26. Hana, Maui
The road to Hana is described as curving 500 times in 50 miles. I don’t know how they counted the curves. There isn’t a straight road section in 50 miles. The road is carved along the contour of the coast. It is narrow, up and down, in and out, with blind switch-backs and beautiful scenery. There were deep jungle tunnels, pretty waterfalls, and rugged cliffs and rocks. If you met a car, both dived for the side, which made for exciting driving. One humorous note — after 10 miles of twisting cut-backs, etc., as described above, we saw a sign “narrow winding road.”
We drove out on Keanae Peninsula and visited Keanae church. In the mid 1800s the people in the village there didn’t have a church so they prayed to St. Gabriel for help. A great storm washed piles of coral onto the beach. The people built the church of lava rock and coral. When the church was finished, another storm washed the excess coral off the beach. The church is still used. The door was open with a guest book inside.
It was a relief to arrive at Heavenly Hana Motel, our accommodation for the night. The motel was deserted, door open, with two notes — one a phone number — the other said to stick the paper under the screen door so it would stay shut. I called the number. The guy said to take your pick of rooms, the girl will come in the morning. The motel was one building with a large living room, four bedrooms and two kitchens. Each room had its own can of insect repellent.
We drove into Hana to see the town. Hana is a company town owned by the Hana Ranch. The Hana Maui Hotel is the business center, and caters to “millionaires.” There was Hana Ranch Shopping Center with Hana Ranch Meat Market and Hana Ranch Snack Bar, and a school. The whole town; theatre, stores, houses, etc., was painted green. They were putting new paint on the roof of the old church — green, of course. We strolled through the manicured hotel grounds and returned to the motel.
Back at the motel we fixed supper in one of the kitchens, and enjoyed music on the radio. We had the place to ourselves (not counting the bug Betty saw). It was as big as her hand — she was ready to sleep in the car.
Next day, we drove through Hana up to the 7 Sacred Pools where a stream of fresh water cascades down from Haleakala from pool to pool and into the sea. It was a very beautiful place for the “Grand Finale” of our trip to Hana. A quick lunch at the Hana Ranch Snack Bar, and then back the white-knuckle road to Kahului.
Our next destination was across the island to Lahaina, once a booming whaling city and capital of Hawaii until 1843. Two factions kept the town jumping. Whalers came ashore to blow off steam, and the missionaries tried to keep them corralled, and, to keep the local girls from swimming out to the ships. With these goals in mind, a stone prison was built to house errant sailors. The sailors shelled the town when they got mad at the missionaries.
We stopped at the Pioneer Inn on the waterfront in the Old Whalers’ Grog Shoppe. We had a ginger ale at the brass rail bar, and savored the swinging doors, a ships figurehead, old lanterns, anchors, and harpoons from the whaling days.
Eight miles beyond Lahaina we found our hotel, a beautiful place right on the beach — a real swimming beach, private lanai, all glass front with sliding Japanese-type doors. There was a step down shower and kitchen, a perfect place. We went for a swim and enjoyed having the beach all to ourselves, not counting the crabs hiding in mounds in the sand. We watched an incredibly beautiful sunset with Lanai, Oahu, and Molokai in the distance.
Up early the next morning and drove north to Kalalau Beach, privately owned, but open to the public — so I swam, but Betty was deterred by seaweed in the water, so we went back to our hotel and swam there. Better to climax our trip at our own private beach and a beautiful place!
Back to Kahului airport and a quick hop to Hilo. We took lots of great pictures so we can see again the sunset on top of the world, and remember beautiful Kee Beach and all the other exciting and beautiful sights that are Hawaii. Pau. (The end- finished) So ends the Hicks’ Honeymoon Island Hopping Trip.