Saturday, July 31, 2010

Hawaii Day 3

Day 3 was a big road trip. We started early, 6:30, to avoid traffic on the single lane mountain roads.
We started at our condo and headed north which would take us on the unbeaten path to the remotest parts of the Island. We circumnavigated the Island of Maui by taking this route. 176 miles and it took 15 hours. We made many stops and were in no rush. Taking a number of small walks and just relaxing to take in the views a many locations.

The roads weren't too bad, plenty of single lane areas inches from cliffs on the northwest section. The many single lane areas whether for the narrow hair-pin switch backs of the northwest section or the single lane bridges in the Road to Hana section require just taking your time and not being aggressive.
The local drivers made them somewhat more interesting as they don't have a problem driving on the center line with their jacked up pickups with huge tires. I sure can't blame them though. Year round tourists clogging up the only roads available can't be fun.
I was interesting to wonder what the ride was like in the southwest section coming back from Hana where the roads started to straight out with many roller coaster areas. It was easy to see where vehicles bottomed out on the pavement from all the scratched up sections.

Bottom line, don't believe the stories that you need a 4-wheel drive or that your rental car won't make it. But, do be careful if it is raining or if it is wet where you pull off to take in views, go hiking or let cars pass as some areas are that thick red clay that can look to be very slippery. There is erosion off the pavement where you can drop 6-8" that could smack your undercarriage or oil pan. Combine that with rocks sticking up in some of the parking areas that can do the same and one could get into trouble. Drive slow, take your time and use some common sense.

Northwest point of the Island shortly after the sun came up.

Location of a blow hole that wasn't active due to low wave action...more of this later. The blow hole is at 11:30 if you extend a line from Lynn's head straight up (to 12:00) very near the waters edge.

On the famous Road to Hana.

Surfers near Paia.

Lush foliage due to high rainfall.
Upgrading to the convertible was one of the best decisions we made. Reaching above the windshield for this shot. There were great views everywhere but not many places to turn out. Single lane bridges were everywhere.

Keanae below. This town was almost totally washed away due to a Tsunami in 1946. The remains of a past lava flow make for a very active shoreline. These photos were taken from the car as the road is literally on shore.

One of the many waterfalls that are on the way is at this spot. These guys were contemplating a jump into the narrow gorge, but I don't think any did. There was very little or no water at all at most of the falls as this was the summer/dry season. Rundown of the major falls.
This one happened to have a good amount of water in it's stream, but the 25 foot drop into a pool lined with rocks would take a perfect landing to avoid serious injury by not hitting the sweet spot. They were part of a wedding party.
Too many strange and interesting flowers to get them all but here are a couple.
This one seems to grow upside down.
Kind of a spiky looking flower. Huge ferns are everywhere, too.
The famous Banyan Tree. The one in down town Lahaina is massive.
At the town of Hana. Again, ancient lava flows that ended at the ocean.

The famous Black Sand Beach at the State Park in Hana.
A lava arch.

Past Hana.....they're everywhere!
Another Banyan Tree.
The Seven Sacred Pools or more properly, the Ohe'o Gultch in Haleakala National Park.

One thing we drove past by accident was the grave of Charles Lindbergh. It would have been neat to see that. We were too far down the road to turn back.

An old missionary church. There are many of these on the island, some like this one, miles from any town or people. This one was on the southern edge of the island.
A very interesting stained/lead glass window still intact and in great shape above the door of the church.
Again, I'd recommend getting the Maui Revealed book and read through it before heading over. It was always accurate, insightful and informative with a sense of humor thrown in.

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