Sunday, November 2, 2008

Hana hideaways

The secret corners of Hana are so myriad as to be redundant.  In all my travels, and all my time in Hawaii I can literally say that I have never seen a more remote, more spectacularly beautiful place than Hana.  Its not just the 3 1/2 hour trip down a twisting two lane road over 55 one lane bridges to get there. That is impressive enough. Its the 17 miles that come afterward, all the way to the end of the road, literally, a mile past Kipahulu.  With the possible exception of Big Sur, which is awesome in manners that cannot even be contemplated, Hana surpases even that, if not principally because Big Sur has millions of visitors a year streaming up highway 1, while Hana is so remote that it has spectacularly lower numbers of visits, even from the hordes that swarm to Maui.  Most of them that do come make the day trip, driving to Hana and returning soon after that same day....what a waste.  Spend a week....take your life off the hook...indulge in the very essence of primal beauty.

It defies true description, so the Devil Dog will illustrate a brief synopsis.  Above is a picture of Makahiku falls, one of a number of waterfalls on the hike to sprawling Waimuku falls several miles up a winding, steep trail over wooden bridges, through bamboo forests, and across bubbling streams.  Early in the trail you hear a raging falls, and move over to a cliffside where you are rewarded with this view, a stunning waterfall tumbling hundreds of feet into one of the legendary 7 Sacred Pools, now known as the Pools of Oheo.  Another half mile up the trail you cross one of a series of bridges overlooking this stunning picture below, a double waterfall, tumbling into two more of the "sacred pools" in a scene that has played out in secret for a millennium, and today is only seen by the intrepid.  But what a priceless view.

The 17 miles from Hana to Kipahulu may be the current location of the Garden of Eden, but the area just east of town is startling for its unspoiled black sand beaches and unsullied acreage of simple homes,many of them off the grid.  Hana is a place where the energy of the human spirit is enveloped with nature in a manner that is truly revelatory.  Seeking its refuge is as close as the will to go there.

1 comment:

Kent E St. John said...

Fantastic Photos! Will call soon