What a surprise to find out my cousins Rachel and Jessica Hastings decided to come back for their graduation trip to visit their cousins Tom and Diane here on Maui. So I decided to show them the best trip I knew, by taking them to the most remote part of the island.
The weather was picture perfect as we started on the long winding road to Hana. We stopped off at all the waterfalls along the way and watched the girls smile as they jumped in the clean, cold mountain water.
How refreshing it was after driving that long winding road, to stop halfway on our journey, overlooking the most beautiful bay on this great surf called Hana-Manu, and continue on jumping in more waterfalls and hiking in the bamboo forests.
We reached our destination in the evening. Our reservations were at a beautiful, large plantation house located on four acres of tropical flowers and fruit trees, including every different type of banana you could dream of eating. The name of the B & B was Na Pulani O Hana, or “heavenly flowers of Hana”.
We had the entire upstairs to ourselves. The girls had their own bedroom and bath and Diane and I had our own large kitchen and living room with a beautiful mountain and ocean view. We also had a grand piano in the living room. So, in the morning before we left, we had a blues jam with the girls on piano and myself on harmonica. We had a great time there. The landlord lived in a small cottage close by, and told us about the movie stars that lived in the area like George Harrison, Carol Burnett, Kris Kristofferson, and Richard Pryor, and how he used to play that piano with Jim Nabors. He showed us great hospitality. I recommended that anyone going to Hana should stay at the Na Pulani O Hana (800/628-7092).
Leaving, we drove further down the road and came to Wai Napa Napa State Park. We all hiked down to huge caves that had clean, clear ice-cold water from underground springs. At a certain time of year the water turns red! Legend tells of an ancient Hawaiian Princess that hid in the caves, away from the King. When His Majesty found her, he killed her, and the springs are forever stained with her blood. I also told Rachel and Jessica about small red shrimp that breed there.
Getting along with our adventure, we pass through Hana Town, home of two grocery stores, a gas station and one hotel. Further down the road, we pass a small cave on the side of a mountain with a statue of the Virgin Mary. I decided to stop and place a rosary and say some prayers for my grandmother, and for my Aunt Helen Selway, and to bless our journey.
We decided to keep going all the way around Volcano Haliakala the long way, stopping at the Seven Sacred Pools, where we had a picnic. On an all-dirt road now, passing Charles Lindberg’s gravesite, we found a little store called Kau-po; last stop for miles to buy a soda.
A little later on, wild horses came up to the car, and the girls got understandably excited, taking pictures and petting them as they put their heads inside the car windows.
Finally homeward bound, our car overheated. Thank God for cousin Bonnie, who had brought drinking water. Our last stop on my Hana tour was the Ilupalaku Winery Ranch. There they make all kinds of Maui wines and also house a small historical museum dedicated to plantation workers. We picked out one of our cousin’s own grandfathers among the names who once worked on the farm there.
What a journey- one we will never forget. If you’re wondering about the title, one will count exactly fifty-two bridges on the road to Hana-town. To a great vacation and family reunion, aloha means hello, goodbye, and ‘I love you.’
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