Highlights of day: macademia nut sticky buns
Lowlight: realizing the drive was making my stomach feel funny when we were only 1 1/2 hours in.
Right, so the morning more or less started in Paia, where we (me and shadowdaddy plus his aunt and uncle) were SO EARLY that we had to wait for the Moana Bakery to open. Fortunately Cake Walk was open, so we got some cinnamon rolls and other stuff (can you say "macademia nut coconut macaroons") and walked around town a bit (I saw something I don't need that will have us back today), then got the desired yummies and hit the road formally.
The road starts along the coast and gets wilder and wilder and smaller and smaller. Maui is really a very different island from Oahu; so much of it feels so rural and so unpopulated. There were lots of cows and sugar cane fields to see. The car headed up higher and higher into the mountains, and the vegetation became very lush. Finally it felt like we were driving through a tunnel of green. From my back seat view, I could see a wall of plant life, occasionally dripping water, in touching distance of the window.
This was, of course, about the time I realized all of these twisty roads and an inability to focus more than ten feet from the car was not going to be doing my stomach any favors. Mostly all I wanted to do today was nap, right? But here's what we did do.
1. First waterfall stop. This one was, I don't know, a four hundred foot drop or something. The creepy thing was that the car was way above these falls and I had NO IDEA how far we were from the bottom of the valley. (I think this was Lower Puhokamoa Falls.)
2. The Ke'anae Arboretum. I like learning about the places we visit, and this had all sorts of plants that you can see in Hawaii, all labelled nicely. My favorite was the rainbow gum tree. Least favorite was the mosquitos.
3. The Ke'anae coastline as seen from the Ke'anae peninsula. This was truly a wild and young coast, with little piles of lava all along the shoreline. This had awesome tidepools with all sorts of fish in them, and even some coral. I could have played in the rocks all day. And watching the water crashing against the barrier about eight feet further from where I was was great, too - very energizing and beautiful. (We also picked up a smoothie, some coconut ice cream, and a tiny loaf of banana bread at the stand near the baseball fields. Yum!)
3. Uh ... well, the black sand beach at Waianapanapa was interesting, and I liked that there was a lava tube there, but I was just worn out at this point and the surf was way too strong for me to want to swim. Thus I will fondly remember this as the place where I took a nap.
4. Uh ... still mostly in nap and "get food" mode, I bombed out in Hana. We didn't really have time to poke around. We made the obligatory stop at the Hasegawa general store (I bought kukui nut oil, a bottle of "made in Maui" rum, and an "I survived the road to Hana" bumper sticker you'll be seeing on the back of my car soon), then went to a fruit stand where we were referred to "the Thai place up the street for some killer grinds." Thai Me Up was, alas, closed, and all the more depressing for being in someone's front yard - and out of food for the day. Wah.
5. Our final stop was the Pools of Oheo, part of Haleakala National Park. We goofed around in the pools for a water, all of us going for a bit of a swim, but the water was cold and the breeze was keeping it cool. I did get an eyeful of crazy teenagers jumping into many of the ponds from way too far up. And what was up with all of the cow pies? Were they, perhaps, from cow fish?
Anyway - two hours after our final stop, we were able to say that we had, including yesterday, circumnavigated Maui. Dinner was not at Pinatas (closed) but at the (Frommer's highly ranked) Manana Garage, which despite serving "Latin inspired" cuisine, seemed to have totally forgotten about spicing their food. Wah.
Finally - I started Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let You Go in the parking lot of the [chain store] while waiting for shadowdaddy to come out, and I can tell already that this is a book that is going to break my heart.
Tomorrow: snorkeling Maui, and maybe a luau. Wednesday: kayaking La Perouse bay. Now: sleep.