After that amazing meal we both agreed that the next few days would be a ton more frugal. We woke up early, around 6am, and made our way to the KMart at the beginning of the Hana Highway. For those not in the know, Maui’s southern volcano is ringed by the Hana Highway, a 12 hour ring of near death and ruined roads.
Its long, Bring snacks.
We had a quick bite at Denny’s, yes they have a Denny’s on Maui and it costs exactly the same as it does here – though they do push the pineapple juice more than the orange.
There is a book on tape for your drive, it costs a couple few dollars and will provide you with the highlights but it glosses over key things like the Hawaiian Rebel Union. You may not think I’m being serious, but the first stop on the road to Hana is a beach overlook where you can see the waves coming down from Alaska and how the surfers deal with them, and as you pull up to the parking area you see this sign. The first thing you may note is that this sign is pretty huge, secondly its painted. This is an official sign of the rebel resistance and it conveys a sense to passers-by and this one made me feel like they aren’t exactly taking this seriously.
You will note, from my previous post, the demographics are not in their favor. In fact, the rebel group is made up of a subset of resentful Hawaiian natives that aren’t okay with America’s standard Seen-It-Stuck-A-Ring-On-It-Now-Its-Mine play and are trying to draw attention to their plight. Their goal is to make you feel uncomfortable.
You have to put a couple minutes of effort into it to realize they gave up actively protesting their cause a long time ago. Now they just stick signs like this up and speed off into the jungles.
We drove down to the next township, consisting of about 8 buildings and a plaza that mistakenly called itself a town shop. We were looking for snacks for our all day journey but boy were we disappointed. The only thing they had was a store for buying clothes and shells. We popped into a gas station, got some waters and Gatorade then we were on the road again.
This was the first time I had ever driven through plantations, and an hour later, rain forest, and an hour later, bamboo forest, and an hour later it was something else ridiculous and amazing. The countryside was beautiful, arousing feelings of amazement and happiness I hadn’t felt in a long time. We found waterfalls, pouring water from six thousand feet up, letting it fall out of ponds and rivulets into the sea.
The road is two lanes of hell, Around three different bends we nearly died due to hipsters and hot rod heads speeding past us in their monster trucks. The road is basically an interconnected web of one lane bridges where morality is more involved in saving lives than any sort of traffic laws. We were witness to at least one example of the natives expanding their house with a new room with a whole truck load of bamboo and at least 8 dudes in the truck (5 in the bed of the truck holding in the bamboo).
There is a township down towards Hana where the true scope of ridiculousness that is this island set in. Back in the day, a king decided he wanted to move his kingdom up the slope, so he had his people scoop up the land and walk it up the fucking slope. These folks didn’t have back hoes and trailers, they did this shit by hand.
How amazing, and yet completely ridiculous, is that?
We drove down to a camp site just shy of Hana where we found a black sand beach. Do you know whats great about black sand beach? It is hot as fucking hell – the sand just sits there and bakes in the sun, absorbing heat so it can burn the shit out of your feet. More than that, the black sand is not nearly as finely ground as California’s beaches, its more like little pebbles.
As a quick aside, you should probably know that the beaches of Waikiki were supplemented with sand from California beaches. Neat fun fact for you to look up. It had to do with tidal erosion. More >>
Once we got out to Hana we decided it was time to man up and deal with the rest of the drive. There is a note to be shared though – your rental contract doesn’t actually pay for towing or roadside assistance on this side of the island. They firmly suggest you turn around in Hana and drive back.
Not for us though, we are rebels too!
About 20 minutes past Hana is where the fun starts. The roads around the island are not well maintained, especially out here, running dangerously close to a gravel path – only when you are 800 feet up the side of a cliff overlooking nothing but open ocean… the last thing you are worried about is falling off. We did our best to not die, and succeeded.
About an hour past Hana we found the south shore, and the Desert side of the island. The clouds are driven up this side of the volcano, cooling and condensing, they then rain out and the water flows down the other three sides of the volcano. There are some notable landslides though, because when it does rain this side has been baked so thoroughly that it cannot absorb water – and down it cometh.
There are a couple of roads on this side of the mountain that stop short of being useful where you can see clearly where last years run off took out the crew and their equipment.
The rest of this drive is pretty smooth and although the views and the beaches that are over there are second to none, its pretty dead.
We sped off into the sunset, getting dinner at Burger King and then we headed back to the hotel to sleep. =)
Only that’s a lie.
You might be expecting some romantic sexual encounter, but no. I am not going to fulfill your expectations. We went to see Warren & Annabelle and their comedy + magic evening. I am not going to spoil it for any of you, just rest assured it was an amazing show and somehow one of the magicians managed to pull a $100 bill out of an orange that was across the room the whole night, and a wedding ring out of an egg out of an orange out of an … it was wild. Just rest assured that I was happy with it.
Oh, and Jen was too. =)