Welcome back for part 2 of my honeymoon recap!
Day 3- Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Today was the day we chose to do the Road to Hana. We were told to reserve a whole day for this so we did. We got up around 5:30, got our fun rental car (I highly recommend getting a convertible while in Maui) and made our way to the beginning of the Road to Hana. We stopped in Paia for a smoothie and breakfast sandwich before we started this all day, winding journey. Paia is a really cute, little town full of shops and tiny restaurants. Also, it is where the last gas station is for over 50 miles, so it is a must stop. We loaded up on Dramamine, a picnic lunch, a bunch of water and started the drive. For those of you who have not heard of the Road to Hana, this is one of the top 5 drives in the US, but it is seriously intense, scary and dangerous at times...but it is beautiful and so worth it. Just make sure to read a lot about it, get a good guide book, talk to others about it and take a lot of Dramamine :) You will understand more as I go on...
So...you want to make sure you pay close attention to the mile markers on this road. And just an FYI- they start over at 0 a little ways after Paia, so make sure to reset your odometer then.
This trip literally takes all day, there and back. It is about 68 miles total but you have to drive really slow and you will want to stop a lot. Make sure to get started really early and the morning and get back to your hotel or at least almost back by dark. YOU DO NOT WANT TO BE ON THIS ROAD IN THE DARK.
Here are some of our favorite stops a long the way-
1. Mile Marker 10 1/2- Garden of Eden Arboretum & Botanical Gardens- You have to pay about $10 per person to enter. You will see tons of birds, peacocks, bamboo forests, beautiful flowers and my favorite part- the view of Keopuka Rock from the opening scenes of Jurassic Park. BEAAAAUUUUTIFUL! From here you can do some hiking or get back on the road.
2. Along the road keep a look out for some really cool looking trees- there are painted bark Eucalyptus trees that smell amazing and are so pretty.
3. Mile Marker 17 (almost)- Keanae Village- This was one of my favorite stops. This is a tiny seaside village that has been around since the 1800's. We found these random little stands where ladies sell homemade banana bread & mango bread so we bought 1 of each and found a spot on some lava rocks and chowed down. This whole town was wiped out a long time ago because of a hurricane. All that was left was a missionary church and it is still there today.
4. Mile Marker 32- Wainapanapa State Park- Here you will find a beautiful black sand beach and a really cool cave. Make sure to wear shoes when you walk down to the beach...it hurts really bad if you don't. I had to learn the hard way.
5. All along the way there are random waterfalls, swimming holes and hiking trails...we just stopped when we saw something we wanted to see.
6. Mile Marker 42 ( 20 minutes past Hana )- Oheo's Gulch aka Seven Sacred Pools
It is 7 small swimming holes that all pour into the Ocean. When it has been raining a lot the pools all combine into one big pool
The Road to Hana consists of approximately 68 miles, 56 bridges ( 46 are ONE-WAY bridges...SCARY!! ) and over 600 curves. Many people get sick driving it but thanks to the Dramamine and having a convertible, I did not get sick!
Here are some pics from our journey-