I never finished recapping our awesome babymoon to Maui! So back to it. After exploring Lahaina and Haleakala, relaxing around the resort, and a day of snorkeling, we hit the famous road to Hana. I have been on a number of curvy mountain roads in my lifetime, but this was definitely the curviest road I’ve ever seen! It runs along the northeast side of Maui which is the wettest, rainiest part of the island so the landscape is extremely lush and tropical.
We stopped several times along the route to take pictures, admire the view, and — in one case — sample some sugar cane juice. It was sweet with a very planty aftertaste. Not bad, but not my favorite either.
We saw all kinds of cool foliage. Bamboo, bananas, and plenty of plants with huge green leaves that I can’t name.
There were also several waterfalls to admire along the way. Since hiking and swimming weren’t really on our agenda, we didn’t leave the main road but according to the books, there are even more waterfalls to admire just a bit off the road in several locations, along with pools to swim in.
This was one of the prettier overlooks, even though it was tough to get a good photo of the two of us thanks to the shadows. I thought I was really starting to look pregnant at the time. HA!
At one stop, there were chickens. In the trees. Yeah, I don’t get it either! These branches were very low to the ground but still — the chickens were just there, chilling, in the branches. There were wild chickens all over Maui so this wasn’t the first time we came across a group of them, but it was definitely the funniest setting.
Speaking of wildlife, we also saw this mongoose/ferret thing at a rest stop along the way. He was jumping into the trash can, of course, to scavenge whatever tasty bits he could find. There were several others slinking around on the edge of the woods too, but they were very skittish. We were a good 30-40 feet away and had to stay completely still just to get a photo.
A lot of the guide books advised getting underway first thing in the morning to avoid the crowds, but just like the day we went to Haleakala, we didn’t want to get up super early. After all, we were on vacation! We again chose to sleep in, take our time around the hotel in the morning, and finally got on the road around 11:00 I think. We stopped in the small town of Kula for lunch before the Hana Highway really began. This tactic seemed to work pretty darn well — there really wasn’t a ton of traffic to speak of, and we enjoyed a leisurely drive without having to worry about other cars or tour buses. This was especially nice since most of the many bridges along the road are only a single lane wide!
We made it to Hana by about 3:30 or 4:00. There really wasn’t much there to see, other than more gorgeous scenery and views of the ocean of course. We wandered around a small general store and souvenir shop, bought some snacks, snapped this picture of the post office to prove we “survived the Road To Hana,” as the t-shirts say, and then turned around to head back to west Maui. If we’d started in the morning, we would have had time to continue the drive around the other side of the island. I’ve heard that is neat just because the landscape changes so dramatically, so we’ll just have to do it next time we’re in Maui. Yep, next time!
Jose drove on the way out, so I drove on the way back to give him a chance to admire the view a bit more. It was hard to look around much while driving since the road really does require the driver’s full attention! But being the passenger also has a disadvantage — you’re more likely to feel a little car sick thanks to all the curves!
We arrived back in Kula and pulled off the road just past there to admire the sunset from a park. The parking lot was high up above the beach, and we stayed there for a while watching a group of surfers down below. They were too far away to get any good photos, but they were fun to watch.
Here’s the full set of photos from our day of scenic driving: