Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Three reasons spend a night (or two) in Hana

1. Wai-'anapanapa Black Sand Beach

About four miles before you reach Hana, you'll find the beautiful Wai-'anapanapa Black Sand Beach. I loved the colour contrast between the green plants and the black sand and volcanic rock. Wai-'anapanapa means "glistening waters" in Hawaiian.



The ocean swells have formed sea arches and sea caves along the shore.

We walked around and checked out a sea cave (below is a photo from inside the cave) but didn't end up going for a swim as it was early evening and we still hadn't checked in at our B&B. We wanted to get there before dark. Had we had another night in Hana, we would have spent a few hours here.

2. The Pipiwai Trail

Hiking the Pipiwai Trail in the Haleakala National Park was one of the highlights of our Hana trip. This 1.8 mile trail (4 mile return) leads you uphill through bamboo forests, past several pools and waterfalls, a massive banyan tree and finally to the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. It's a popular trail, so if you don't like crowds, start your hike early in the morning.

This is the first of many waterfalls along the trail. Even the sheer face of this cliff was covered in greenery.
The massive banyan tree was pretty impressive.

This was the beginning of the bamboo forest.
The water levels were quite high the day of our hike and we had to cross this fast-flowing river to get to the big waterfall at the end.
This was the view once we navigated the river - the 400-foot Waimoku Falls. This was the only shot we got without water on the camera lens. Once you get closer, the spray from the falls gives you a nice cool shower.
3. The Seven Sacred Pools
Also known as the Ohe'o Gulch, this chain of waterfalls and pools are not actually sacred, nor are there seven of them (there are more). In years past, the former owner of the Hotel Hana Maui (now the Travaasa Hana), gave the Ohe'o Gulch its new name as a marketing ploy to attract tourists.
Just like the Pipiwai Trail, the pools are located within the Haleakala National Park. Josh was super excited to go for a dip in the pools, but when we arrived we were advised that swimming was a no-go due to higher-than-average water levels.
Access to the pools was totally blocked off, so this was as close as we got. Now we just have another reason to come back and visit again.

I loved these crazy tree roots.

Where the pools meet the ocean...
Hana is such an incredible spot, even Oprah Winfrey owns property here. I naïvely hoped we'd bump into the media maven, but as it turns out, she was in Edmonton for her three-city Canada tour at the time.


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