Maui Day 3: Hana Highway

(posted by Emily)

Sunday was the day we had chosen to dedicate to the Road to Hana. The road is a 30+ mile winding highway that goes along the northern and western coasts of Maui. We had done some reading that suggested an early start, so we hit the road around 7:30 (which actually felt a little late to us!). 

I was really excited to go to Hana, largely because of Coconut Glen's ice cream shop. Coconut Glen makes coconut milk ice cream and every flavor is vegan. I have been tweeting back and forth with them, and on a whim I checked their FB page to see their Sunday hours.......closed. What a bummer. So much for our plan!

The drive on the Hana Highway was beautiful--the vegetation is very lush and jungle-like. There are tons of waterfalls along the way, with pullouts for you to stop and check them out. There are fresh fruit and food stands on the side of the road, selling everything from fresh coconuts, thai food, to arts and crafts. 

True Confesions: I got super car sick on the way to Hana. We had had some smoothies for breakfast, but the nausea was overwhelming. The ride back wasn't as bad, but I still had to lay down in my seat and stop watching the road. Rick was perfectly fine--good thing he was driving! His biggest frustration was the slow drivers we inevitably came across :)

We made it to and through Hana, admiring the coastline and all of the beautiful homes. Our end stop was in Haleakala National Park, where we hiked to Waimoku Falls on the Pipiwai Trail and went down to the pools at Oheo Gulch

The hike up to the falls was a 2 mile trip--it was relatively easy, without many strenuous sections. On the way to the falls, you pass through a bamboo forest, which was amazing to see. I've never seen anything like it--the bamboo is incredibly thick, and reaches so high in the air. We made it up to the falls fairly quickly, and headed back to the visitor center to go down to the gulch. The Pipiwai Trail also has an amazingly enormous banyan tree near the bottom--it's gotta be over 100 years old.

Most of the time, people are allowed to swim in the pools at Oheo Gulch, but the rain here has led to flooding, and swimming isn't safe at the moment. It was amazing to see the water pouring into the ocean from the falls, and the black sand. 

On the way back, we stopped at a beach in Hana and Rick did some boogie boarding. There was some black sand mixed in on that beach!

We passed a Thai food stand on the way back, but the lady who we had seen chopping veggies in the morning wasn't there any more. I had asked Rick to stop by Coconut Glen's on the way back, even though they were closed, because I wanted to get some pictures. We noticed a puppy laying in the stand, and then I noticed a young woman behind the counter.......not closed after all!!!! It was so exciting, I literally jumped up and down. We got to try the chocolate macadamia and pistachio flavors. Both were creamy and delicious and we agreed it was the best ice cream we've had to date. 

I took a quick video on the drive home:

While driving through Haiku, we decided to see what vegan options were available to us, and realized that Maui Komboucha was in town there. We stopped for a delicous snack and glasses of kombucha.

Jamaican Ginger and Blueberry Fusion kombucha:

This is called a fusion bowl, and man, was it outstanding--quinoa on the bottom, saffron cauliflower soup in the middle, and baby greens on top. We mixed it all together and it was delicious. 

We also had a "Save de Tuna" flatbread, which was raw. It was an onion flatbread, topped with a mock tuna salad and tomato/lettuce/onion and dressing. Rick has declared it the best mock tuna sandwich he's ever had :) We picked up a slice of hazelnut chocolate cheesecake for later, too. 

We spent the late afternoon laying on the beach in Kihei, caught the new episode of Mad Men, and went out for 2 for 1 martinis at a local martini bar. All around, a great day! :) 

Hope you had a great weekend!


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