Our adventures in Maui continued with a drive on the “Road to Hana”. This drive was definitely more about the journey than the destination. When we first arrived in Maui, Bill purchased and downloaded to his phone an audio tour of Maui which came in very handy, especially on the drive to Haleakala National Park which I described in the previous blog, as well as during the Road to Hana. This 64 mile drive takes almost three hours if you don’t make any stops. Why so long? In those 64 miles there are 59 one way bridges and approximately 620 hairpin turns. Most of the bridges date back to 1910. The road was originally built for sugar plantation
workers traveling to and from work. And keep in mind, once you drive those 64 miles of one lane bridges and hairpin turns, you have to turn around and do it again on the way back since rental car agreements forbid you to continue any further than 15 miles past Hana due to unpaved and hazardous road conditions. So why do it you must be asking. Because the scenery of unspoiled beaches, waterfalls, caves, and lush tropical scenery is breathtaking.
At one point our audio tour guide suggested we take a small, safe detour which took us down to one of the beautiful beaches in Keanae. The water here was too rough for swimming and
there was no easy access to the water, but we enjoyed watching the waves crash against the shore. We stopped at a small vegetable stand near the beach and bought a loaf of delicious banana bread, still warm.
We visited Waianapanap State Park where we saw a black sand beach, caves, blowholes and a natural arch. We also stopped by Haleakala National Park to see Ohe’o Gulch also known as Seven Sacred Pools which stretches down from the same volcano summit we mentioned in our
last post. If the water is high there are as many as 7 pools formed from falling water which can be a delightful place to swim. When we were there the weather was very overcast and water rough so the swimming areas were closed.
At the end of the road before we turned around, we visited the grave of Charles Lindbergh. Located on a remote section of Hana Road behind a small church, the graveside is relatively
simple with no signs leading to his grave. Lindbergh was introduced to Maui by a friend and thought it was one of the most beautiful places he had ever seen. He and his wife built a home on Maui. In 1974, suffering from incurable cancer Lindbergh flew from New York to Maui to live out his remaining days saying he would rather live for 2 days in Maui than prolong his life in New York. His simple coffin was made of eucalyptus and was taken to the church in the back of a pickup truck.
On one of our last days in Maui we celebrated Bill’s birthday. We decided to go to a recommended Italian restaurant since Bill had already had several seafood meals. Upon learning it was his birthday, the owner brought out a huge slice of tiramisu on the house with a candle burning and sang Happy Birthday.
Sadly our time on Maui came to an end and it was time for the next adventure.