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Hawaii Day 8: 360

Today we drove the infamous Road to Hana, and took the even more infamous "back road" around Haleakala. The road has several names and numbers on its path around the island, one of which is "360," which we felt made that the perfect name for today's title.
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The first stop we encountered on the Road to Hana was Twin Falls. We hiked up to the falls, and enjoyed the jungle-like environment which was so different from the more arid west side of the island. It was very sunny, which perhaps caused us to look a bit angry in the picture above.
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Our next stop was at this beautiful grassy meadow. As beautiful as it was, it was not the reason for our stop...
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...the reason for our stop was the breathtaking rainbow eucalyptus trees that grow here. They were apparently introduced from the Philippines, and the bark takes on various colors at different stages of their growth. It creates a beautiful painted look. They are unbelievable, by far the most interesting trees we have seen.
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Shortly after, we stopped at the Kaumahina State Wayside, where we ate a picnic lunch we had packed and enjoyed the views of the beautiful Keanae Penninsula below.
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Our next stop was the Keanae Arboretum, which was beautiful and had many native and non-native trees (including more rainbow eucalyptus!)
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The many trees of the Keanae Arboretum, which was an absolutely fascinating stop. While we did encounter mosquitos, the information and opportunity to see the wide variety of plant life that thrives in this environment was well worth it.
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Our next stop was one we have been waiting for for a long time: Aunt Sandy's Banana Bread stand! It's on the Keanae Penninsula and serves banana bread, shave ice, and various types of candy and food. It is consistently mentioned as one of the best banana bread stands on Maui, along with Julia's which is on the other side of the island. We purchased some bread and a shave ice, and enjoyed the beautiful scenery.
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More pictures of the beautiful penninsula.
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Two attempts at a picture...it was very windy.
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Some views of Wailua, another village along the road. The church is St. Gabriel's, which doesn't appear to be in use anymore. We also stopped near here at the "Halfway to Hana" banana bread stand. We plan to do a blind taste-test between that and Aunt Sandy's.
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Our next (quick) stop: a waterfall along the way.
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The black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park. We were able to get in and swim a little bit in the ocean here, although it was a little rough so we really just waded. It was a lot of fun!
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We got to the 'Ohe'o Gulch (Seven Sacred Pools) which were unfortunately closed. We had to decide whether to go onwards around the back side of the island, or go back through Hana, etc. We decided to go forward!
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The road was not all that scary. It was a little narrow in places, but it certainly wasn't any scarier than the roads on Achill Island in Ireland. It was an eerily and amazingly beautiful drive. It is hard to describe in words what it looked like: otherworldly, desolate, and beautiful.
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A store along the way.
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The landscape on the drive. We are incredibly glad that we came this way: it was beautiful, the road was not all that scary, and we got to see a side of Maui that most people miss.
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First glimpses of Kaho'olawe to let us know that we were back on the western side of Haleakala. It was a great relief to see where we were as it was getting dark. We knew at this point that we would get through to our side by the time it was fully dark!
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Celebrating our adventure with margaritas and a delicious dinner!

Posted by danielcatherine 03:28 Archived in USA Tagged road wailua hana keanae wainana Comments (1)

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