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Hawaii Trip

Day 4 of 14

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Saturday, June 30th
Drive to Hana

In the morning it was clear again - except for a fire in the farmland below. A cloud of smoke trailed to the west, Eventually it was put out, but the smoke plume remained in the sky. After breakfast, we packed up and stopped at a grocery store for some last supplies and filled up the gas tank. We knew there wouldn't be many supplies on the way to Hana, and supplies would be limited there.

We stopped in Pa'ia for shave ice, then continued east on the Road to Hana. We didn't get far before we made our first stop, at an overlook of Ho'okipa Beach. We could see surfers in the beautiful blue-green waters below.

Ho'okipa Beach

Surfer near Ho'okipa Beach

Returning to the road, the road turned a bit inland and started becoming very winding. Drivers appeared to be either very much slower than us, and a few were agrressively tailing us until we pulled over. And when I say much slower, I'm not exaggerating. Some drivers obviously were not accustomed to the demands of driving such a twisting road, driving 10-15mph in many places. Thankfully, most of them were quick to pull over and let me pass.

There are many sections where the dividing line disappears and you're left to yield to oncoming traffic, especially on narrow bridges. So I was constantly looking ahead to be safe. At one point I saw a car coming toward us (I thought) a few hundred yards away. But when we got there, the car was nowhere to be found. I eventually figured out, as I approached a car from behind, that the car actually had been travelling in the same direction as us but it was going so slow I thought it was going toward us! I think it was literally going 10mph but thankfully pulled over quickly.

The downside of such a narrow road is that it's hard to find a parking spot for some of the many roadside waterfalls. We had to pass a few because of that. We did stop at the Kaumahina State Wayside, enjoying some nice views overlooking the ocean. Our next stop was a brief stop at Wailua Overlook, overlooking parts of Keanae.

View from Wailua Overlook on the road to Hana

Next up was a stop at Pua'a Kaa State Wayside, where we walked across the road and along a short path to a small waterfall with a pool beneath it. After taking some pictures, we returned to the road. Next we stopped at a collection of roadside stands selling food and drink near the village of Nahiku. We got some sorbet for the kids, and noted that the stands were very close to the house we were renting, although they closed at 5pm. Perhaps we'd return for dinner one night.

Waterfall at Pua'a Kaa State Wayside

After a 20-25 minute stop here, we were back on the road. Shortly, we reached our rental house just before Hana. After unpacking and a bit of rest, we decided to head down the road just a quarter mile to a roadside stand making wood-fired pizza from clay ovens. They also sold fruit and banana bread - common items for sale all along the Road to Hana. The food was good, but the only downside was that mosquitoes were out in force and bugged us the whole time we were there eating (there were only tables set up outside, underneath some pop-up shades).

Roadside vendor just outside Hana

Pineapple bush

After dinner we drove a bit along the highway but didn't see anything of note and returned to our rental house. Later that night (around 10:30pm, as I type this), the rain started coming down. I had seen the weather forecast call for rain both today and tomorrow, but weather forecasts had appeared to be unreliable in the area, so I had taken that with a grain of salt. As far as I could tell, it hadn't rained in Hana all day long until the night. Hopefully the rain would be gone by the next day so our hike would be dry.

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