Friday, August 18, 2006

Maui North Side - Secret Stuff

Almost anyone who travels to Hawaii is aware of the much storied drive to Hana. The first time I took the road it was truly worthy of the popular T Shirt of the time: "I survived the road to Hana. Three plus hours of twisty roads, some only allowing one car at a time, and some barely passable, eventually provided the spectacles that drew folks to work so hard. There are some seven waterfalls along the way, most only a few feet from the road. There is a black sand beach with cool caves and lava tubes, and then there are the Seven Sacred Pools. One of the most enchanted places in the world, this stream travels through seven pools, connected by waterfalls, then empties into a boiling cauldron of heaving waves at its mouth.

Ok. I'll admit it is a great drive, and the drive to the north is not as good. It is however, shorter, and much easier. The road to Hana is still at least 2.5 hours from Kihei, but it is in good repair. Driving to the great sites of North Maui is more like an hour and change, and all but the last 15 minutes is really good highway.

The first stop on the tour is the blow hole. It is one of the best I've visited, and you can still go play in it. Most of the others in Hawaii are now blocked off with big warning signs (thanks lawyers.) This one shoot easily 50 feet into the air, and sometimes provides an almost continuous spout for 30 seconds. The few folks who walked the 15 minute journey from the road to the blowhole were all oohing and aahing as the surging surf provided a great show.

Just up the road a few miles there is another 15 minute hike to a natural lava pool that is continuously being freshened up by waves that crash over a lava wall that partially protects it.

These two stops alone are worth the drive, but there are numerous vistas and lookouts along the way that will keep your digital camera busy with spectacular sights.

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