July 31, 2014

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The Road to Hana

It's not the destination, it's the journey...

Contrary to what you may think, this is not the new installment to the "Road" pictures with Bing Crosby and Bob Hope.

Instead, my wife and I spent the day driving a rental car back and forth along a 44 mile coastal road that winds along the northeast shore of Maui.

This is a famous trip that averages 15 mph, with spectacular waterfalls after it rains, lush forests, bamboo forests, and unique plants  and hairpin curves.

There are at least two arboretums that we got to visit. One is free, and the other ("The Garden of Eden" --no, it's not that type of place) is a privately owned botanical garden that charges $10 to get in.  It also features the view of a famous rock that appears on the shore in Jurassic Park (III, I think).

We only got half way, to mile marker 20, before we had to turn around and return the rental car. We chose to drive ourselves so that we could go at our own pace.  We are pretty pleased that we got home to the hotel just at sunset, and were able to watch for whales playing just off the west shore of Maui.  They are visible, breaching and jumping, rolling and lolling, most days in March near Maui.

As you may have noticed, the map of Maui forms a woman's head and torso, with the head turned left, the neck, and then the shoulders and chest as the largest part.  We are staying at a resort complex (at the level of the "eyes") that boasts 27 acres and a 35 million dollar renovation.  It is certainly first class.

We started our day renting the car and getting a late start, but found our way to the Iao Valley, which features a landmark "needle" of granite that rises above the valley floor.  Unfortunately I left my map and reading glasses at the visitor's center in the park*, and never missed it until a half hour later down the road.  I'm afraid it's gone, but my wife had other maps and she navigated while I drove.

We made it as far as Keane, where there is a YMCA camp and a spectacular view  of the crashing surf at the end of the Keane peninsula.  That alone was worth the drive!

After a late dinner of half a chicken on rice, purchased from the local Foodland, and remnants of our lunch, bought at a mom and pop vegetable garden and roadside market stall, we are doing laundry and planning the last few days we have left.  Tomorrow, we return the rental car, and look forward to our whale watching cruise, all before noon.  Then it's snorkeling and possibly some body surfing or boggy boarding, as it's known around here.

*I have just learned that our group will be visiting the Ioa valley later this week, so there is now a chance, that I may find or reclaim my reading glasses.  I miss them.  Have you ever mislaid something that you love?  That's how I've come to feel about this cheap little pair of glasses.  Unfortunately, yesterday during the whale watching tour,  shoved my favorite pair of sunglasses onto my head and the sun-headed frames snapped.  So, I've lost another friend.  Oh well.  What's lost in Hawaii stays in Hawaii, I guess!  [--Update: They weren't there.  They really ARE gone.  Oh well!]

 More later-- Kirk.

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