Our next port was Lahaina in Maui. This was another port with an overnight stay and we planned to make the most of our time while there. Since we had the evening in Maui, we planned our drive to Hana for the first day in case we ran late. The port of Lahaina requires a tender so again we rose early to have breakfast and then board one of the first boats to the main land. The boats did not start as early as we had hoped but the ride was quick and we were in Lahaina by 8:00am.
The rental car situation in Lahaina is not very organized. We found the pick-up area and saw there was a bus loading for Budget but it was close to full and the driver said another would be by very shortly. Well the wait was over 45 minutes before the next shuttle bus came by and the driver told us at that time they would only pick up the driver. This meant that the kids and I would have to wait while Denis was taken to the airport, did the paperwork and then circled back around to get us at the port. By the time he arrived back it was close to 10:00am. This was not an ideal situation but we decided to head off to Hana anyway.
The first part of the drive to the start of the Road to Hana is quite easy. We navigated using a map since the power outlet in the car wasn’t working rendering our GPS unusable. Our first stop was in the town of Paia at the Hana Picnic Lunch Company. Here we picked up boxed lunches with huge sandwiches, chips and a cookie, as well as some drinks for the road. The next part of the drive is only 72 kms but it becomes trickier as you get further along.
Before leaving home, I had purchased the Gypsy Guide app that provides a colourful commentary while driving to Hana. This app is designed to give you tips about interesting places to visit along the route and provide background facts about what we were seeing. The app also advised you whether to make a stop based on the time of the day and how much time you had for the journey. It was a great little purchase.
Our first location was Twin Falls. This was a lovely area where we walked down to see some waterfalls. It was peaceful and the falls were easily accessible from the road. Some people were even swimming in the lower pools – enjoying the gorgeous surroundings.
Along the route were many spots to pull over and take in the views. Sometimes it was a valley or a waterfall or even just fascinating trees. There was so much to look at we stopped frequently. The drive became slower the further we went due to the hundreds of hairpin turns and one lane bridges (59 in total). There was also a large construction project that held us up for over an hour while the crews were blasting the overhanging rock.
One of the main highlights was Wai’anapanapa State Park. This area was stunningly beautiful with black beaches, a massive blow hole, caves and an incredible sea arch. We spent a considerable amount of time here exploring the beauty. Just as we arrived it started to rain so we took cover in one of the caves and waited it out until the shower passed. But once the rain had moved through it seemed even more vibrant and fresh. I think we all agreed that this was the favourite place for the day.
Another beautiful waterfall was Wailua Falls. The falls are over 80 feet high and spill down into a gorgeous pond of crystal blue-green water. We couldn’t believe there were so many lovely places within such a short distance of each other.
We eventually came to the actual town of Hana but decided to bypass it in hopes of reaching the Ohe’o Gulch also known as the Seven Sacred Pools. This section of the road is particularly winding and by this time it had started to rain. When we reached the park entrance we were disappointed to find that the pools were not open for swimming. This had been one of the main reasons for making our way to this area so we could swim and cool off before starting the drive back to the ship.
At this point it was getting later in the afternoon so we turned back to start the long drive in the opposite direction.
By the time we found parking in Lahaina, walked back to tender and made it onto the ship it was close to 8:00pm.
We went to the dining room to see if we could find a table for the late seating and were sat with two nice couples. It was a great evening of relaxed dining and easy conversation. Our dinner included scampi and lasagna.
This evening we enjoyed watching the Friendly Feud game show in the Colony Club.
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Sharing Our Travel Dreams
Sharing our personal experiences onboard and on the road, along with tips and insight for creating memorable vacations.