Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Maui, Hawaii - Day 4 The Road to Hana

Time to visit Hana.  Breakfast was... you guessed it.  Cereal and a bagel.  We bummed around the room until it was time to checkout. We're spending one night in Hana then coming back to this hotel.

From our exploring a couple days before, we had a special request when it came to what room we'd like to stay in.  They said they could probably accommodate us and with that, we were off to Hana.  Along the way though, we've got a few things planned.  One of my main missions for this trip is to come back with lots of photos we can print out to decorate the house with.  I've got a few particular shots in mind that I'd like, so we stopped at a beach park while I tried a few things.  And these aren't just regular photos either.  My camera could normally take a photo at 3000 pixels by 5500 pixels.  When you print something you usually like it to be ~200 pixels per inch, so while that might sound like a lot of pixels, I really could only print something that's 15 inches by 24 inches.  In my mind, I'm envisioning something bigger.  So the solution is either get a higher resolution camera ($$$) or buy some hardware that will let you swivel the camera and then stitch the images together giving you a bigger resolution than a single image ($$).    

 Here's the zoomed in version.

From Lahaina, it's an hour drive to the start of the road to Hana.  Once we made it to the start, we were ready for lunch.  Theresa had already done her research and found that some of the best pizza on the island is the Flat Bread Pizza company.  Us plus a ton of other cars all descended on this town and parking was a nightmare.  We ended up having to park 6-7 blocks away and walk back to the restaurant.  And the other thing people keep telling us is, "Don't leave your valuables in your car" and "Not even your trunk is safe".  So before we left we packed clothes and everything in our bags in the trunk and all our laptops, camera gear, kindles, etc in a backpack that we'd carry with us.  So yes, that meant carrying all that to the restaurant too.  The pizza here was delicious.  It's like they had me in mind when they created it.  Kaluha Pork, pineapple, goat cheese, red onions, mozzerella, and a tangy bbq sauce.  Delicious!  Theresa unfortunately didn't read the menu right, and thought she was ordering a pepperoni and mushroom pizza with no cheese.  Sadly it was the cheese pizza she ordered with no cheese, so she had a round breadstick with tomato sauce.  The server even called it a sad little pizza.  Oh well.

And then on the way back to the car, we stopped at a gelato place.  

Just a few more miles to go before we really start the road.  Before we got there through we ran into a huge surf spot.  The waves here looked awesome and there were tons of windsurfers and surf boarders.  While waiting there some teens came up to each person and asked if we'd like to buy a DVD of some surf movie they were making.  They got moving pretty quick though once the park ranger drove by.

Finally ready to start the road to Hana.  Our first stop was Twin Falls.  Again we're carrying all our valuables on our back and hiking around the island.  Just as we start the hike, it starts raining a bit on us.  Luckily it's a warm rain, so we're not too disturbed by it.  It's just getting us a bit wet. 

When we're about 10 minutes into the hike, some people ahead of us inform us that the road is washed out and you have to wade through it to get across.  Of course we have to see it for ourselves.  We get to the road and yes, there is a good current moving here and it's probably 25 feet across to the other side.  We look at each other, consider the fact that yes, we have all our valuables on our back and none of them are waterproof, and then we just decide to go ahead and do it anyway.  Theresa changed out of her sneakers into flip flops, while I who didn't bring flip flops, just go barefoot.  In some points the water comes up to my knees and I'm crossing.  Going barefoot, I can really tell which rocks are smooth and slippery, and what's more porous and has some traction.  We slowly make our way across and just as Theresa goes to step out, her flip flop comes off and whoosh, off it goes.  She gets out of the water, then I follow and set down the rest of my gear.  Luckily about 20 feet down the way, her flip flop made it into a side pool of water.  I'm able to climb down to it and fish it out for her.  Hooray!  Joe's the hero and Theresa now has two flip flops again. 

We continue hiking, and this time we're looking for hiking sticks for the return journey.  Good thing we found them too, cause when we get to Twin Falls, there is another stream to cross.  Not as bad as the first one, but still some good moving water.  Again Theresa made it almost all the way across and then pointed her feet downstream.  And once again, off goes a flip flop whooshing down the river, and this time it was never to be seen again.  We made it to the falls, and were just a little disappointed.  The only really good way to see them was to swim over to them.  From the trail, your view it pretty blocked by trees.  I took the best camera phone photo I could and we turned around.  At least it was a fun adventure.  On the hike back, I was even lucky enough to find a hiking stick, so now when I crossed the road, it wouldn't be so unstable. 

Theresa also learned that the flip flop gives you much better traction than bare feet, so decided to keep one on while she crossed over the washed out road.  And with her first step into the water, she had a small slip and that lead to a broken flip flop strap.  This trail is not good on flip flops.  Good thing she had the walking stick, otherwise she might have taken a tumble and this would be a whole different story.  We shuffled our way across, both in bare feet now, without any further mishaps.  We left our walking sticks for the next brave souls who dare to cross the river. 

Back up to the trailhead where Theresa buys from banana's from a roadside stand, and then we continue our journey.

Then the real fun of the road to Hana began.  The road has lots of twists and curves and lots of blind corners.  You really have to trust that the person on the other side of the road is staying in their lane.  On top of that, there are quite a few one lane bridges where you have to make sure no one is coming before you continue across.  Otherwise someone will need to backup.  We made our way down the road and found another fruit stand.  As soon as we pulled off, there was a tiny pineapple plant right in front of our car.  Theresa got excited and demanded I take a picture.  We continued just a little down the hill to a lookout point and on the way ran into a hen and about 6 of her little chicks.  It's fun hearing the little "peep peep peeps" coming from the chicks. 

Back up the hill we saw the fruit stand had sugar cane water and whole sugar cane sticks.  The sugar cane water was super sweet and you could only drink a bit of it before you had to stop.  Neither Theresa or myself liked the sticks, but we were glad to have tried them. 

We stopped quite a bit to see the views and give Theresa's motion sickness a break.  Not only was the road twisty and curved, it was raining a bit.  It made the waterfalls fun to look at though.

One of the last things before we called it a night in Hana though was going to the State Park.  The gate closed at 6pm, and we got there at 5pm, so we had to see everything quick.  There were black sand beaches, sea arches, huge crashing waves, blowholes, and lava flows.  Sadly because of the rainy day, the skies were all cloudy and colorless. 

When the waves here crashed against the rocks, it threw up giant sprays of water!

We walked down to the black sand beach, then continued further so I could get a nice panoramic shot, but it was cloudy so I didn't think it was good enough to share.  I checked the time and it was 5:48pm.  Oops, time to hoof it back to the car before we get locked in.

We drove to the condo we rented for the night and checked in.  Nice find Theresa.  Glad we could stay the night here instead of having to drive all the way back.  The room was pretty nice, but the view was even better.  Theresa was pooped from the ride, but I wanted to go out and explore more.  I went to climb over some some lava flows and see some waves crashing close up.  Pretty cool. 

The waves crashing against these pebbles then retreating sounded very soothing.  It could almost be like background white noise.

Dinner was leftover pizza.  I went through some photos from the day and then we went to bed.

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