Wednesday, March 18, 2015
The Road to Hana
Happy St. Patrick's Day! Travalon and I commemorated the day by following the Road to Hana. This is a twisty road that follows the north coast of Maui, and it is very beautiful, with lots of waterfalls along the way and tropical rainforest all around. Of course, it is slow going, with numerous one-lane bridges so you have to wait if someone is coming from the other direction. Part of the way along it, we saw a sign for "The Garden of Eden," so we had to stop. There was a charge for entering, but it was worth it. It was a beautiful private arboretum with all sorts of palm trees, ti plants, and a walk called "Bamboo Alley" with more kinds of bamboo than we'd ever imagined existed. There was also a great view of a waterfall, and another of the ocean. We hiked the trails in the Garden of Eden for about an hour, then we got back on the Road to Hana. When we finally reached it, Hana is a sleepy little town with a lovely black sand beach. There was a beach with even blacker sand just down the road, but there was no really good way to get to it so we just parked along the road and made our way through some foliage to reach it. It turns out it is basically all privately owned, so why did they put it on the map? We were informed of this by two women who told us we were nuts if we wanted to continue on to the Seven Sacred Pools, but they did concede that they were worth the trip. They said it was getting too late to take the Hana Road back, since you don't want to be stuck on it in the dark, so we should take the quicker southern route back. We continued on to the Seven Sacred Pools, but Maui hasn't had enough rain this season, and the pools were mostly empty. We continued on the southern route, which was unpaved for part of the trip. The beginning of it was between the cliffs and the sea, so very picturesque but slightly scary. Then we came to a part that looked surprisingly like the west coast of Ireland, particularly the area called The Burren. We saw a natural arch out over the sea, made of black volcanic rock, and I got a pretty good shot of it that I'll try to post soon. The road did get better, but it went up into the mountains, and to the west we could see beaches with towns but no way to get down there from the highway. Finally we got to the town we'd had lunch in our first day, and we went back to the same restaurant because Travalon had seen something on their dinner menu that he had wanted to try. It was fish with guava sauce and fried wonton strips, and he really liked it. I had pasta that was really good but neither Hawaiian, as befitted the setting, nor Irish, as befitted the day. We did each have a Longboard Beer to toast St. Patrick. The restaurant sells really cool posters of the road to Hana, with the jungle in the background and a road sign with a really twisty road, so we had to get one of those in honor of our adventure.