My last post left off with us about to leave Oheo Gulch. Now there were exactly two ways to go once we left…back the way we had come, or we could continue around the southern part of the island. The place that we wanted to go for dinner* was toward the southern end, so we headed that way. About 15 minutes in to our drive Keith said something about “Don’t you need 4 wheel drive to go on this road?” And I said, “Of course not!” And then we drove a little further. And the road turned to dirt.
And then we spent the next 2 hours twisting and turning along cliffs.
The road appeared to be about 1.5 car widths. And some portions had vertical cliffs on either side. Once or twice a gigantic truck/tour bus came at us from the other side and we had to inch closer and closer to the wall in order for them to be able to pass. Luckily we were inching to the right, not the left.
These pictures don’t do justice to the grade of the road. It seriously felt like we were on a roller coaster. You’d come to the top of a hill and just be looking straight down. I have re-occuring nightmares about out of control vehicles and this road was pretty much those nightmares come to life.
Keith was a little bit unhappy with me. I never thought I had to research the ROAD we were taking, but apparently I should have. Along with the chance of plunging to your death…we had zero cellphone service. A few cars passed us…but if anything had happened, we would have been waiting quite a while for help. But man…it sure was beautiful.
I desperately wanted to take my real camera out, and desperately wanted to ask him to stop, but I knew the first would annoy him and the second was definitely not going to happen, so I just kept snapping away on the iPhone telling him, “Maybe you’ll want to look at these later?”
Finally, we hit paved road and after another ~45 minutes of that we hit civilization. We had some great pizza at Serpico’s and then went back to the house and crashed.
Oh, I forgot! On Friday, between the beach and the basketball game we went to Ocean Vodka. We had a few brewery/winery tours planned so we threw in this distillery tour. I think it was $5 per person and we had the entire tour to ourselves. We got there a little early, so we walked around a bit, enjoying the grounds and the wildlife.
Ocean vodka is 100% organic. So instead of using pesticides on their sugar cane…they use chickens! We had a very nice ~30 minute tour and got to see the sugar cane, see all kinds of machines, see the bottling process. It was really interesting and informative and at the end, we got to taste some vodka! Hooray! One of the coolest things was they have a “martini garden” that has all sorts of different herbs that you are welcome to cut and take home to mix with your vodka. Such a great idea!
And then we come to Sunday. Time to leave upcountry Maui. But one more stop!
Well, two more. First, one of the coolest things, all over the island, people have fruit stands at the end of their driveways. I can’t believe I didn’t take a picture of one, but they range from simple to elaborate. And they are all unmanned. They just have a little bucket for you to put your money in. The house next to the one we were staying in had such a stand and we spent $5 (because I had no change) and loaded up on fruit. Starfruit for 25 cents! Passionfruit for 50 cents! Breadfruit for $1.00! (I thought breadfruit was something completely different. Apparently the way to eat it is to cook it. We tried to eat it raw. It was like a sticky potato.)
So, all loaded up with fruit, we headed to Maui’s Winery at Ulupalakua Ranch. We had actually passed it on our way back from the Road From Hana the previous day, but it was late and they only do tours at 10:30 and 1:30 so we traveled back.
The tour and tasting were completely free and there were probably 20 people taking the tour. It was very neat hearing all about the ranch and how they starting making wine. Apparently they had some trouble with grapes at first so they started making pineapple wine just for something to do and now it makes up 80% of their production. And it was delicious! I’ve never been on a winery tour and it was really interesting, though we didn’t actually see any grapes. Or pineapple. I especially liked how the explanation of how they bottle the sparkling wine and there was even a neat demonstration.
The grounds were beautiful and they had all these enormous and crazy trees. One of the first owners of the ranch had collected trees from all over the world.
This was my favorite. It looked like something from Dr. Suess.
A camphor tree.
I can’t remember the name of that one, but it was from New Zealand.
Then we left and were off to Kaanapali Beach.
That little squiggle should be on Hawaii’s state flag. They are everywhere.
*HAH, except the road it was on and the road we were on never connected so we never got to go because it would have been another 2 hours of driving to get there. Ugggghhh.