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Hawaiian Honeymoon - Part 7

Catch up on Part 1 of our Hawaiian honeymoon here
Part 2 here  Part 3 here  Part 4 here  Part 5 here  Part 6 here


Monday, August 5
The one thing everyone that had been to Maui told us we had to do was travel the Road to Hana.  I'm going to let Go Hawaii sum up exactly what that means:

"Along Maui's rugged eastern coastline is the peaceful town of Hana, considered one of the last unspoiled Hawaiian frontiers. 

The legendary road to Hana is only 52 miles from Kahului, however the drive can take anywhere from two to four hours to complete (one way) since it consists of narrow one-lane bridges, hairpin turns and incredible island views.

The Hana Highway (HI-360) has 620 curves and 59 bridges. The road leads you through flourishing rainforests, flowing waterfalls, plunging pools and dramatic seascapes. There are plenty of opportunities to stop and enjoy the lovely views, so get an early start and take your time on your drive
."

Nick and I both agreed that this was on our must-do list in Hawaii.  The one thing we couldn't agree on was how we wanted to do the drive - did we want to take a tour bus or make the somewhat dangerous drive ourselves?  We decided to wait until we were in Hawaii and make a game-time decision.  After the terrible drive up Mt. Haleakala, I was definitely leaning towards taking a tour bus but Nick was adamant that we should do it ourselves.  After talking with other guests at our resort, we decided to make the drive in our own convertible. I will admit that I woke up nervous that morning. 

The tour books recommend leaving as soon as the sun comes up since the drive really does take a full day, but we met a newlywed couple that said to leave a couple of hours later than everyone else, so we would be behind most of the traffic.  This turned out to be invaluable advice. We left our resort about 8:30 am with a convertible full of snacks, towels, clean clothes, hiking shoes and the camera.  

I drove the hour to Paia, the last "town" before the road to Hana begins.  We stopped to get gas as this was the last gas station we would see all day.  Leaving Paia, I let Nick take the wheel.  There was no way I would be doing any driving on this little excursion!  I was nervous enough in the passenger seat!  The drive started off relatively smooth - we passed the famous Mama's Fish House and a legendary beach called "Jaws" that is known for some of the best surfing in the world.  16 miles after leaving Paia, the mile markers started over at "0" and the rolling curves began.  We were officially on Highway 360, the road to Hana!

 Fueling up!

Mile Marker 2 - Our first stop came right away.  Nothing is marked on the road to Hana - you have to find everything according to mile markers.  When we came across tons of cars parked along the side of the road, we knew we had found Twin Falls.  Twin Falls promised a 1 mile hike to a waterfall pool.  The hike started off nice until we got to a rushing river that we needed to cross.  I so wish I would have gotten a picture of it.  Already at this point, I was thankful that we did not go with a tour guide company.  There were groups of people on official tours and their tour guides would not let them cross the river due to safety reasons.

Everyone that wasn't on a tour was crossing so we figured we could make it, too.  We held hands and slowly made our way across the 15 foot wide river.  We continued our hike until we could see the waterfalls in the distance.  To get to them, we had to walk through another pool of water in which the floor was covered in mossy rocks.  It was a hard walk but we made it!  The waterfall was beautiful and Nick even got in and swam.  The round trip hike took about one hour due to the conditions and playing at the falls.
 
 In he goes!


  
Mile Marker 9.5 - Waikamoi Nature Trail offers two hikes (a short and long) through forest with scenic lookouts.  We were going to do the short hike but decided against it so we could keep moving on.  We got a few pictures at the lookout of course.



Mile Marker 10.6 - We stopped at the Garden of Eden arboretum which is basically a tourist trap.  They charge either $15/car or $15/person, I can't remember but we decided to keep moving on.  I wouldn't recommend this stop, the entire drive was filled with beautiful trees and flowers so why would I pay to look at them?

Mile Marker 12 - We stopped at Kaumahina State Wayside Park to use the restrooms.  It is a great place to stop, eat lunch and take a break.  There were lots of native Hawaiians selling their products here and it was fun to chat with some of them.

 Cool bamboo baskets for sale

 The road is literally off a cliff

Mile Marker 17 - The Keanae Peninsula and Village wasn't a stop we were planning on making but were so glad we did.  It is a little coastal enclave with lava flows, a beautiful old church, and some delicious food stands.  We parked the car and did a little exploring.  While checking everything out, we heard some yelling.  We walked back to the parked cars and another family told us that a baby hammerhead shark had just washed up on the rocks.  We were so bummed we missed that.  On our way back to the main road, we stopped at Aunt Sandy's and purchased some fresh, homemade, still warm! banana bread.


