Of all seasons, fall in Hawaii is one of my favorite times, in particular fall in Hana, on the island of Maui. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons; like it’s quieter since most of the locals and tourists alike have the kids back in school already so there are less people and traffic, and if you’re lucky, it’s also noticeably cooler because it should be a bit less brutal than the absolutely scorching hot weather they typically get during August. Oh yes, and happily, finally, the rain begins. The rain brings a promise of my favorite things, reduced humidity so that I can actually get up out of a chair without my shorts sticking to me and… waterfalls.
How such a majestic, mesmerizing thing as the waterfall was created I’ll never know, but I can get lost in them. I love to swim in the falls and picnic beside them. I love to photograph them and also just gaze and listen. If I could paint or draw then I’d have found my muse. I’m a true falls fan, but I’m lazy. I say this because I’m not a falls geek, just a fan. I don’t know every waterfall on any one island much less all of them or even pretend to, but that doesn’t dampen my enthusiasm.
One of our favorite things we did while on Maui, or maybe ever actually, was to take Valley Isle Excursions’ Tour to Hana, which was an absolutely great investment of vacation time and money. We saw and did more in one day than we did the entire rest of the week, but it was a really relaxing way of doing it because we didn’t have to drive.
Frankly, we were concerned about doing the two hour plus drive in our car due to the treacherousness of the trip. Some of the rental car companies ask you not to go there because it’s dangerous driving to get to Hana with some 600+ turns, (and no, that’s not a typo), falling rocks and other debris, single lane bridges, no barriers on most of the sketchy parts and roads so skinny and full of hairpin turns, it makes mountainous, touristy European village driving seem trivial. Many a driver has gone over the side, some at fortunate spots that weren’t too steep, some not.
Our biggest problem was that my husband gets motion sick if he’s not driving. We told this to Valley Isle and they said not to worry. We took their advice, being on vacation and all, and didn’t worry. I must say, the driver was excellent in every way. My husband didn’t even feel queasy once, which is a true accomplishment. Not only was the experience safe, but our driver, Dave, was incredibly knowledgeable on the history, culture and entertainment on Maui, beyond what I ever could have hoped for on a tour. He let us ask all kinds of questions during the trip, and not just questions about Hana but anywhere on Maui. We concentrated especially on the falls and little known beaches, most having names that I cannot pronounce, which are tucked away on Maui. Dave was obviously well trained in local customs and Huna lore. He kindly imparted to us some little-known, amazing tips that we tried out later on during the week, on places to go and how to get there all over the island and we weren’t disappointed.
While on the Tour to Hana, Dave showed us several waterfalls, but the highlight of the whole trip, at least for myself, were the Seven Sacred Pools of O’heo Gulch, and actually getting to go swimming in them. We also went to a picturesque black sand beach at Wainapanapa which was like something out of a movie set as well. I lingered at the Charles A. Lindbergh Memorial just watching veterans remove their hats out of respect. It was a relaxing, magical day.
The whole experience was top notch from the food, the van, the driver, the sights and explorational spots, the people we were with on the trip, not to mention the private port-a-potty stops Valley Isle has just for their guests and lastly the perfect sunset at Ho’okipa Park. I see why everyone recommended Valley Isle’s Maui Sightseeing Tour over all of the rest. The whole experience was one of the best I’ve ever had on vacation, maybe it was “the best”, actually. I can say one thing for sure. We survived the road to Hana, and in style.