Our second full day in Hawaii was the busiest by far. My friend had to attend classes all day, so I met up with a tour group and went on the Road to Hana. For those who are not familiar, the Road to Hana takes you along the less populated Eastern side of Maui. There are about 620 curves on this road and much of it is one lane or so narrow that two cars passing must pass within inches of each other. I do not recommend driving this road on your own – the tour group was lovely and not half as terrifying as if I’d gone alone.
On the tour, we saw rain forest, waterfalls, and rainbow eucalyptus trees.
We stopped at the Ke’anae Peninsula where we saw a church that was built in 1856 and was the sole surviving building of a tsunami in 1946. As I approached the church, I felt so glad that I was almost alone because I could feel that the place was holy. There was a peace there that I haven’t felt in many other places… I could have sat there for hours.
Our next stop was Wai’anapanapa State Park where I explored a sacred black sand beach and a magical lava cave where legend has it a Hawaiian princess hid from her abusive husband. When he found her, killed her in the cave – now the pools in the cave fill with tiny red shrimp and the water looks like blood which locals say it’s a reminder of the princess.
Farther down the road was the Haleakala National Park where I was able to explore the cliffs, waterfall, and Oheo pools. I went for a short hike which was so beautiful and green – I wanted to stay forever.
The last stop was at the Palapala church which was built in 1857 and is where Charles Lindbergh is buried. It was beautiful, but didn’t have the same holy feeling as the Ke’anae church did.
The last portion of the trip was on a terrible, terrible road. It was so bumpy, my fitbit registered 3,000 steps while I was sitting in the van! Our guide told us that the locals don’t want to repair the road – they prefer rough driving over having tourists crowding them. I think I agree.