With the Haleakala summit now under our belts, we finally felt like we could relax and enjoy the island without worrying about the huge mountain staring down at us all the time. We had planned to head on the road to Hana and we planned to do it by bicycle. Unfortunately, we were running into some logistical problems regarding bike rentals which would have precluded us from getting on the road before 11:00 and considering the heat and how tired we already were from yesterdays climb, it just didn’t seem like a good idea to try. Ultimately we decided to drive the highway which would hopefully enable us to spend more time hiking and less time pedaling when we were already so exhausted.
For anyone who has driven the road to Hana, you already know that doing it by bicycle would have likely been a suicide attempt since much of the road is extremely narrow with very blind corners. Even in the car I was a little concerned we’d become roadkill based on the speed that the Hana residents managed to take the uncomfortably tight corners.
Either way, six miles in, Ben had staked out a hike for us that led us on quite the trek to see four different waterfalls. It started out in a thick bamboo forest that was lush and green and just so different from the terrain we’re used to at home. Unfortunately, I had only packed one of my good hiking/water shoes for the day and had to hike the entire thing in flip flops, which made for some pretty slow progress.
Either way, we reached the first waterfall before very long at all but had somewhat of a difficult time figuring out where the trail was supposed to go next.
Someone finally tipped us off that to head to the next falls you head up a rock face with the use of a rope to waterfall #2.
The short climb would have been a little easier if I’d had shoes that would stay on, but we made, even if we were pretty well covered in the thick, slippery Hawaiian mud. The next falls were equally beautiful and required the scaling of a wooden ladder and some ropes to ascend to the next falls.
Heading on to waterfall number 3, we picked our way up the stream bed hopping from rock to rock, hoping all the while that my flip flops wouldn’t fail me and leave me sitting in the bottom of a rocky mud puddle or something.
At the end of the boulders we came to the third falls at the end of a long swim. The guidebook had stated that we’d have to swim to the third falls and then climb up it to get to the fourth.
We had originally planned to take our big camera with us, but after we realized how far we’d have to swim with that bag over our heads (over 100 ft), we quickly opted to stash it in the bushes with the rest of our extra clothes and take the point and shoot instead.
The pool at the bottom of falls number 3 was surprisingly crystal clear, but still chilly and the swim was pretty long. From there, it was a short climb up the waterfall to the next falls. When we visited, the falls were a little dry, but still beautiful and definitely worth the trip.
Ben was delighted to discover that jumping off the waterfall was more convenient than downclimbing and gave it a couple of test runs just for good measure. We did some more swimming on the return trip and Ben even coerced me into jumping from falls #1 (from all of about 3 feet above the water, as Ben will tell you).
Once we’d completed the hike it was already 2:00 in the afternoon and we had a lot of ground still to cover. We headed out across the scenic road, rapidly becoming annoyed at the impossibility of finding any decent food on the road. We settled on some shaved ice with ice cream in the bottom, all the while hoping something more substantial would turn up before too long. We made a few stops to check out the beautiful coastline and snap a few pictures and then rolled into Hana to our yurt that we’d rented out for the night.
The yurt was beautiful, overlooking the ocean where we could hear the waves crashing right from our bed. We had a little kitchenette where we cooked the ramen and some Asian noodles that we’d picked up at the most “general store” I’ve ever seen where the produce sits on shelves adjacent to the fishing gear which is next to the car parts. The noodles weren’t anything special, but we devoured them as the sun went down. Then, we washed off the mud from our hike in the outdoor shower and bathroom and were lulled to sleep by the sound of waves rolling up against the black rock below.