The worst thing about going to Hawaii is that you have to leave Hawaii. I got home just last night and I’m sifting through all of these pictures and my heart hurts for the place that I left behind. Because no matter what, travel changes you. Seeing different parts of the world and places and things–it leaves an impression upon our hearts and we become molded and shaped by these experiences that become part of us. The day I drove to Hana was one of the most magical days that I have ever lived, partly because it is something that I had wanted to do since I was a fifteen year old girl. And there are truly no words that can capture the beauty of that place. A place that speaks so much to my heart because the thing about driving to Hana–it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey that you have through all those twisty, windy roads along the way. That journey that takes you places that you couldn’t believe and by the time you reach your endpoint you are changed and for the better. The road to Hana has imprinted itself upon my heart and will be there forever now.
A few things that I have to say–if you ever go, go early. I’ve heard that something like 2000 cars drive the road to Hana everyday. Thanks to the fact that I’m a morning person anyway, and was also completely jet lagged (I spent the first few days of my trip just twiddling my thumbs waiting for the sun to rise), I left the place where I was staying in Kihei at 6:30 am and headed out on my journey. I had the road to Hana nearly completely to myself the whole way there, beating the travel rush that usually starts around 8 am. Also, this is a day-long event, so plan accordingly. Or spend a few days in Hana itself, because it looks like such a charming little place.
Also, study up beforehand so you know what you want to stop and see. I will pretty much do just about anything for a waterfall, so I mapped out the ones that I wanted to see before I ever went, which was good because it got to the point where I had to tell myself to just drive past them at times because there are so many!
Prepare yourselves for some beautiful pictures from this magical day. I spent half the car ride trying to think of a different word for “magical,” because I want there to be a word that captures the true beauty and holiness of God’s great love on display. But maybe that is the point–language is far too fallible to describe God. But I felt it pouring into me that day in a thousand different shades of green and the pounding of water hitting the shore. I can’t wait to go back someday, because on the drive back I saw about 1000 things that I missed. But this day–this day will be stored up in my heart always.
This (above) is a black sand beach at Waianapanapa State Park.
A casual stroll through a lava tube bringing you to a black sand beach 🙂
This is Hana Bay (above)
The rest of these pictures are from a hike I did about ten miles or so past Hana, as part of the coastal side of Haleakala National Park. Breathtaking waterfalls, strolls through bamboo forests (you’ve never heard anything like them knocking together in the wind). When I reached the waterfall at the end, my jaw literally dropped as I walked toward it. Like, it just fell slack open in awe. And then on the way back I totally slipped as I was walking (it was a muddy trail!), and landed hard on my backside. I walked back to the car with blood dripping down my arm, and was kind of proud of it. A battle wound earned on the greatest of days. Hana, you have my heart.