September 28, 2016

Hawaii Day Ten *Road to Hana*

Sunday, September 25 2016

I wanted to get on the road as early as possible this morning for our trip to Hana. Brian and I grabbed a Maui coffee and McDonald's breakfast and were headed towards the highway by 6:30. 

I downloaded the Gypsy Guide app which was only five dollars and we also brought the Maui Revealed guidebook the owners of the cottage provided for is. There were a few pull outs I wanted to see that we missed (like the Lower Puohokamoa Falls), but we did stop at about ten other places (some for less than five minutes) and the entire road trip took ten and a half hours. 

The first stop we made was a quick one for the restrooms at Kaumahina State Wayside.  We were there early enough so it was not crowded and I took this lovely snap of the clouds over the bay. 

Morning ocean views
Our next stop was the Ke'anae Arboretum to see some cool plants and trees, some native some not. 

Path to the arboretum
Blue Palm

A pretty flower of some sort

Guava Tree
Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees

They were huge!

Further down the road was the Ke'anae peninsula where we pulled in for some views of crashing waves on lava rock and banana bread at Aunty Sandy's.

The Ke'anae Congregational Church was built mostly from rocks and coral from the seashore in 1860.
Devouring the banana bread

We were able to find a place to park for the Waikani (Three Bears) Waterfall and because of the moderate flow of water we were lucky to see three separate falls today.  (When the water gets heavier it turns into one big waterfall.)

I decided I really wanted to go somewhere off the beaten path and so we took the diversion on Nahiku Road to Opuhano Point.  It was less than a three mile drive off the main road with a short walk to the coastline and it was totally worth the extra time.

We parked at the end of the road near the Nahiku Church and walked the rest of the way.

The skys are clearing!

A small stream we passed
This waterfall was on the right side of the road heading to the coast...

..and at the bottom was this swimming pool with a swinging rope. 

We only saw a couple of other tourists also enjoying the views in Nahiku. It was nice to get away from the crowds. 

When we got back on the main road we made a made another quick stop at the nearby marketplace for the most amazing tasting coconut candy. 

The Hana was our favorite

And then headed to our next big stop which was Wai'anapanapa Park. We walked on the trail past the black sand beach:

(Where we really should have went for a swim.)

And continued on the rocky coastal path because we thought it was the way to the freshwater caves.  It was not the way to the caves (we weren't the only ones who were mistaken) and we did an unnecessary hot and sweaty mile or so on the rocky path before finally turning around and heading back to find the real trail. 

The actual freshwater cave trail was dark and mosquito-y but super short and we had walked the whole thing before I even took out my camera. Oops. 


We were getting hungry and wanted to see if Bruddah Hutts BBQ was open for lunch.  It wasn't. 

It was Sunday after all. 

So we stopped and got a random plate lunch at Troy's.  I wouldn't recommend the coconut shrimp (it was basically just soggy breaded shrimp) but Brian's BBQ chicken was pretty good and the salad and rice were very tasty. 

Our next stop was at Koki beach.

From the beach we saw 'Alau Island which is famous for having a coconut tree growing at the very top.

We decided to drive past Hana to the 'Ohe'o Gulch/Seven Sacred Pools because our plan was to go swimming in the pools but when we arrived there was a long line and a fee to get in and it said the pools were closed for swimming so we turned the car around. 

Proof we made it to the entrance of the park. :)

Basically we added an extra 1.5 hours of driving onto our trip (on much narrower roads than the road before Hana) but they say it's all about the journey anyway right?

On the way back we stopped at Wailua Falls because we had missed the turnout on the way out.  It's a huge waterfall and we walked out a short way to feel the spray and see people swimming in the pool at the bottom of the falls.

Our last stop was just a return to Wai'anapanapa for a bathroom and shower break (for Brian) and then we drove nonstop back to Kihei. 

I really liked the Gypsy app we used because it was helpful and informative and made the drive go by quicker, especially on the drive back from Hana. It was really interesting to learn more about Hawaii's history and I definitely don't regret the purchase.

Today was a long day but Brian and I were happy to have experienced the Road to Hana and we saw some neat sites along the way. 

Nothing special for dinner tonight, just leftover pizza. :)

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