Thursday, July 30, 2009

Maui: Road to Hana

We left our resort early Sunday morning and headed towards Paia and the start of the road to Hana.

We had our bookmarked guide book in hand and were determined and excited to follow the suggested hiking paths to hidden waterfalls.

Most of the shops in Paia were still closed when we pulled up into town. Paia is notorious for the eclectic mix of people roaming its streets. This time it was just Lord V and I wandering with Chanda dressed in her large telescopic lens.

At the start of Hana road we blew past the first fruit stand, smugly snorting at the swarm of tourists gathered there. Our guide book had told us to ignore that stop so we could get ahead of the tourist pack on the (mostly) one lane road to Hana.

We passed mile marker 5 and slowed. This was where the first hidden trail was.
We pulled over and I noticed a shoe atop a fence post.

Hmm. I wonder if that's a marker?

A few cars had pulled over and we walked up the road a bit following other people. They scaled a fence with a "KEEP OUT" sign attached to it. I shook my head at Lord V. I wasn't about to intrude on peoples property even though the guide book had said to ignore trespassing signs.

We headed back to our car when I spied a hole in the dense bamboo like forest along the road.

"I think this is it!" I called to Lord V.

We peered in and could see a faint trail leading into the shadows.

We stepped into the tropical forest and the trail widened into a sunny stretch of a well trodden path.

Yes, we found it!

Our glee quickly changed to trepidation as the trail veered from a dry, sunshine light path to a dark, dank, muddy steep decline peppered with moss covered rocks.

We slipped and slid, gripping foliage to slow our downward hike. The muddy trail grew steeper with each turn but we gamely pressed on until we came to a section where a creek had dug itself into the mountain top creating a 8ft ravine between us and the next section of trail.

Someone had wedged a plank of wood across the ravine to aid in crossing to the other side.

I looked left...

And right...

And tentatively stepped a foot onto the plank.

It shifted beneath my foot and it suddenly dawned on me that we were down in the depths of a hidden trail in Maui and no one knew where we were. If we fell to our deaths here, it might be months before we were found! Nothing left but a sack of bones dressed in Hawaiian shirts, khaki shorts, gripping a camera with the "MAUI REVEALED" guidebook fluttering in the wind.

"Oh hell no. I'm not dying here!" I muttered yanking my foot from the plank of death.

Lord V agreed and we trudged back up the trail bursting through the opening of the trail, gasping for breath and drinking in the feel of the glorious Maui sunshine.

A car pulled over and 4 old people peeled themselves out with the "Maui Revealed" guidebook in hand.

"Is this where the trail is to the waterfall?" They asked, looking from our mud streaked bodies to the hole in the bamboo forest.

"I don't know." I said, sucking in air from our rapid ascent. "We never made it that far."

"I just know," I wheezed, leaning down to smack a clump of mud off my calf, "I wasn't gonna die on that trail!"

They shot me an alarmed look and then looked back at the trail.

I could see them evaluating their dream of hiking to a hidden waterfall against our rendition of the hike.

I shook my head at them. 4 old people dressed in Dr. Scholls support shoes of the elderly. No way in hell were they going to make it.

I looked at Lord V. He shrugged and gave me the look of, "What can we do?" and climbed into our car.

I flopped in beside him and we headed back onto the road to Hana.

To Be Continued...


Peaceful said...

but if I heard you say that I would have thought you were trying to hide it all to yourself :D
I would have been over the fence in a second though :)

Laoch of Chicago said...

You should be a travel writer!

georgia b. said...

i agree with the comment above!

oh, that shoe marker was funny. i love capturing random things like that. love your pics! i did not know you were going on vacay! i guess it's been a while since i stopped by!

off to see the rest of the pics.