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4.18.2006 - 28 comments 

This is a shot I took of a waterfall on the "Road To Hana" Maui, Hawaii. Early on the road to Hana, you will see that farming is still an important lifestyle for many people on Maui, from the pineapple fields of Haiku, and a little later on, the taro fields of Keanae. Taro, or kalo as it is called in Hawaiian, is a starchy root vegetable that was a staple food for the ancient Hawaiians, and is used to make poi which you will hopefully get to sample at a luau during your visit. Later along the road, you will encounter lush tropical rain forests with an astounding variety of exotic flora, especially guava, papaya, and bread fruit trees, and bird of paradise, ginger and heliconia blossoms.

Watch for the Rainbow Eucalyptus trees. If you enjoy old churches, you may want to drive through Keanae and nearby Wailua to see some of the oldest churches on Maui. You will have seen many beautiful waterfalls by now, both large and small, and fresh water pools that you might want to take a swim in. Just before Hana town, take a short drive down to Wainapanapa State Park. It's just a quick walk in the park to see a wonderful black sand beach, and you can hike through some small caves.

Swimming here is only recommended for the strongest of swimmers, as the waves are often very large and the currents very strong. Next stop is Hana town, a very sleepy little town with the charm of old style Hawaii. You will need to travel another 45 minutes or so down the road to reach Oheo Gulch, better known as the "Seven Sacred Pools", but it's worth it. The pools are located in Haleakala National Park, and you can swim in the pools if it's not raining. If you have the time, there is a great rainforest hike to some upper waterfalls, but it takes 2 hours to reach the farthest and biggest one.