We left The Royal Lahaina after a week to spend the last few days of our holiday in Hana. We bought a guide CD to play in our car as we drove the famous Road to Hana.
Our first stop along the road was at Ho-opika Beach Park where we watched and fantasized about our future skills.
We drove with our windows down, and enjoyed the eucalyptus scent all along the way. I couldn't get over the beauty of the bamboo forest. It made me think of Dr. Seuss' truffula trees for some reason.
Waikamoi Nature Trail was a short loop we walked within a bamboo forest.
We also stopped at the Ke'anae Arboretum, which I wouldn't do again. It is pretty poorly maintained, and the information posted is limited. We did at least find out the name of this tree we'd seen elsewhere on the island: Painted Gum (a type of eucalyptus)
I loved the volcanic rock against the ocean in Ke-anae. It reminded us of the Creation.
We took more photos together in Hawaii than we have all year!
(The famous Hana black sand beach)
I think the green against the black was so beautiful, but we didn't return to spend more time at this beach later,
because it needs another 100 000 years to crush down to really fine sand. We did explore the caves and the lava tubes before we left.
While we were in Hana, we rented a house through VRBO because the main resort, Travaasa Resort, was very pricy. However, the minimal rental on our VRBO was 3 days, which kept us in Hana longer than we would have otherwise stayed. So next time I would stay at the lovely Travaasa Resort for just one night. Because in my opinion Hana is worth a second day.
Our second Hana day was spent at Haleakala National Park at Kipahulu.
We started with the 4 mile (return) hike to Waimoku Falls, where we passed this banyan tree. It seems we missed the larger banyan tree in Lahaina (saw it, but didn't appreciate it at the time), but I thought this one was impressive.
I had read so much about the bamboo forest leading to the Waimoku Falls, that it seemed like a shame that I'd already been-there-done-that the previous day on the Waikamoi Nature Trail.
But it was magical. It was a windy day, and instead of the sound of rustling of leaves we were surrounded by the gentle knocking of the hollow bamboo stems together. Ken took 10 seconds of video to capture it on his phone, and I really need to download it onto my computer. It was the highlight of the hike for me.
The falls were tall, but not particularly impressive. The reality being that if they had been impressive, the trail would have been closed because we had to cross the creek several times, and impressive falls would have meant high creek levels.
After the hike, we walked down to the Pools of Ohe'o
We took a couple of pictures, and then returned our camera to our car and got in the fresh water pools ourselves.
Sunday in Hana we attended the branch there, and then sat out in the sun and read our books. Thank goodness we bought Ken a book in Lahaina. I read several books on our holiday. I also finished reading The Book of Mormon again. Jaclyn's mission president invited parents to join their missionaries in reading the entire Book of Mormon in the month of January. I was on track anyhow, but thanks to the extra free time of a holiday I finished in 3 weeks total. I've never read The Book of Mormon fast like that, and I loved it. I was thinking of doing it again in February, but in these first few days I've noticed I'm skimming instead of reading this time, so I think I'd better slow down.
Monday morning we shook the sand out of our belongings, showered off, and got ready to catch our plane home that night. We met up with our friends (who we have run into on other holidays - unplanned) for a photo op. We ended up spending the entire afternoon in the sun for the perfect end to a perfect vacation.