The Road to Hana is a journey and not destination. The trip along this winding road is more like leaving Maui and entering a different world. The road is 52 miles long and it follows the old King’s Trail that had been the main path before the Highway showed up. However, we only did about 36 of the miles on our trip. We turned around in Hana (population 709) instead of going all the way to Lindbergh’s grave. We started our trip with a breakfast at Charlie’s in the Historical Plantation Town of Paia. The Bride knew of this restaurant because of her devotion to Rachel Ray. I will admit the macadamia nut pancakes and coconut syrup were delicious.
After filling our bellies we started the trek in our rented Jeep. I had always heard the road was very dangerous (which appealed to me) and very beautiful (which appealed to the Bride). However, the legend of being unpaved, with rickety bridges, and no guard rails is false. Since the 1980s the road has been paved and the bridges in very good repair. You still have to be very careful while driving due to the road having over 600 turns and 54 different bridges in less than 40 miles.
Our first stop was Twin Falls around mile marker 7. We chatted with the lady at the Twin Falls Fruit Stand, got directions to the first waterfall and started our trek. This was not a long trek to the falls, but it was slippery as we climbed down the creek bank and followed to the falls. We stopped long enough for me to take some photos. Even though this is called Twin Falls we only saw the bottom water fall, because we did not want to take the hour round trip to the upper falls and get behind a lot of traffic.
A few miles down the road we turned off the main road and found the most wonderful deserted beach. We were the only two people there for most the time and only one other car bothered to “get off the beaten path” and enjoy this secluded area. Since this was May the waves where not rolling in and it was actually hard to believe that in the winter months you can get 30-60 waves. The Bride commented after we had returned to the hotel that this beach was her favorite part of the trip.
The next location that was memorable with the old Hawaiian Village of Keanae. The village stands out against the blue water like a place time forgot. Based on the guide book we were using this is one of the last coastal enclaves of native Hawaiian people. They still grow taro in patches and make their own poi. We drove to where the road ends to enjoy the view of the waves of the Pacific breaking over the lava rocks. Other than the cars and buses, primarily from tourists, you would have thought that you had gone back in time. It would have been very peaceful but another bus of tourists showed so we beat a hasty departure.
The rest of the trip was one more astonishing sight after another. We turned around in Hana after discussing driving further, but our bellies were talking. And we wanted to beat the traffic back to “civilization”. Once we returned around 3pm, we stopped at Mama’s Fish House and I enjoyed a magnificent meal of freshly caught mahi-mahi. MMMMMM.