I had a plan to rise early and drive out to the Pipiwai Trail in the dead of night. Hike to the waterfall and get some breathtaking shots of both the falls and the Milkey way over them. It was ambitious and when I woke at 3:00 am I could hear the rain coming down. So this plan was aborted. Another time maybe.
Our next alarm call was a little different. As the light began to creep through the trees, seemingly a million birds began their dawn chorus, Despite the rain, the temperature was still high and with no Air-con we slept with the windows open. This meant the birdsong flooded through the room gradually rousing us from our sleep. It was utterly glorious.
Red Sand Beach
After glancing out the window the rain finally seemed to clear and a fairly nice morning began to dawn. It never stays bad for long on this Magical island. We decided to check out the controversial Red Sand Beach. A once-hidden gem the cat is well and truly out of the bag.
The path has a fearsome reputation but we have no idea why it’s a fairly easy route with very little danger spots despite what others try and insinuate. Just follow the DANGER signs and you should be fine. As a caveat as we are well used to offroad trails and not everyone is, simply be honest with yourself, and if the path is too much for you don’t be ashamed to turn back. It is only 400m from the road so just don’t take any risks. Oh and make sure you take the “low” route up top is pretty hair-raising, but the low route is far more obvious.
We got up at sunrise ready to beat the crowds, but even this was too late. We saw several people on the trail and were not even the first at the beach. It’s a very pretty beach and unlike anywhere else we have been. We didn’t spend long just enough to take it all in and get some pics before even more people turned up.
Do we recommend it, we are not sure. It is very pretty and if you are in the area it’s a lovely spot but we would not go out of our way to seek it out. It’s also pretty clear a lot of people would rather you didn’t go.
After our walk, we headed to the Barefoot Cafe down by the Harbour/Bay. There are not many options for breakfast in the town. This hole-in-the-wall Cafe is far from high Gastronomy but it is decent enough and eating outside down by the Bay more than makes up for it. I had the infamous Loco Moco- Burger, Rice, Fried Eggs, and Gravy, while Kate enjoyed eggs and sausage plate. While we mulled over the plans.
We had intended to take the back road back but the recent rain made this feel a little risky combined with the fact we had to fly later today we opted to just head back the way we came in. The sensible choice we think. The Seven Sacred Pools is currently closed and Kate didn’t fancy the long HOT, Mosquito infested Hike to Pipiwai now the sun had come out. So we aimed to head back slowly instead.
We Again stopped at Waianapnapa State park to see the beach without the rain. It was still very quiet but there were large groups forming and we didn’t get the beach to ourselves this time. The Waves had picked up even more than yesterday and some of the shore breaks were very large. The blowhole was huffing pretty impressively and there were some HUGE breaks against the rocks.
Having been here twice in 12 hours we didn’t linger too long and carried on our way
Today’s drive back from Hana was a very different experience from yesterday. The Clouds had lifted and the Sun was blazing down. We took the opportunity to stop a lot more often and take photos and admire the stunning scenery.
For the most part, the drive was very quiet, at least in our direction. We spend a fair bit of time at the Bridges and various give way’s waiting for oncoming traffic. It seemed most people put off by yesterday’s poor weather were using today’s glorious weather to make up for it.
Driving against the grain was not too hairy and the lack of people meant we made great progress. Even with many stops for waterfalls and views we still got back to the 36 in less than 3 hours which is very good going for the Hana Highway. This was in no way rushed we just made great progress. We made a quick stop at Kaumahaina State Park to take the chance to shoot some Jurassic Park Rock (Keopuka Rock) footage.
When we finally got to Ho’opiki we thought we would stop and grab a Chilled Coconut. We had been meaning to all trip so took out final opportunity. The Parking lot on the point was Crazy busy and there was a queue to even get into the lower lot by the beach. We soon saw why. The sun was blazing by now and the surf was up big time.
Giant breakers were crashing into the shore and the masses were out to grab a ride. Such an incredible spectacle and one that makes me want to pack up, move here and learn to Surf. They were not quite Jaws level, but really big rolling breakers, Dwarfing the riders so a good 10-12 ft.
Down on the beach, there were large crowds all looking at rocks in the sand. Of course, we knew these were Turtles. Yesterday the Turtles numbered in the range of 10-20 today it was in the hundreds! Of course, we wandered down for a closer look. Fortunately, the Lifeguards or Turtle Guards were out today keeping the hordes back. But they couldn’t stop my Zoom Lens!
We grabbed what we came for, a Chilled coconut (No rum), and then left our space so one of the queuing masses could grab it. It was becoming quite a bun fight!
The final stop was Paia. We parked up in the free lot at the edge of town. Like most towns, there is plenty of paid parking but always somewhere free if you look. We had no real plans and just wandered around the eclectic high street seeing what was on offer. We don’t spend much time in Paia usually, so it was nice to just take a look around for once.
And that was it. Parked up in Wallmart car park finalizing out packing and clothing ready for Seattle our trip to Maui was as good as over. It was all a little upsetting. As we handed in our Hire car the sun was going down over west Maui Mountain and it was hard to keep it all in. We consoled ourselves in the airport bar as we awaited our flight.
Delta Comfort Plus to Seattle – Red Eye
The return flight to London was a Delta Red Eye, to Seatle, and then Another overnight on Virgin Atlantic back into London Heathrow. This gave us most of the day to explore Seattle before our flight to London. The only problem being the 5:00 am Arrival time in Seattle. We would need to sleep on the plane.
Comfort Plus Seat
The service Airport side was similar to our outward leg. However, the in-flight service was useless. After the first round of drinks, then snacks the crew vanished. only to return 10 mins before landing with some cordial. The upgrade had not cost us a lot and we were glad about this level of service! The outward leg had been so much better. We were planning on sleeping as much as possible but two drinks may have facilitated this better. Halfway through Thor Ragnarok, Kate dropped off with me not much later. I only managed a couple of fitful hours whereas Kate only woke minutes before the descent.
We have now technically run over into tomorrow’s Blog so we will end it there and finish with one day in Seattle.
Day 13 – One Day in Seattle >>>