Our Maui adventures continue - we had a beautiful start to our morning on Sunday, January 5. Our plan for the day was to drive the Road to Hana.
If you've been to Maui, you've probably heard of this and indeed driven it yourself. Hana is on the eastern side of the island and the Road to Hana is the highway that takes you there along the northeastern coast. It is a twisty road, just like the Kahekili Highway, and has lots of one lane bridges. (Although I would say the Kahekili Highway is more thrilling.) We heard about the Shaka Guide app hat you can download on your phone and play through your car's speakers (via Bluetooth) that works off GPS (since internet is not reliable out there) and acts as your guide throughout the drive. It tells you when to stop into various places along the way (and which ones to skip). It was extremely helpful and also provides some history about the area and some background music. It was the best way to do the trail.
Dave was first up to drive, although we did take turns during the day. Top down!
First stop was the Ho'okipa Beach. There were lots of people surfing.
Then we stopped in at Twin Peaks Falls.
A lookout at the side of the road. As usual the photos do not do the sites justice, you really have to see the green vegetation and the blue skies and water for yourself.
Trying to catch the waterfall on the move
It was mostly sunny all day.
We took a slight detour down to the Ke'Anae Peninsula to see the land that was created when lava from Haleakala flowed into the ocean. It was pretty spectacular. We also picked up some of the famous banana bread from Aunty Sandy, so good!
Then we stopped in to swim by a waterfall, Ching's Pond. It was fun and I wish we had stayed a bit longer but it was still the beginning of our trip so we kept moving.
And more waterfalls
After stopping at Waikani Falls, we drove onto Pua'a Ka'a State Wayside for a little hike. When we went to get the backpack from the backseat we realized it was missing, we had left it on the side of the road at the Waikani Falls, see above photo, it's leaning against the stone wall by the sign, when Dave took it off for our photo. We went racing back, panicked, since it had our big camera, GoPro, and my wallet in it. Fortunately it was still there, phew!! We figured that since everyone kept stopping at that spot, they would just assume that the bag belonged to someone who was still there. Anyway, after that, we kept track of who had the bag!
We put our hiking shoes on for this little jaunt, although we didn't need to.
The next stop we never would have been able to find without the Shaka app - the lava tube cave. It is truly a hole in the wall on the side of the highway that is easy to miss. This is looking back out to the road.
More waterfalls, these photos came in out of order so I'm not actually sure which ones they are.
We stopped in at Coconut Glen's for some ice cream, it was so good, but I didn't get any photos! We also went to the Nahiku Marketplace for lunch, but I wasn't impressed. Dave had a good taco, but I chose the coconut shrimp which was not great, too deep fried for me. I should have picked the BBQ.
Our last sight seeing stop of the day was Waianapanapa State Park to see the black sand beach. This was another great spot where I wish we could have spent more time.
The sand is like coffee grinds or oreo cookie crumbs.
I played in the waves :)
Huge waves, I stayed close to the shore. I couldn't believe people were letting their kids play in the water without being at arm's length!
Same people, different backdrops.
The last stop was the town of Hana itself. There was an option to go a little farther to another beach and swimming place, but it was about 3:00 when we got to Hana and it is recommended to turn back at that time so you're not on the road at night. We grabbed a pad thai at one of the food trucks and then headed back.
We ate supper at The Flatbread Company in Paia on our way home and it hit the spot.
BBQ pork pizza with pineapple, delicious!
The next morning we were up bright and early to head out for some snorkelling. We booked with Calypso. I liked the idea of having an enclosed boat with the option of outdoor space, plus breakfast and lunch were served, with a bar. It also had two snorkelling destinations. There are many choice for snorkelling on Maui but we were happy with this choice.
We got to the dock and it was so so windy, we wondered if the trip would be cancelled, but they assured us that it is often this windy and once you got out onto the water, it wasn't so bad. Well it wasn't as bad as at the shore, but it was still pretty rocky on our 50 minute ride out to Molokini Crater. People were starting to get seasick. Dave and I managed to keep our stomachs calm by looking at the horizon and trying to spot some whales (which we did).
When we got to our first snorkelling spot, we weren't sure how this was going to go, since neither of us are strong swimmers, but they had float belts and pool noodles so we grabbed those and away we went. We also got to try out our Go Pro.
It was pretty choppy but once you put your head down, it was fine. We swam around holding hands (which I liked since I wasn't constantly looking for Dave and panicking that one of us would get lost) and one of us would shoot with the Go Pro.
A manta ray
We did take a break after a bit but then went back in until it was time to go.
See all the fish? This is because half the boat was throwing up over the side. Gross!!
When we got back onto the boat it smelled like puke, although the crew was doing a good job of keeping everything clean. I wasn't sure if I was going to avoid being sick myself, but we just stood at the back of the boat in the fresh air until it was time to move, and then I held my towel over my nose until we got to the next spot, and I was okay.
Then we went to see the turtles over by Makena. It was a lot calmer over here and people started to feel better.
One of the crew was in charge of finding the wildlife, so as soon as we anchored he went out to find the turtles and then we were supposed to find his red buoy.
There's one! We ended up seeing about 4 or 5.
Check out this guy who came right up in front of Dave for some air. You couldn't have asked for a better introduction.
Lunch was served after that and most people had stopped getting sick so it was a much better ride back. We even saw Oprah and Tiger's houses (well his belongs to Elin now) on the way back. And some more whales. And some of us may have napped (ahem, me).
We got back from snorkeling in the early afternoon so we decided to head to the beach. We ran into one of the owners of our bed and breakfast on the way out and he recommended Po-Olenalena Beach. It was a great choice, lots of parking, and a "secret" path around to the right leads to a less crowded beach. We even nabbed some shade. Then we played with the boogie boards for a bit in the waves, so much fun!
That night for supper we went down to South Shore Tiki Lounge for supper. It was exactly what you'd want in a Hawaiian tiki bar. We sat outside and got some fun drinks and food.
This is back at our bed and breakfast.
We went for a run the next morning and there were a lot of hills. I was feeling like the Tiki statue when we got back.
Then we got packed up, stopped in at Target (again!), got some gas for the Jeep, and then headed to the airport for our short flight back to Oahu for the next leg of our trip. This little trolley takes you between the car rental place and the airport.
Whew that was a long one, thanks for sticking with me!!
See Days 1, 2 and 3 here.