The Road to Hana

On our last day in Hawaii, the rest of our family had a plane out fairly early.  We decided to catch the red-eye back--in hopes of a sleeping baby, which worked out incredibly well--so we had a whole day to wander around by ourselves.  

We planned to drive the "Road to Hana", a reputedly beautiful, but twisty road to a town on the east side of the island.  We weren't positive that we'd actually make it--again, everything depends on when the child sleeps sometimes--but due to perfectly timed naps we did, in fact, make it all the way to Hana and back to the airport very smoothly. maui, hawaii, road to hana, waterfall
maui, hawaii, road to hana, waterfall
And the drive was gorgeous.  Waterfalls and bridges that looked like they'd been around since the beginning of time...tiny coastal towns that I wanted to move to right away...beautiful views of the ocean and trees....

It was somewhere between Highway 1 in California and the "Road of Death" (i.e. the Dingle Peninsula) in Ireland as far as difficulty.  There were lots of narrow spots and one lane passages, but I never felt like we were going to plunge to our deaths.
maui, hawaii, road to hana, ocean, black sand beach
maui, hawaii, road to hana, ocean, black sand beach
Just outside of Hana, we stopped at this black sand beach and sea cave.  I am a collector of sand, so this was a "must-see" for me.  It was very coarse sand, and it was absolutely inky black.  The Kiddo would have loved to swim there, but the waves were much too wild. hana, hana ranch, hawaii, maui, road to hana, barbecue pork

So we went to lunch in Hana instead.  We had discovered at the luau that the Kiddo loves him some barbecue pork, so we shared a sandwich and a little leg stretch.

By then it was getting to be mid-afternoon, and we had to go back the way we came to get to our plane.  But, on the way into Hana, Sweet Husband saw a sign for the "Hana Lava Tube" and wanted to check it out before we got on the road again.
maui, hawaii, road to hana, hana lava tube, lava tube, lava

A lava tube is essentially a cave created by lava as it flows through an underground space.  Think of it as a pipe made of lava.  The walkable part of this particular tube was about a quarter of a mile.

While there was light near the entrance, down in the cave was completely dark except for our flashlights.  The different textures on the walls and floor were very interesting.
maui, hawaii, road to hana, hana lava tube, lava tube, lava
Unfortunately, as we got to the end of the tube, my teensy bit of claustrophobia started to flare up.  While I managed to keep it together enough to get back outside, I don't think I'm going to take up spelunking anytime soon.  As you can see, the Kid was scared to death too--lol. maui, hawaii, road to hana, hana, bridge
Then it was back towards the airport along the pretty roads and bridges....road to hana, paia, dinner, hawaii, maui, gelato....and one last outside dinner (and gelato dessert) before flying home to Winter.

(On a completely unrelated note, my guest posts over at the Rhythm of the Home blog have continued with a post about finding vintage-y treasures and one about my love of the ocean.  Please duck over and say "Hi!" if you're so inclined!)