On our second day in Maui we had planned to just drive up the Hana Highway, which is a scenic highway. We had been told that it was a long drive, on very narrow and treacherous roads and that, honestly, it wasn't as cool as all the hype.
So we decided to take George's advice and just drive far enough on the Hana Highway to hit the hot spot he had told us about.
We had gotten up at 5:30 a.m. (again), had a light breakfast and then went for a run. After getting ready we went back out to our 'stang and hit the open road. It was a beautiful mid-80's, sunny day so driving on the windy roads with the top down was awesome!
We were told to go to the 6 mile marker and then proceed for another half mile. We would likely see cars pulled off on the side of the road (which we did) right next to a "bamboo forest". We were told to look for an opening in the barbed-wire fence and follow the trail (which we did). We saw several people with their copy of Maui Revealed. We were just going on what we remembered from George.
And it was, in fact, a bamboo forest and I have never seen anything like it! Luckily we had thought to throw in our tennis shoes as we were leaving our room that morning. Here we are having some fun with the bamboo.
See how big it is? It actually got bigger.
The trail wound around and around until we came to a clearing and there was the first waterfall. People were jumping off its cliff into the water below and swimming in it. We would have stopped, but our final destination beckoned.
We climbed up the left side of the waterfall by pulling ourselves up by a narrow rope. It wasn't as difficult or terrifying as it seemed.
Then we continued on, climbing over rocks and climbing until we came to a second waterfall.
Here we climbed a wooden ladder up the side of the waterfall and continued on.
We came to a third waterfall and continued on past it as well. Then we came to what appeared to be a dead end at a cliff and body of water. Here is where most people turn around, because they think it's the end.
But, it's not. We were told to get into the water and swim upstream. Then we could come to a cliff that we would climb. At the top of that cliff would be a swimming pool at the base of a huge waterfall!
We swam (brrr ...), we climbed (scary ...) and we stood in awe! The waterfall was not running very heavy because there hadn't been much rain. But it was a sight to behold! And I fulfilled my dream of swimming at the base of a waterfall! Another couple was there with a hired tour guide and they actually jumped off the cliff into the water. I am way too big a chicken for that. It was freaky enough to swim in the deep, dark water. I've watched way too many movies.
If you click on this picture it will blow it up and you can see the people in front of us climbing the cliff after the long swim.We didn't have our camera here because we were afraid it would get wet. So you'll just have to take my word for it that it was one of the coolest things ever!
After beholding the beauty of the waterfall, it was time to hike back. We were tired at this point, but headed back. Thankfully it was easier on the way down than on the way up.
On the way back to the ship we stopped at a roadside stand and bought a pineapple. We also tasted some fresh sugar cane.
Then we headed to a beach to eat our lunch we had packed. It was so pretty! There were windsurfers and locals swimming. We ran into a lady who was bringing pots and pans and other supplies to the shelter we were eating in for the local fishermen to use. She said they came late in the day and fished and drank until the wee hours of the morning. They even slept in their cars.
I guess she took care of them.
Our last stop of the day was in the quaint town of Pa'ia. We walked around and got a Geletto and a Shave Ice. (Notice they don't include the "d" to make it "shaved". In fact, they even leave complete words off certain statements, like, "How ya?" instead of "How ya doing?")
The pictures we took of our adventure don't even begin to portray what an exhausting day this was. We climbed and hiked and climbed some more. We slipped and slid and ran into things and tripped over things. It was the most physical exertion I have done in a long, long time! My legs were noodles by the end of the day.
After a long day, we returned our rental car and went back to the ship for a nap. We got up in time to shower and eat a late dinner in the main dining room. I had Mahi Mahi and Rick had Salmon. The food wasn't that great in the dining room, and the service was worse, so we decided to skip the formal dining room from then on out.
We were in bed by 8:00 p.m.
We thought we had just experienced the height of the adventure on our vacation ... until the next day.