 Right where the shark washed up!

 A beautiful old church

 Climbing for coconuts of course

 Straight out of the oven!

Back on the Hana highway we saw this sign...


Mile Marker 19.5ish - We stopped at Upper Waikani Falls which is said to have three waterfalls but only one was "working" when we stopped.  We did a little hiking down into the water which was fun.

 Our ride for the week :)


Somewhere between mile marker 21-27 we made two stops.  The first was very important to us.  We had been on the lookout ALL day for this specific Bob Marley sign.  One of our groomsmen had passed away three weeks before our wedding from cancer.  He was only 25.  He had traveled to Hawaii this past Spring and had taken a picture of this Bob Marley sign.  He really took the words to heart and it was even displayed at his funeral.  Unfortunately, it had been gratified in the last couple of months but we were SO happy we had found it.  It was like a little bit of Adam was there with us in the middle of Hawaii.

I can't figure out how to rotate it but I had to include it


Our next stop was for homemade vegan coconut ice cream at Coconut Glen's!  This was another of our favorite stops.  The ice cream was delicious and the little hut they serve it in was adorable.  They had the cutest dog just laying on the porch.  What a life.




Mile Marker 28 - We stopped at Nahiku Marketplace to look around but it was just a few little shops selling Hawaiian treasures.  Something they were grilling smelled sooo good and we wished we weren't so full!  We only spent about 10 minutes here.


Mile Marker 32 - Waianapanapa Black Sand Beach was a must-do stop for us.  It was so cool to see a black sand beach!  We went down onto the beach to check it out but it was so busy that we didn't stay long.  We checked out the little caves on the beach and took some pictures and headed into Hana!




Hana Town - There is honestly not much to see here.  It is really the drive that makes this trip so amazing.  Hana is a very quiet little town with only a few shops.  We passed the local school and homes but we didn't see a single person while driving through.  Our trip didn't end there though!


Mile Marker 42 - Our last stop was Haleakala State Park to see the 7 Sacred Pools and the bamboo forest.  We enjoyed some snacks when we arrived and then headed on the mile hike to see the 7 pools.  If the weather is good, they will let you swim in the pools.  Unfortunately, it had been cloudy and rainy on and off throughout the day so they were closed off.  It would have been really fun.  We made it back to the main parking lot and decided to attempt the hike to the bamboo forest.  I had seen amazing pictures online and wanted to see it for myself.  However, the trip is a 4 mile round trip hike.  We went about a mile when we were tired, I had stubbed my toe, we were out of water, and it was getting late.  We did NOT want to be stuck driving that crazy road in the dark so we decided to head back to our car.  Next time :)






Even though we ended up cutting it close to not leaving much daylight for our drive back, it was nice because we were one of the only cars on the road!  It rained the majority of the way on Hana Highway since it is basically a lush rainforest climate but we got to see some amazing rainbows. We got back to our hotel a little after sunset.  It was a full 15 hour day!  We showered, ordered room service (had the nachos again!) and spent the night chilling in our room.


I cannot say enough good things about the road to Hana.  It was our very favorite thing we did on our honeymoon.  I would do it every single time I went to Hawaii.  There were so, so many stops we didn't have time to do and we would love to see our favorites again. I would absolutely recommend driving the road yourself rather than using a tour guide company.  I didn't think it was nearly as scary as driving up Mt. Haleakala and it was so nice to be on our own time and make the stops we cared about making.  It was an amazing day.  What a beautiful world we live in!

Next Wednesday, two amazing days of the sun and food!

7 comments

  1. Wow that sounds like the perfect adventure. Hawaii has never been super high on my list of places to see just because it is so expensive and I like visiting different countries but you have convinced me it is a must do and sooner rather than later.

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  2. Girl, you just continue making me want to book a trip to Hawaii ASAP! Great pics :)

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  3. Wow! That looks like an amazing trip! We took a trip to St. John (family vacay, not a honeymoon unfortunately) and it was amazing. I love traveling to locations like this! Glad you guys had fun!

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  4. oh my goodness, it looks and sounds like the most amazing trip ever. You guys are seriously too cute. I'm hosting a handbag giveaway on the blog today. If you get a sec, I'd love if you could enter. :) Thanks, love. xo

    www.fashboulevard.com

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  5. Wow! You guys got to see so much stuff.
    I got so car sick on The Road to Hana and my husband had the WORST cold. My husband RARELY gets sick and of course he gets sick on our honeymoon. But wasn't the Black Sand Beach so cool? My husband and I have the exact same picture in the little cave there.

    These posts make me want to go back so bad!

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