Sun Dec 27th
Today was Hana Highway day. It was also the day that I discovered the ‘panorama’ function on my phone 🙂 There wasn’t any obvious and decent walking track near our lodging, or none that we could find at least, and so our first outing for the day was meeting up with Ali and Tom at the communal table in our lodging’s courtyard at 7.30 for breakfast.
We were a bit apprehensive about the drive to Hana given our large car and some of the reviews we had read. We set out by 8 am with the primary goal of just to return home alive.
The Hana Highway from Paia is a popular tourist route of over 33 miles through jungle valleys, across waterfalls and along cliffs with loads of hairpin bends and 54 single lane bridges.
We purchased a CD guide to help us navigate the route making all of our stops on the outward leg to Hana. We made it to Hana by 2 pm, a journey of around 6 hours, and had lunch at the Hana Ranch Steakhouse. The return journey was much quicker without the stops and took us just over 2 hours so that we were home by about 5.30pm.
I’m very glad we decided to ‘do the Hana Highway’ but I have to admit I was a bit underwhelmed with the sights. I had been expecting lengthy views of spectacular coastline but this proved not to be the case as the highway runs a fair way inland for much of the route. So much so that Mark chimed in with his usual critique of ‘it’s not as good as the Great Ocean Road’ and I have to admit that he might be correct in this score! Anyway, it was certainly a fun filled and eventful day that fully engaged the four of us, especially as we bantered (read: argued!) about which mile marker and thus CD track we were up to, and so was well worthwhile from that perspective.
We had hoped to secure a table at the very popular Flatbread Company pizza joint but the queue was just too long. Even after putting our name down on a wait list! Thus, we headed back to Charley’s again as they also served up pizzas. The four of us shared three small pizzas and they were some of the best I’d had in a very long time. Charley’s is well worth a visit if you’re ever in Paia!!
We had a big day planned for the next day with a trip up to the Haleakala Crater before heading to our next lodging at Kaanapali and do we turned in by about 8.30pm.