As this was our 3rd trip to Hawaii it was time to visit another island and see what it had to offer so this morning we’re taking an early flight to Maui, picked up at taxi at hotel at 7.42 am the fare today was $42.
Walking through Honolulu airport we spotted another case of a couple doing the ‘bobsy’. This couple was dressed in red shorts, white t-shirts, red caps, white ankle socks and red Nike running shoes. Very well thought out….but I still don’t ‘get’ the concept I’m afraid.
The boarding of the inter-island plane was amusing. Around us sat a motley crew of passengers waiting for the flight, definitely interesting people watching here. One extremely large woman shuffled up, backed into a seat and proceeded to drink from the largest drink bottle I have ever seen. It must have held at least 3 litres of soft drink or perhaps, some form of alcoholic spirit to get through the flight. How rough could a 20 minute flight be? As well as the usual gaggle of fellow tourists there were many locals on this flight. How do I know this? The locals carried cardboard boxes, some tied with string, some with lids flapping open, groups of people were sitting on the floor chatting animatedly and several travellers were barefoot. Some of the boxes looked like chickens might pop their head out at any minute…..well, that was my image as another well used cardboard box went past.
When the call came for first class passengers to board the plane about 30 people joined the queue. “Ty, how big is this plane?” “Why” he asked “Well look at all the people in the first class line, those people with no shoes or carrying boxes are surely not first class passengers!” Not being elitist at all it was just quite obvious all these people weren’t sitting in first class seats. It was our turn to join the end of the queue and when we reached the aircraft lo and behold there were only 10 first class seats and most of those were empty!!! We both chuckled at the idea the gate crew probably weren’t game to stop the Hawaiian nationals from boarding whenever they wanted!!! I wouldn’t stop them either they ‘re much bigger than me, although the people we’ve met are all extremely friendly and helpful.
It was hot but overcast with pockets of rain as we headed to the airport for the 20 minute flight to Maui. The day before when checking in on line we received TSA pre check which meant we could bypass the long lines for customs check. We had it for outbound and inbound flights. Customs person was surprised we both received it. She said ” You’re lucky generally Hawaiian only gives it to one passenger out of a couple.” Looking back at the ever increasing cue for normal customs entry we were very happy we had it! Thank you Hawaiian Airlines. Hmm, it probably won’t happen again.
We had booked a car through Hertz before leaving Australia which meant the would be no hidden charges or add ons as there had been yesterday.
The plan for the day was simple, head along the road to Hana, we had been told we shouldn’t miss it as views of ocean and plants were very good although the road was narrow and winding, then back into the centre by mid afternoon for a wander around before our early evening flight back. I had been told that Lahaina was also very pretty but it was in a different direction to Hana so we chose Hana. The best laid plans………
The weather took a turn for the worse as we travelled along the first section of the road, the wind became stronger and the rain bursts became more frequent. It was still hot and humid. The rugged coastline views, when we could see them between rain showers, were picturesque but short lived as the road very quickly veered inland. We drove for another hour and a half down and around slippery winding roads with several one lane bridges affording views of natural waterfalls flowing quickly over rocks and around vegetation. Unfortunately photo opportunities were very limited as every parking area and vantage point was already full. Unfortunately, we became uninterested in the scenery and the endless narrow winding road where concentration had to be at maximum capacity – I’m sure the weather played a large part in our decision to find a safe turning place to head back.
We were also hungry, there are no cafes along this part of the drive. Luckily we came across a turnpike with a sign to Keanae, so far we had travelled 15 mile all mostly downhill . It was an opportunity to turn around but Ty also decided to drive further along the Keanae road to see if a town might materialise and there it was, a sign ” best banana bread, drinks, hot food”. “Fabulous, love banana bread” I said.
We ordered banana bread and a drink, would’ve killed for a coffee but I’m very wary of american coffee so chose a soft drink instead. The banana bread was actually banana loaf and it was still warm!! We took our drinks and little loaf and joined 2 women and a man sitting under one of the 2 rain shelters. The women were on Pride of America cruising the Hawaiian Island and the man, Robert, was their local guide for the day. He promptly offered us a slice of freshly cut coconut, which we accepted with thanks! It was delicious, he then handed me a rather large knife he was using to cut the coconut so I could slice our banana loaf. I noted the blade of the knife was substantially wider than the banana loaf and resolved not to disagree with this tall Hawaiian man!!
After devouring the loaf ( I did keep one slice for later) we bid goodbye to our table companions and decided to head back to Kahalui Bay and had a wander over the dunes to watch several kite surfers enjoying the waves whipped up by the gusty winds.
After that we headed for a large shopping centre to see what, if any bargains were to be had. Oh, yes, there were bargains, luckily my husband had brought along his trusty backpack. The winning purchase on the day was a pair of dark red boots final markdown was $11.99 at the register and a red dress marked all the way down from $80 to $4.99.
We stopped for coffee and to repack the backpack before heading back to the airport and the return trip to Honolulu.
On the return trip boarding the aircraft was much more controlled……the terrier that was the airline customer service person wouldn’t let anyone not holding a first class ticket across that line. A Japanese woman tried at least 3 times to sneak through but each time she was foiled by the terrier.
Would I encourage others on a day trip to Maui to head along the Hana Road? My answer would be “if you want to experience narrow winding roads, lots of vegetation with snippets of coastal scenery with views of waterfalls as you cross narrow one lane bridges certainly do it; however it appears Lahaina and Ka’anapali Beach may be better prospects”. I always listen to what people have to say about places they’ve visited and we’re venturing to but I also do my own research. It was a little remiss of me not to research the island properly to ensure the best use our time. We still had an enjoyable day and experienced part of the Hana Road.
When we returned to our room at the Outrigger Waikiki 2 bananas and a muffin awaited!!
Aloha and Mahalo for reading this…..