Sep 2, 2017

Our Honeymoon: Day 7 // Road to Hana

Driving the Road to Hana was one of the top things we wanted to do while in Hawaii! We left at 6:30am and drove with the top down. We downloaded the “Shaka Guide” and used that to guide us through the journey. The Road to Hana is a beautiful scenic drive through the Maui wilderness and coastline.  Hana is a small town close to the end of the road.

Before we started the journey, we stopped in the town of Paia for gas and decided to get breakfast as well.  We ate at a cool coffee shop that had seating in an outdoor green garden area.  Bill got coffee, I got a chai latte and we split a bagel, and then it was time to get back on the road!

I have to note that I was beyond tired.  I made the mistake of taking Dramamine.  The Road to Hana is 48 miles long, with 600+ tight curves.  I read so many warnings about how it makes everyone carsick, so I decided to take one before I left. Bad idea!  I was so tired the entire trip to start with and it was just not a wise plan, but I persevered! I wrapped my head with a scarf to protect my burnt skin.  Poor Bill, traveling with a tired, disguised person, lol.  

The first sight we saw was a pretty waterfall with a freshwater pool under it that you can swim in, but it was still early and cool so we kept driving.  We next saw 3 Bears Falls.  All along the way, we saw lush greenery, cliffs, and picturesque views.  There were plenty of one-way bridges and cliffs that dropped off right at the edge of the road!

We saw the forests of eucalyptus trees, but decided to stop to see them on the way home.  

We stopped at an old seaside village and saw the black beaches.  In the village, we saw an old stone church across a field.  I decided to trek over to it.  There was a creepy cemetery next to it with overturned graves.  It turns out that they suffered a terrible hurricane one year that nearly destroyed everything including the cemetery.  Forgetting that it was Sunday, I decided to pop into the church, only to discover that a service was going on!  A few people turned to stare at me and I quickly ran back to Bill!  While I was gone, he discovered a rocky beach with coconuts everywhere!

A bit later on, we stopped at a “park” to use the restrooms.  We saw pretty views and a cat.  I bonded over a lady about missing our cats back home, haha.  She was getting back on a tour bus and I was so glad that we had our own car!

We stopped at Coconut Glen’s for ice cream and oh my goodness, was it ever delicious! I got ginger lemongrass and Bill got coffee toffee and some coconut candy.  We ate the ice cream there and then got back on the road.

"Livin' the dream" is Bill's live motto so he loved finding this sign

Eventually, we made it to Hana!  We stopped at a crappy little store for waters and then had lunch at an authentic Thai place.  I had green papaya salad and summer rolls, while Bill got the cashew chicken.  It was really good! You ordered out of a truck-type place and then ate at outside tables.  

We then followed the guide’s directions to the red sand beach.  It was a bit hard to find, as it required you to park on what seemed like residential parking and then follow a specific path through a park.  To get to the beach required what I found to be a frightening hike!  It was on a narrow path, along a cliffside! We finally made it though! The sand was hot and coarse, but everything was beautiful.  Bill swam in the water, but I was nervous bc it wasn’t very clear!  The water was a pretty blue, but it was churning so you couldn’t see what was in there.  Yikes.  I waded a bit and swam out once to Bill but didn’t stay very long! It was supposed to be a nude beach, but there was no one in the nude!  We saw a woman with her adorable dog.  They were picking fallen coconuts together. After an hour or so, we made the hike back to our car and continued on.

We made it to the 7 sacred pools, but they were closed so we turned around.  The water was brown and rushing, but on a good day, I hear they are beautiful and that you can swim in them.

The roads past Hana were a lot more treacherous!  They were lots of one-way spots and the roads themselves were rickety.  We had one harrowing encounter with a red Jeep on a bridge.  It wasn’t our fault, but rather the Jeep didn’t wait its turn.  We were both stuck trying to pass each other.  I about had a heart attack but Bill eventually maneuvered through it without a scratch!

We headed back towards home, but took an alternate route that took us to Koki Beach! This was Bill’s very favorite beach.  We saw a cool island that had dozens of creepy frigate birds flying around it -- they looked like pterodactyls! We were near an area owned by Oprah, so I was very excited about that.  Bill swam and played in the huge waves.  He was having an absolute blast!  The waves were seriously big!  He kept diving under them.  I was cold and thought I might drown if I swam because I was so tired, so I sat on my towel and tried not to fall asleep.  Basically, I was a party pooper and wished I had a boogie board, but it didn’t keep Bill down!  He was like a little kid out there and I enjoyed watching him having fun.  

If you zoom in around the top of this island, you can see the frigate birds

Having the time of his life!
When he was done playing in the water, we continued the drive back.  It rained, but it only added to the beauty!  We had to put the top up, but it made everything look so much more lush than it already did.  It was a whole different side to Maui than where our resort was.  Felt like we were in a rainforest! (Maybe we were?)  

Our final stop was at the arboretum to see the giant eucalyptus trees. Because it was still rainy, this walk through the arboretum was a little eerie!  There was mist, it was starting to get dark, and there was no one else around.  It was pretty cool.  We saw bamboo, cool moss-coated trees, all sorts of trees, and eventually the eucalyptus! They didn’t look quite as colorful and painted as I saw online, but they were still really neat.  We were getting eaten alive by mosquitoes (the only ones we experienced on Hawaii!) so we hightailed it back to the car.

We went back to Paia and had drinks at a bar (Rock ‘n Brews) and changed clothes for dinner.

Our dinner this night was at Mama’s Fish House.  We had heard so many rave reviews about this place that we knew we had to try it.  We had $ towards dinner as a gift from Bill’s cousins. By the time we arrived, it was downpouring.  We did valet parking and they helped us to get in with umbrellas.  I was looking forward to walking the beautiful grounds and seeing the sunset.  I’ve heard the views from there are so gorgeous they make grown men cry, but alas, it was dark and pouring so we didn’t get to see anything.

What’s about to come is probably a very uncommon and unpopular opinion, but we found the restaurant to be so-so.  We had a pretty view at our table and there was a “happy honeymoon” card at our table! Our waiter was, quite simply, weird.  However, the appetizers were absolutely to-die-for.  We got ceviche, sashimi and soup “on the house from Mama.”  The sashimi sampler was one of the best things I have eaten in my entire life.  For our entrees, I got King crab-stuffed mahi mahi and Bill ordered “the traditional Hawaiian,” which turned out to be wild boar and other foods similar to what we had at the luau.  My fish was just ok.  I think the bottom line is that I just don’t like fish.  Bill probably didn’t order the best entree.  We also ordered a bottle of (bad) red wine, but after one glass, I was wasted and so tired I was about to fall asleep at the table!  I felt like I had to endure dinner, rather than enjoy it.  We got the dessert to go and it was really good.  It was a chocolate cheesecake and we enjoyed it the next day.  I think that if you love fish, you definitely should experience Mama’s Fish House.  I would go back just for that sashimi, but I do think I would order something else for dinner.  

Best sashimi ever

I fell asleep instantly upon getting in the car and Bill had to practically force me to get up once we got back to the hotel.  We had to run through the rain which woke me up!  We put a movie on and of course I fell asleep within about 2 minutes!


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