Day four, August 13:
We were out the door at 7:20am for a guided tour of the Road to Hana. The tour took us around the island of Maui and through all the difference landscapes. We stopped for breakfast at The Dunes at Maui Lani golf course, can't beat the fresh pineapple around here. The pog (passion fruit, guava, orange juice) was delicious. We drove past the only sugar came factory in Hawaii and drove past sugar cane fields.
The hala trees have seed clusters that look like pineapples.
First we went through the rainforest part-lots of bamboo (not native to Hawaii), guava and other plants-lush green foliage everywhere! We passed the Garden of Eden arboretum where some scenes of Jurassic Park were filmed. Rainbow Eucalyptus is a cool tree, the trunk has multi colored streaks; it was brought here from Australia.
We saw ginger plants (white, blue, red and yellow) they're floral not the edible kind (ginger root). They are very fragrant but there's a trick to release the scent, keep reading. The road is very narrow and windy and the bridges are one lane so we had to wait if someone was on it coming towards us. There's a portion of the tour that rental car companies don't allow you to take your rental, one of the reasons we opted for the guided tour so we wouldn't miss any of it. That and the driving would have been a little intense for Trevor!
Our first big stop was Keanae Point, a peninsula with a jagged lava rock coastline.
This is also where we got some Auntie Sandy's banana bread. Our next big stop was Waianapanapa State Park home of a black sand beach and a lava tube (like a cave).
Shortly after that we saw bread fruit trees, the fruit can be prepared many different ways. We stopped for lunch at a tropical flower farm in Hana. Each of the women got a pink or red ginger flower. At first they don't smell, but once you give the flower part a good squeeze they are very fragrant. To me, they smelled a lot like fruity pebbles. Trevor said Trix. You can keep squeezing them to bring back the scent. We continued on to Haleakala National Park where we saw some Banyan trees (they branch out, reach the ground, plant new roots, and expand) and more of the coastline.
We stopped at Palapala Hoomau Congregational Church where Samuel Pryor Jr. and his wife are buried, as well as Charles Lindbergh. Samuel Pryor apparently had apes that he treated as his children, brought them to church with him and they are buried next to him (photo below his grave marker), too.
We drove past some more coastline before getting into the dry area of Maui-quite the change in scenery.
I did have some very small sips of wine here-I couldn't pass up trying pineapple wine. Trevor, of course, got to have a much better taste than I. To try to make up for it, I grabbed one of these at the general store across the street.
And that about did it for our Road to Hana tour. There was more driving afterwards, but through some of the same scenery we had already seen in order to get us back to where we started. I could have included about 100 more photos of awesome rainforesty views and overlooks of the ocean, but I wanted to be reasonable. It was a very long day, but we saw so many awesome things, glad we did it!