Buckle up and hang on

We are now on the other side of the island. We again survived the trip to Hana.

We found a room here – ring on Hana bay overlooking the black sand beach. The wind is a bit strong and the waves are pretty rough right now. We walked out on the beach to see the area – and while it beautiful, the blak snad has a major issue. It’s really sharp. Walking in sandals in painful because sharp grains get in your feet and refuse to slipout., and walking without sandals is a combination of too hot and spiky little rocks everywhere.

We eventually worked out a painful but manageable method to get around, this largely involved hopping around like an idiot. The locals loved us. Free entertainment.

We took the reverse loop trip to get here this time. This meant we started in Central Maui – on the road to the Haleakala crater, then headed south and around the bottom of the island. We were using the Shaka Guide app again, and this road wasn’t super easy, but it let us get to Hana by the afternoon. This way we could actually enjoy the town and have all the next day to take as many stops as we wanted on the return trip.

Yulia was checking her phone as we drove, and apple maps showed the lower road closed about halfway. I pulled to the side of the road so we could check – and google maps didn’t show this closure. Well crap. We spent about 10 minutes checking various Hawaiian DOT sites to see if there was a closure, and there was a construction notice on this highway, but nothing about a closure. We chose to trust google maps in this case, and figured that it was all part ove the adventure.

We had been down this road as far as Maui Wine, and past that we stopped at a little coffee shop recommended by the Shaka app. This was where I noticed that my phone wasn’t charging as it ran the mapping app. It was plugged into the charger, but that wasn’t working. I moved the charger over to another plug in the car – and still nothing. Not wanting to slow things down I grabbed my external battery from my bag and plugged the phone into that. It also didn’t work.

Well, that’s adventure number two. I closed down anything I didn’t need on the phone so it would last for the trip. I hoped.

We kept going and the road wet from going through older parts of island towns, out into the open country. Ther e were a few houses here – and a lot of abandoned cars. The highway was up and inland, but we had a terrific view of the ocean down below. The terrain here was very rocky and rough, with little in the way of vegetation. As we continued around we took a few stops to see the sights – I’ve never been on this part of the island before so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. There was a nice natural Laval arch over the water, and a beach of polished stones that made waves echo and rumble as they crash onshore. Both really amazing.

The road got rougher as we passed a big construction site. This was where apple maps showed a closed road, but it was just a series of repair trucks dumping stones to fill in a riverbed area that was washed out. The road got rougher and older the further we went. It was narrow and I had a to keep a close eye out for incoming traffic to make sure that there was a pull out to use – it wasn’t really a two lane road.

Along the way we kept getting hit with rainbursts. It was nice at first but after a while it just increased the humidity. The road got muddy as well, making the jeep a back and red two-tone from the splashed volcanic red mud. We were passed my locals – going both directions, and you could tell the locals because they just flew around the corners, being used to this skinny road. A few times we got stuck in a group of tourists in sharp corners. People wouldn’t wait their turn and not understand that there just wasn’t enough room. Cars would back up to find wider spots until there was enough space for one direction or another to start moving. But for the most part it was bouncy but fun driving.

We came around the lower part of the island back into a rainforest area. We were getting closer to the Pools of Ohe’o – aka the seven sacred pools. Here we stopped at a fruit stand that had an awesome fruit sampler plate. It was a full local organic farm, Bananas and Papayas ere expected, but they had Jackfruit, Cacao pods, and a few I couldn’t identify. I ended up buying more bananas and a Cacao pod to go.

The road was now a cliffside ocean drive, the guardrails had long since rusted out, and it had even less shoulder or turnouts to let cars pass. We hit a few more traffic snags where the cars had to jockey to figure out how to let each other pass. We got through that part and pulled into the state park with the Ohe’o Pools, and took the short walk out to get some photos. No swimming was allowed as it was raining up in the mountain so there was a flash flood risk. It was hot and humid at this point. The wind hadn’t picked back up after all the cloudbursts, so things weren’t cooling back down much.

After out little hike we finished our drive up and pulled into Hana. The main hotel (which was Travasa, now called Maui-Hana) was open but their restaurant was closed. That left only one main restaurant in town to get a late lunch at. That’s the Ranch restaurant. It was really great food and drinks, Yulia got Ahi, I got a Plate Lunch, and Sasha and Petru both got Loco Moco – Meat, Rice, Eggs, and Gravy. It was perfect after the long hot drive.

Once we were in our condo we made a few cocktails to relax with and watch the ocean. I went out and popped the hood on the jeep. My phone just made it for the trip – I had about 10% battery left. But we wanted to do more stops and a longer drive for the way back, so I wanted to get the charger working. My guess was that a fuse blew on the power outlet. Sure enough I found a dead fuse, but no spare fuse in the box. This might have happened before and someone used that spare. I picked up an extra at Hasegawa’s General store, and I was back in business. We were ready to head back with full batteries for the return trip.

I’m going to have to complain to Avis to get a refund of my $1.15 for that fuse. (shakes fist in air)