Saturday, January 28, 2012

Maui: the Road to Hana

This is not a trip for those with car ride-induced motion sickness. All the guidebooks warn you about the winding roads and one-lane bridges but you can't understand how intense it is until you travel the road. That being said, the Hana Highway is a must, when visiting Maui. There is an alternative route to Hana along the south side of the island but if you're a tourist, chances are that your rental car company forbids you from using certain parts of Highway 31.

Preparation for this trip is essential! The driver of your car must be reliable, safe, and great at maneuvering. You must check the weather; if it looks like rain, you might want to postpone the trip because parts of the road can be closed due to land and mudslides. Pack some bug spray because you are headed to the side of the island that is lush, wet, green, and full of mosquitos. Stock up on snacks and bottled water; it's a long and windy drive in tropical weather, staying hydrated and avoiding starvation is important. Wake up early and get a head start on the day (7am!). And if you don't plan on spending the night in Hana, make a list of the places you want to visit and keep an eye on the clock because it is imperative that you are on the road and on your way back from Hana by 3:30 pm. Otherwise, the sun will set before your journey is over and being stuck on those winding hairpin turns in the dark can't be fun.

We stopped a bunch of times along the route, but I had no phone service so I could never be 100% sure of where we were. However, I did mark 4 places I distinctly remember:

The whole experience is about taking in the nature and beauty of Maui, stopping for photo ops, and creating your own journey so I'm not going to say what was the best part or what was the worst because all of that depends on the person. [[However, I will say, people knock the Garden of Eden Arboretum for being too expensive but if you have children or seniors (our group was made up of mostly seniors) who aren't as mobile, it's a great stop.]] Also, there are lots of stops along the way with restrooms so let me hear a sigh of relief from the tiny bladders!

Like I said, it's about the journey and the photo ops so I'll summarize my personal experience in photos.
cow!
car
garden of eden arboretum
nature
well, hello!

tropical
Tarzan-ing

sisters :)



bluest water I've ever seen
island kitty is thirsty
I wanted to pet him! But he ran away too quickly.
Uncle Harry's Fruit Stand

a dog named Princess
hello, Princess!


lots and lots of waterfalls

Waianapanapa State Park - Black Sand Beach
inside of a lava tube
having so much fun
family photo
Hana Bay (Red Sand Beach)
620 curves, 46 one-lane bridges (59 bridges total), 68 miles.

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