Thursday, July 11, 2002
The Road to Hana
Thursday morning, up early. The other little trick we had learned from our Kona trip is that the hotels charge you like $2.00 a day for the little coffee packs they leave you for the coffee machine. Like little crack samples left out for the junkies, they know a groggy person on vacay can't pass up coffee looking them in the face in the morning. So we had come up with the idea of bringing a few coffee filters and a little bag of coffee with us from home, so we just used that the whole trip. The problem with this scenario was I think it made the maid service people bitter or something, because every day we would come back to the room and they'd conveniently forgetten to wash one of the coffee mugs. This sent me into a blind rage, and before too long I was rolling around in the bushes outside the lobby with head-to-toe camo, stalking the maid service for extra towels, coffee mugs, and complimentary ash trays.
OK it wasn't that extreme but I digress.
So we got on the road headed for Kahului, hopped up on coffee and filled up on nutri-grain bars (another friend of the fiscal traveler, cha-ching). Kahului is the town that the airport is in, and we had to pass through there to catch the road to Hana. After a stopover at K-Mart for a little styrofoam cooler, some ice, some sodas and snacks for the road, we were off like a herd of turtles.
About 10 miles down the road, which was still just a straight highway, we rolled through Paia, a cool little hippie-town. We would spend some time in Paia the next day, but that morning we were on a schedule so we kept on keeping on.
Right outside of Paia, the road sign said about 35 miles to Hana. Oh mellow yellow we thought, that's hardly anything. But pretty soon the road was getting pretty curvey. The foliage was getting thicker and greener, as we were heading more out to the extreme Windward side of the island. After a few miles, and many twists and turns, dope scenery on all sides, I started thinking, I'm gonna stop at the first place I see a bunch of people stopped at. This proved prophetic, as we came upon a pull over spot riddled with cars. I pulled over to check it out, and at first it looked like just a fruit stand and a wood-carvings gift stand, but I knew it, my spider-sense was tingling, there was a special purpose here. I was a shark and there was blood in the water. I was Coolio and there was a celebrity basketball game in the area. I was JaRon Rush and there was an open bottle of Early Times Bourbon on the wind, I was... well you get the idea.
So anyway it turned out you could park here and jump over a little fence and there was a hike to Twin Falls. Twin falls, that sounded pretty cool, so we packed up a couple things in the backpack and headed on our way. We started hiking up this trail. Lots of tourists going back and forth. Medium sized story short, there were two phat waterfalls down the trail, one of them with teenagers taking 20 foot jumps into the pool, and the other bigger one we had to wade through some water to get to it. Beautiful though, superdope waterfalls. Only problem was we hadn't brought our swimsuits on the hike, thinking we wouldn't want to swim, but after hiking for about 15-20 minutes, you're ready to swim no matter if the water is cold. So anyway we headed back to the car.
Back on the road, there was a shitload of cool stuff to check out. If you ever get to Maui, you've gotta do this drive. It's one of those journey not the destination things, because Hana is really a little hobunk town with not much to speak of (well, a few cool things, get to that later), but the drive is incredible, seriously, you're whipping your head around every 5 seconds like, look at that, look at that!
Mrs. P was getting a little car sick from all the twists and turns, so we took a break and one point at a little pull out that had a hike going off of it. This ended up being pretty cool, as it was a mellow 20 minute hike, part of it through a bamboo forest. If you've never been in a bamboo forest, it's pretty trippy. You can hear the wind rustling through the stalks, the bamboo hitting each other, and visibility is very short. I was waiting for Charlie Sheen to come busting out of the foliage screaming that Charlie (uh, the other Charlie) was right behind him. Fortunately, this didn't happen.
So we got back on the road, and for the next probably hour and a half, we were stopping to check something out literally every two minutes. It's pretty easy to find stuff, you just stop anywhere you see other cars parked and see what's up. Almost every stop was a little hike to another most beautiful waterfall you've ever seen in your life. Not to sound jaded, but after like the 9th or 10th incredibly beautiful waterfall I felt like Chevy Chase in that scene from the original Vacation, where he just robbed the guy at the Grand Canyon, he's standing there looking at the view for 3 seconds, and he's like, all right, let's get going.
Seriously though it was out of this world amazing stuff. The most comic yet sad-state-of-America part of the drive was when we pulled over at a restroom break and my wife is about to go in the lady's room, when we hear what sounds like men and women in there. And they're making a big racket about something. So two seconds later, this family of redneck trailer trash comes out of the bathroom, Dad with the video camera, Mom with the boufant giant hairdo, musclebound Joe son with his ditzy girlfriend, and hoochie mama daughter. And they're all laughing and hooting and hollering "your mama's so crazy jethro" "yeehaa" "come here skeeter and look at this." Totally oblivious to us, not embaressed whatsoever that they all just came out of the same bathroom. I started trying to figure out what the FUK they had been doing in there with the video camera and then decided I'd let it go. This is the first time I've revisited it and, gimme a moment, I'm a little shaken up, wait, ok I'm ok.
So the final leg of the trip into Hana was more beautiful scenery, more beautiful nature, etc. We finally got into Hana about 4 PM and we were ready to chill out for a bit. We found the local beach and this was a treat: A black sand beach. Nice! Mrs. P crashed out on the sand for a while as I layed out and read Sports Illustrated. I had never seen a black sand beach with so many people on it before. This was like a beach park, with a snack shop across the street, kids playing around everywhere, the whole works. On dope ass black sand. One thing I noticed was almost everyone on the beach was Hawaiian. Compared to Lahaina, which as I said was Haole central. So we chilled for a while, and decided it was time to hunt down some grub.
We passed a plate lunch little drive inn spot, saw that the ranch restaurant next door was closed, so we drove by the Hotel Hana Maui to ask for a little info. I basically found out that the gas station, lunch stand, and restaurant next to each other was the center of town. About 100 square feet of center of town. A sprawling metropolis Hana is not. Also found out that the road was way more windy and curvy down the way in order to get to more waterfalls (the 7 sacred pools) and eventually the little church with Charles Lindbergh's gravesite. Apparently Hana was Charles Lindbergh's getaway from the world after some sick fuk murdered his first born baby. How fuked is the world sometimes? You make history by being the first man to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a plane, and some deuschbag kidnaps and murders your kid. Tragic.
So anyway, we were pretty beat and decided we'd seen enough waterfalls for one day, so we ate dinner at the little drive-inn (good stuff! Sweet and sour pork, teriyaki beef, rice mac salad, da winnas, ono) and headed back the way we came. We had conquered the road to Hana, and we were better people for it. The road back was a mellow drive, with one highlight that we hadn't caught on the way out: We found a side road around 6 PM, so it was still light, which led down to another phat black sand beach!! We had seen this one from one of the pullover stops before. We had the place all to ourselves, no one else in sight. It was like we were on Gilligans Island, and I was Gilligan and Mrs. P was Ginger (wait, no Mary-Anne - I always liked her more) and it was black sand instead of white, and there were giant cliff sides and jungle overgrowth. The only thing missing was the Skipper. Seriously.
So that was about it. We headed back to Lahaina and mellowed out. Went to wander around Lahaina town for just a bit, and crashed out. Another day another dollar dawg.
Next: Day 3 - the Road less traveled, Hookipa Beach, and Paia Town