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Published: October 19th 2014
Tuesday October 14th
We had a slow morning at the condo relaxing before heading to Lahaina for some lunch and shopping. We parked near Front street in Lahaina and went to Bubba Gump Shrimp Co overlooking the harbour. It was a great view, but was, needless to say, an overpriced tourist trap really. We had a decent meal and chatted and enjoyed the view. Watching the boats in the harbour and the surfers and parasailers was nice. We walked over to the outlet mall and grabbed a few souvenirs and maui clothes. We didn't stay long in Lahaina. It's an interesting town, with a history connected it's whaling past, and plantation past etc. I'd quite like to return before we leave to look through the whaling museum and other historic sights.
The history of european/western overindulgence of Hawaii's natural resources and near destruction of the native Hawaiian people is sad, and not unlike our own history in Canada/British Columbia. Hawaii is a beautiful place, and it would have been better for the world if outsiders had never come here. Maybe that's a pipe dream, and certainly irreversible now, but hopefully going forward all who come here and live here
can protect God's amazing creation. In any case, I am thankful for the existence of such a place as Hawaii and the ability to see it.
We headed back to the condo to shower and relax for a bit before spending the afternoon at Kapalua Bay. It was another amazing crescent bay on the north side of the western shore of Maui. We all went in the warm water, and Jeremy, Andrew, Lori, Rachel, and I all snorkeled. Several of us saw a quite large sea turtle picking at the rocks in the bay. At one point Rachel and I almost swam into a pair of large sea turtles that were swimming and feeding together. Also, Jeremy let Rachel take his hand and they went out together a bit further so he could see the turtle. It was a great afternoon. We went back to the condo where I bbq'd some burgers and hot dogs in on the communal bbq by the beach while enjoying a couple of beers. A great finish to the day. Wednesday October 15th
We rose early to drive the Road to Hana on this day. We left all together in the van
and headed from West Maui around the coast to central Maui for gas and supplies. We took a sandwiches and water in a cooler, along with various snacks, as we would be on the road all day driving all the way around the eastern end of the island. We gassed up at Costco, and started the jungle drive along the northern shore of the eastern side of the island. As we had a long way to go, we skipped the first few stops on the very twisty road and made our first stop at a point with a view along the coast. The road to Hana is said to have 600+ curves and 50+ one lane bridges as it winds it's way through the rainy side of Maui through the jungle. It really was the jungle, with vines, and exotic birds calling, and dense forest, etc. It was an amazing drive, like no other I've ever done. We stopped at a family run roadside stand called "halfway to Hana" which is relatively self explanatory. We bought snacks including really amazing homemade banana bread and took a break from whizzing around corners in the van. We stopped at a black sand
beach and sea cave at Waianapanapa beach park. The sea cave was cool. You had to duck to get inside, but it was quite tall once through. The cave opened up on the sea side, as the name suggests, with surf lapping at the black sand and rocks. We walked down to the beach, and the sight of the smooth black rocks and fairly fine black sand was quite unreal. The others relaxed on the beach for a bit while I swam out into the surf to float in the warm water for a bit while Jeremy waded in the edge of the surf. Rachel, Jeremy, dad, and I walked a ways along the sea cliffs before we all headed back to the van to carry on exploring. By this time of day the drive had taken us so long that we needed to press on. We left Kahana at 9am, we started the actual road to Hana at around 11am, and got to the black sand beach near Hana at 3pm. We had sandwiches etc in the van while we drove past Hana and on to the seven sacred pools of O'heo Gulch about 10 miles past Hana on
the far end of the volcano Haleakala. The pools were closed to swimming, as the water levels were high from rain, and apparently there were grey sharks waiting out at sea. Can you imagine getting washed out over a waterfall from a Sooke Potholes like swimming hole in to the surf, only to get eaten by a waiting shark? So needless to say, we hiked the trail, took a few pictures, and carried on.
At this point in the day we had a decision to make. It was apparently the same 65 miles back to the main town of Kahului in central Maui in either direction around the volcano. We could either go back along the 600 curves and 50 one lane bridges the way we came, or carry on along the 'back road', including a 'not recommended' 7-10 mile unpaved cliffside section of road and through a barren deserty area back to the same finish in Kahului. We elected to go for it and take the back road. It was VERY narrow, and one section was right along a shear rock wall, with no barriers, and a gravel drop off into the surf on the ocean side. The
road itself wasn't too bad, but it really was like something out of a movie. We were fine, but if a car had met us coming the other way it would have been crazy crazy. Overall, the back road unpaved section wasn't too bad, and really wasn't a problem for the minivan. My experience driving Toquart Main near Barkley Sound, and the Lake Cowichan back road on Vancouver Island was good practice for this amazing feat of engineering. Apparently the road was originally built using hand tools by a chain gang of prisoners. Once through the initial part of the back road, which reminded me of the end of the Planet of the Apes movie where Charlton Heston finds the statue of liberty on the beach, we quite enjoyed our drive. Once out in the open desert, we saw a cool sea arch below the cliffside, and saw a great Maui sunset. It was still a roller coaster of ups and downs and hairpin turns. It took hours more driving, and we finally reached the condo at around 830pm. I drove the entire day, and felt quite strange after concentrating so hard for like 9 hours. It became a challenge
of sorts, but I really enjoyed a really cool drive in the jungle. It was the epitome of an all-day exploration in an exotic place, and I recommend it highly for you closet rally drivers out there!!
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