Hana is the biggest village on the very eastern side of Maui. While it’s only around 40 miles away from the main airport the drive takes a little over two hours. The road is well maintained but constantly turning and curving and sprinkled with one lane bridges. It must take all the aloha the experienced natives can muster to share this road with the many tourists in bright convertibles making their virgin journey.
There are many places to stop and see waterfalls, ponds and gardens and opportunities to buy fresh fruit smoothies and locally made banana bread. We only made two quick stops. The first was the Lower Puohokamoa Falls which are only a few steps off the road.
The other was the Wai’anapanapa black sand beach whose sands are filled with beautiful stones that look like onyx shaped by the ocean waves.
We’re staying at the Hana Hotel which is the only resort for miles. Fortunately, this monopoly hasn’t reduced the quality of the experience. Every Thursday they have a managers reception with free drinks (including some powerful Mai Tais) and pupus followed by local musicians and hula dancers. It’s a low key, casual affair and loads of fun. We met some of the dancers who were really lovely people. I’d make a point of being here on another Thursday to catch it again.