Published: October 10th 2010October 10th 2010
The road to Hana 1
Everywhere I looked was just green and verdant
One of the great days in living memory. Maui is just showing off now. Although slightly under the weather, the day started off in normal fashion; orange juice, cappuccino, looking for ages for somewhere that doesn't just do cookies and muffins for breakfast etc. Then decided to drive to the east side of Maui to see what all the fuss about the Pipiwai trek was.
It was a longer drive than I'd realised, mainly because of the 'road to Hana'. The road to Hana, a town on the east coast of Maui is famous, you can google it. It is the most splendid drive I could ever hope to have. That particular stretch is about 50 miles of winding, narrow, undulating, cliffside, beautiful road weaving in and out of the coast, driving over narrow bridges and negotiating a way through a small rainforest road until you reach the Haleakala national park 3 hours later. I definately needed the 4x4, I fear the figaro would have broken down at the first bend. For better pictures, use google images, it's so winding you don't have a second to get the camera out before you're plumetting down a cliff.
Once past Hana and on
towards the entrance to the national park, I left the jeep and headed for 'Ohe'o Gulch, otherwise known as the Seven Sacred Pools. They are freshwater pools, each being fed by a different waterfall, that flow into the sea. I went for a swim, and then climbed the rocks to jump from one pool down the waterfall to the next. There's something about freshwater swimming that's so refreshing. Having spent about an hour or so there, just chilling out, I made my way back up to begin the Pipiwai trek up the mountain to the Waimoku falls.
The trek is fairly easy, but then again, it was a gloriously sunny day, and you follow the streams and waterfalls up the mountain. every now and again, you cross a bridge, giving stunning views of the valleys and running water below.
After a mile or so going uphill, you come across a bamboo forest. Either side is thick with very tall bamboo, so much so, that it blocks out the sun and sometimes got quite dark. As the wind blows the bamboo, they knock together at the top providing a haunting soundtrack to the ascent of distant knocking not dissimilar to 'the
Blair Witch Project'. Once out of the forest, it's over a couple of streams before reaching a dead end.
At this dead end, there are rocks and a little pool. The pool is much too shallow do jump into, but something dominates the landscape. It's the spindle thin 500 foot Waimoku falls, cascading down the sheer mountain face into the pool and out down the stream feeding all the waterfalls below. I had a little dip in the shallow pool and rinsed off under the falls before heading back down.
Journeys to beauty spots are normally the long dull part, but both the trek and even the car ride were fun. The road to Hana is full of 15 mile an hour speed limit signs that no one pays attention to and the most enjoyable drive I've ever had. There are over 600 turns greater than 90 degrees on that road. I hope the photos do the trip justice. I have to say that you can't feel more detached from everyday life when you're contemplating a jump from above a waterfall into the pool below while gazing out onto the Pacific - bliss.
There are more photos below