52 States in 8 Months

On the Highway to Hana

Posted in Hawaii by Ulf on January 8, 2009

After our high elevation breakfast we decided to go back to the warmer places that Maui had to offer. Our Thursday route took us around most of eastern Maui:


We started at the campground on the Haleakala (A) and took the road to the city of Paia (B). Afterwards we headed on to the Keanae peninsula (C) and the Black Sand Beach in Waianapanapa State Park (D). The largest city on Mauis east shore is Hana (E), but we our destination was the our next campground in the Haleakala National Park (F).

But let’s start with the city of Paia. Looking at the buildings, Paia seems to be quite a one-horse town (this is how Leo translates a “verschlafenes Nest”). The traffic density however revealed that Paia was different. We had our first (and only) traffic jam at the main intersection in Paia. While I spotted an Internet cafe (we did not go in), the others read the lonely planted guide and looked for a suitable restaurant. Most places were closed (it was Thanksgiving day), but finally we found a nice little place where we could even sit outside in a little yard. A little lizard seemed to like our chicken, so he silently sneaked up from behind. But we liked our food, so we did not share anything ;-).

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After our meal we went shopping. We are in the US, so the stores are not only open on Sundays but also on Thanksgiving. Please note that Thanksgiving is even more important in the US than Christmas. While I waited in the car (we had removed the roof again), Ania, Andi, Matthias and Matthias went into the little shop that you see on the third picture (above). When they returned they were completely astonished. Behind this innocent-looking wall they found a fully-featured supermarket with everything one could possibly want to buy! And it was amazingly cheap! The Nutella only costed about $3 in this place which is just the price we pay in the continental states. From a rack of a few hundered different types of chocolate they only bought three. Matthias G. and Ania made us taste them. We had to guess which flavour it was — to put it mildly, I was not good in it *g*. Most of the souvenirs that Ania bought in Hawaii also were from this shop. Amazing!

With our car full of new goodies we went on the most famous road of Maui: the “Road to Hana“. It has 620 bends, but as we started up in Paia instead of Kahului, we could only drive trough the last 600 of them. Luckily the view gets nicer and nicer the closer one comes to Hana, so the most beautiful bays and mountain views were among our 600 curves :-). We had an average speed of less than 15 mph on our journey, not including the stops we did on purpose. Having the fuel economy in mind, this is not a good road for a petrol engine. But actually, when you’re driving there, you just don’t have the fuel economy in mind :-).

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Our guide book told us not to stop within the first nine miles on the road to Hana. Although it looked absolutely fascinating from the first yard on, we delayed our first get-off stop until we reached a little place where we could walk through the jungle. It was a totally new landscape: Not the dry, moon-like Haleakala, not the sunny and open beach. It was just green everywhere! Next to you, in front of you, and even above your head! And there were gentle noises all the time. Not only from the mosquitos who bited me, but also from all the plants. Even the trees were making funny sounds: Two of them were rubbing against each other, and with every gust of wind there was a loud cracking sound. This wood was alive!

Many plants grew on top of each other. The most-widespread one of them was familiar to me: We have one at home, but I always forget the name. You’ll see it both on the first and on the second picture. It wraps itself around the trees and follows the trunk all the way up. And it develops air roots which go down all the way to the ground again. What was the plant’s name again?

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If you want to get an impression on how the road curls around Mauis shore, zoom in the second one of the next pictures. I’m just figuring out that I would not even want to go any faster than 15 mph even if the road would allow it!

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4 Responses

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  1. Din Mor said, on January 8, 2009 at 5:56 pm

    Das Pflanzenvieh heißt Monstera. Der Name könnte kommen a) aus dem Lateinischen aus Mono= einzeln und astera = Stern. Also “Einzelstern”
    b) ein Monasterium ist ein Kloster, vielleicht haben Mönche die Pflanze für irgendwas gezogen.
    c) die mir wahrscheinlichste Erklärung ist, das dieses monströse Viech, das uns seit mehr als 25 Jahren das Wohnzimmer blockiert, schlicht und einfach ein Monster ist. also ein Ungeheuer.
    Ulf, unsere heißt genau Monstera deliciosa. Ob wir also mal versuchen sollten, sie aufzuessen, damit wir endlich mal wieder mal das Zimmer bewohnbar kriegen???

  2. Ulf said, on January 8, 2009 at 6:06 pm

    “Philodendron” was the name I was looking for! I got it! :-)

    http://www.floridata.com/ref/M/mons_del.cfm says “All parts of Monstera deliciosa are poisonous except the ripe fruits. The plant contains oxalic acid and even the ripe fruits may be an irritant to particularly sensitive people.”
    Maybe, instead of eating it, we could try to break some part of the plant apart and make it grow in some other place. Perhaps I’ll take a part of it to Stuttgart.

  3. […] the road to Hana was the Waianapanapa State Park. It’s marked with a “D” on the map I posted a few days […]

  4. […] Paia itself we returned to the grocery store which we discovered earlier. This time we took our cameras with us, so I can show you a few […]

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