Sunday, October 26, 2008

Hana holidays

With winter approaching the Devil Dog thinks back to last year about this time when he was in the Hawaiian wonderland of Hana, Maui, as isolated andbeautiful a place as you will find anywhere on the planet.  Hana breathes with an authenticity and remote charm that can only be found in rare and special places.  A lone swimmer (above) challenges the surf at Homua beach, what James Michener called "the most perfect crescent beach on the planet". (Michener is half right - Homua's doppelganger is the beach in front of the Mauna Kea hotel in Kohala on the Big Island).  

One of the lovely parts of Hana is the luxury resort Hotel Hana Maui (owned by the people who brought you Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur) which sits on a wide expanse on open acreage on a bluff over the ocean (as seen below), with its famous Sea Ranch Cottages settling in like a village of bungalows over a surging sea and a black sand beach.
But above allelse Hana is the place at the end of the road, 45 miles of a twisting two lane blacktop with dozens of one lane bridges, stretching to literally where the road ends, just a couple miles down a steep and winding trail that leads up  to Waimoku Falls, the gem of a waterfall at the top of the trail above the Pools of Oheo, widely known as the Seven Sacred Pools.  

In the week ahead we will take a deeper look at Hana, easily one of the most beautiful places on the planet, before heading off to Kona in two weeks time for the Kona Coffee Cupping competition pitting the finest boutique coffee farms from Honaunau and Holualoa against each other to see who will be the greatest Coffee Chateau of the year.  

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