Yesterday I felt like that I had just completed a Le Mans Road Race when I emerged from my last wicked S-curve on Hana Road. There are about 1200+ curves and it takes about 4 hours round trip (without stopping to take pictures) to complete it. The road itself is in good shape, narrow at points but a good surface to drive on. There are great views nearly around every turn.
After a couple of hours winding down the Maui coast we arrived at Hana Bay and I was able to catch this shot of Nina admiring the Black Sand.
We didn’t stay long at Hana Bay Beach, as it was very choppy water and lots of kids running around. So we traveled a few miles further down the road to the Oheo Gulch Pipiwai Trail: 7 Sacred Pools, Makahiku and Waimoku Falls.
We traveled through a huge bamboo forest. The further went in to the forest the more it looked like the some of the roads Frodo traveled to Mordor: it was cold, damp, and dark. All it was missing was the Nazgul, Ringwraiths, the Ring, and Gollum.
(Here is a pic of the beginning of the bamboo forest.)
So far nothing on the Road to Hana had actually taken my breath away, it was all very beautiful not majestic. Then after a heart pumping, two-mile trek we found the “Majestic” at the Waimoku Falls. A 185 feet cascading beauty, and I was in awe. It really was worth the hike.
The four mile round trip hike put us closer to the sun setting than we had anticipated, meaning that we would be driving the 600+ sharp curves in the dark. There are no street lights on the Road to Hana, it would just be the light from my high-beams that would lead the way. Since it was getting dark and most of the tourist had already left the Oheo Gulch Pipiwai Trail I figured that there will would little traffic coming the other way, and that would take the stress away. What I wasn’t expecting was the local traffic. These drivers are fearless and extremely comfortable with the road. They will ride your tail-lights until you pull over and let them pass. I thought that I was driving quite well but got passed by a couple of cars. I don’t like getting passed, especially if I think I am doing a good job. So, I took it as a challenge and said that I would not get passed again.
Over the next 30 mins of intense driving I learned to use the suspension and tight turning radius of my 2012 Ford Mustang to my advantage. I began easing off the gas and accelerating around the curves, instead of riding the brakes. Nina and I were flowing around the corners like a mid-night roller-coaster.
It wasn’t at all scary because it was so dark that I couldn’t see the drop-offs around the corners, so I gained a ton of confidence with each curve. I can honestly say that it was some of the most fun that I have ever had while driving; exhausting but fun. And for the record, I was not passed again.
It was a good day.
Today we are going to take it easy. See you tomorrow.
(All pictures taking with iPhone 4 and no editing)