Saturday, January 23, 2010

Day 8 - The Road To Hana

January 19, 2010 - Maui

A Maui sunrise in the making.
The condo grounds are beautiful in the morning.

The girls posing by a palm tree.

So......what do you do on your first full day on Maui? We tackled the Road to Hana which is one of the most beautiful and grueling drives you can make just about anywhere. This is my third time here, so I knew what to expect. The interesting part of the road is the last 40 miles which includes 600 hair pin curves carved into the volcano's cliffs. There are 54 bridges, most of which are one lane. Aside from going over a cliff, and many have, the biggest danger is the locals who drive the road like maniacs. The young ones seem to get a thrill out of scaring the tourists. The entire road is lined with waterfalls and tropical rain forests. Another indication of how difficult the drive is that it take about three hours to get to Hana (maybe 15 mph average).

Along the way, we stopped at a botanical garden so you know what that means.......more flower photos.

Hana at last! There isn't much in Hana. There is a nice hotel with a restaurant so we had a late lunch. You don't want to get caught driving the Hana Road after dark and it was getting late. I couldn't bear the thought of going back the way we came and those 600 curves but that is what you are supposed to do and 95% of the tourists do this.

This is and the next several photos are out of order due to another error on my part and the inflexibility of the blog software to correct the problem. Again, I didn't want to scrap an hours worth of work to fix the problem, so just know that there are a few photos out of sequence. The one below is Edel on a walk on the beach. She likes getting her toes wet, but see got a little more than what she bargained for on this wave.

Another flower.

A peacock attack at the botanical gardens.

One of the 54 bridges on the Hana Road.

As I said, most people go back the way they came and for good reason. The nicely paved blacktop road disappears a ways after Hana as you go around the Haleakala Crater. The dirt road is pretty rough and at times is carved out of the cliff. At some spots, you have to honk your horn before proceeding because you don't want to meet someone coming the other direction on the one lane curves (really bad situation). You get beat up pretty good for about 10 miles before you get back to paved roads.

The scenic beauty makes the drive worthwhile. The back side of the crater has only a few ranches and is otherwise untouched and wild.

The views of the volcano are spectacular on this side.

Finally, the condo is in sight although still a long ways off. If you look at the farthest shoreline just a little right of center of the photo, you can see buildings. That is Maalaea Village where the condo is located.

More later. Thanks for being patient when the posts don't come every day. When we get to a new island, the blog takes second place to sightseeing and fun.

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