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Published: February 15th 2010
The Road to Hana is a world-famous scenic drive that has over 600 curves and 46 one-lane bridges. Part of it travels along the beautiful coastline, then it delves into a rainforest before reaching the sleepy little town of Hana. Most people start the drive from the main part of the island in the morning, drive to Hana and maybe a little beyond, and then head back the same way they came, all in one day. It can be done... but as we discovered, they are missing the true beauty of east Maui by not spending a couple days there to enjoy it.
Since we drove to Hana at night, we were actually experiencing the Road "from" Hana as we bade a sad good-bye to one of the most beautiful towns on the planet and headed back to the main part of the island to spend the rest of our honeymoon.
Our first stop along the way was Wai'anapanapa State Park. Covering 122 acres, this park is home to one of Hawaii's volcanic black sand beaches. Black sand is created when lava flows into the ocean and shatters as it comes in contact with the cold water. The lava
pieces are then pulverized by the waves and washed up onto the shore. The grains of sand on this beach are not fine like the sand in a sandbox. These grains are about the size of Kosher salt and very sharp.
The park has a gorgeous expanse of black lava covered with green succulent plants... the green and black against the blue sky and turquoise water is literally a feast for the eyes. Underneath the lava is a network of caves and tunnels, some big enough to crawl into (though we decided it was best not to get stuck under the remnants of a giant lava flow.)
Moving on down Hana Highway, we stopped at several other scenic lookouts before reaching Three Bears Falls. Last time I was here, it had rained so much that Three Bears was one really, really big Mama Bear. I was happy this time to get to see it in its true form. While most people view the falls from the bridge on the road, Kevin persuaded me to climb down to the water and rock-scramble right down to the falls. At first I was hesitant, and almost took a bath in the
creek when my foot slipped, with everyone on the road watching. But eventually we made it to the bottom of the falls, and as usual, it was totally worth it.
Oh, I should mention here that Kevin and I are going to write a book called "Banana Breads of Maui". There are tons of little roadside stands that sell banana bread, and they each claim to have the best banana bread on the island. By the time we reached Ma'alaea, we had three different loaves of banana bread in the car. So, we decided we need to sample each and every one of them, and then write a book describing them, kind of like a fine wine... "Ripe, vivid banana taste with chocolate accents and a hint of walnut."
In doing a google search on Maui banana bread, I found a couple recipes and this interesting tidbit
describing one of the roadside stands in northern Maui:
"At one little village, there was a small roadside stand. The sign out front said, “Best Banana Bread on the Planet”. A Hawaiian woman working inside welcomed us in and gave us the story on the banana bread but all I could focus
on was the economic genius of the banana bread lady. Let me explain. She has a zero maintenance shack on the side of the road. Cars are pulling off as they approach from both directions. She sells 70 loaves of bread each day by noon and then she is done for the day. Each loaf is $5. She works 7 days a week. 70*5*365 = $127,750 a year. So working half days, this lady is making six figures and I don’t think Uncle Sam knows she is out there."
Hmm... maybe we should ditch the book idea and just sell the bread.
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