husband’s favorite flower. They are high up in trees and set the mountains ablaze with their beautiful orange color.

Thanks to the book we discovered a mostly-unknown stop off a side road of the highway. The dirt road takes you to a small (and I mean small), but gorgeous little town called Nahiku. We made it our lunch spot for the day.
We watched wave after wave crash on the rocks, lunched on sandwiches, and squealed (okay, really just I squealed) with excitement when I realized there were little black crabs all over the rocks riding out the waves.

Our fishy lunch guest.

No matter how many times I tried the pictures came out blurry when I tried to use the timer.

After leaving Nahiku we made it to Hana. There really isn’t a lot to Hana itself. The drive and experience is really more about all of the sites leading to it and around it.
Like the Black Sand Beach.
The sound of the lava rocks rattling over each other as the waves went out was beautiful.

And hidden red sand beaches.

For many, the ultimate goal of the drive is getting to the Seven Sacred Pools. According to the book there aren’t seven pools, and they aren’t sacred, but regardless the view was nothing short of spectacular.

We swam up to this waterfall, and found a rock just barely too slippery to stand on and looked at each other, then looked out at the water flowing down into the ocean, and said, “Well, here we are! This is what we wanted to do, and now we’re doing it. This is awesome!!”

Someone had told us not to fool with going there. That it was crowded and overrated. I would say it is them who are the fools. We had that entire pool and waterfall to ourselves for a little while, and even if we hadn’t, I wouldn’t have missed such a beautiful place for anything in the world. It is what I imagine heaven to look like πŸ™‚
The road back from Hana is not as pleasant. All of those adorable little one lane bridges, and the leisurely 15 mph speed limit is no longer endearing. Especially not when you are trying to make it to the famous Mama’s Fish House for dinner, early, because they were no longer taking reservations at 8 that morning.
We got to Mama’s only to be told they weren’t taking any more walk-ins. Disappointed we drove the hour back to Lahaina, and enjoyed a beautiful sunset.

We went to the Front St. area and had dinner at Kimo as a plan B.
There are shirts around Maui saying, “I survived the Road to Hana.” Pulling into our hotel that night, thoroughly exhausted we totally understood why.

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