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Road to Hana Part 1

The road to HanaHa-na  has to be one of the greatest scenic drives in the world.  Cut out of the side HaleakalaHa-lay-ah-kah-la  volcano, each turn of the road brings another spectacular view and another valley, each with its own ecosystem.  Plant life and other characteristics will change from valley to valley.

We start in PaiaPah-ee-ah town where it is a good idea to find a place for a pit stop as it is quite a while before the next pit stop.  It is not far in terms of miles, but the Hana road requires a pretty slow pace.

I would highly recommend a convertible or if you are very adventurous, a motorcycle, as the open air will greatly enhance your experience.  Either can be rented on the island.

There really is no place to buy lunch once you leave Paia town, so it is recommended you bring your lunch and enough to drink to last you the day.  It will be an all day trip to go to the "Sacred Pools" and back. There are a number of small sandwich shops that offer a picnic basket type lunch back in KahuluiKah-hou-lu-ee.

The best trip we made (there were several) was when we rented a cassette tape audio tour that would tell you where the sights were as you progress down the road.  It was almost like having a guide riding along with you.  If you don't get a tour tape, you should be alert as waterfalls and places of interest appear quickly.  Take your time and drink it all in and don't forget to pull over and let the locals go by as often as you can.

Before you get to the jungle portion of the road you will come to a beach park that is often frequented by surfers.  Some really good surfers will be here on good days when the surf is up.  The best place to watch them is a little past the beach park at a place called Ho'okipaHoe-oh-kee-pah lookout, a overlook that is easy to watch the surfers from and there are facilities there if nature calls.

Be sure to bring your camera!  It will be a must on this trip as you will see some of the most beautiful scenery in the world!

Pretty soon you will enter the jungle, but don't worry about that because no matter how spooky the area looks, it is actually very safe as there are no real dangerous things to worry about.  

As you progress down the road, there will be several places to pull over to use that camera.  Actually, you can get some pretty spectacular shots right out of the car window as well.  Let's look at a few photos.

That peninsula jutting out to the left the picture above (left) is the Keanae peninsula and sometimes there will be vendors of Hawaiiania down by the sea.  Keanae is a small and quaint village that is very well kept and well worth a side trip.

We are about half way to Hana at this point and we will continue on the next essay: Road To Hana Part 2.

Posted by Richard Binckley at 2/1/2006 8:10 PM | View Comments | Add Comment |