After a few days of laying low, hiking, pulling weeks and afternoons at the beach, we’ve had a lot of excitement the last couple of days! On Thursday we drove the “road to Hana” which is the only way around the Haleakala volcano to the far western coast and a place called Hana. First of all the road is famous for its 400+ narrow switchbacks and 50+ one lane bridges. You can but t-shirts with slogan “I survived the road to Hana” but it isn’t really that bad. And the backside of the volcano is absolutely gorgeous, lush, tropical etc. I saw a red sand and a black sand beach (although we didn’t actually get down to the red sand beach because the path recently collapsed into the ocean). We saw one of, if not
largest heiau on Hawaii which is a temple. It is stepped like the old Mayan temples but not as tall, and covers more than acre of ground, made of black volcanic rock. It is very impressive. We also stopped and hugged some rainbow eucalyptus which are the prettiest trees, look them up.
Friday we were going to try to get out on a kayak to get out with the whales (of course you can’t approach them, it’s illegal, but you can get out around where they are and hope they’ll come your way) but it has been very windy and impossible to paddle so that was nixed. Reports of a couple 15-20 ft tiger sharks didn’t make me regret it that much.
And then yesterday we got up early and went to the Chinese New Year festival down in Makawao. They bring in a whole group of martial artists/lion dancers (who are mostly kids but that just makes it sweeter) and then get in these crazy lion/dragon costumes and dance all around town, “eating” dollar bills for good luck! And then in the afternoon we went to a traditional hula, that was completely breathtaking and beautiful. The women (and men) study for years and years, and chant, and it is a very holy thing. I’m so glad I got to see it.