Day 2 – Sunday

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The wake up call came at 0300 this morning, which was just painful. We got up, got showered, and were out in the lobby waiting for the shuttle by 0400. We were good and early for our flight so we had plenty of time to both be randomly selected for further security screening before getting to our gate. When we got to the gate, there were some very nice locals waiting to fly with us who gave us some advice on “must see” places around the islands. When we boarded the plane, it was still dark. We got to see the sunrise from the plane while flying over the islands. It was something to see. It took us about 30 minutes to get from Oahu to Maui. We landed, got our rental car, and started our journey. We decided to take it easy today and just drive the Road to Hana after a good breakfast at IHOP. The whole loop around the east side of the island was about 130 miles and took us 12 hours to drive. We got started around 0830. The scenery was very pretty and we took the time to stop and hike a couple of waterfalls. The first one we hiked was part of the Twin Falls area. We got all the way to the end of the trail and found that you had to walk through thigh-high water for the last 50 feet or so in order to see the falls. We gladly took off our tennis shoes and socks and began wading to the falls. It was at that point that we learned that we should do all of the rest of our hiking in water sandals. The water was nice but the little rocks were pretty rough on my poor sensitive feet. It took me a little while to get over all of the rocks but it was well worth it. There we stood, thigh deep in a clear blue pool of water 20 feet from the foot of a beautiful waterfall and I knew this was Hawaii. It was terrific. As we continued our drive, we passed by a grove of trees that looked like they had been painted with bright greens, reds, and oranges. Not sure what kind of tree they were, Randal said they looked like the Eucalyptus trees in Australia but those weren’t colorful. We’ll have to look it up later. We accidentally passed the pull-off to get out and take pics of them but we figured we’d see more down the road. We figured wrong. There were a few trees in one spot and then another mile up the road there was that grove of them and that was it. We’ll probably come back tomorrow so that we can get pics of them. Luckily, they weren’t far into the drive. The drive itself was nice and leisurely, with speed limits ranging from 10mph to 20 mph there was no need to rush. The curves were sharp, the lanes were narrow – signs said one lane bridge ahead but since the road was pretty much one lane anyhow, who could tell the difference. Luckily, it seems that most people travel the road in the same direction, heading east out of Kahalui instead of south – so there weren’t many cars passing the opposite direction but when we did meet up with one, one of us usually had to pull to the side and let the other pass. It was remarkable to see that so much of the island is just uninhabited. Miles and miles of great coastal property and not a house to overlook it. You would never see that in the mainland states. And the few houses there are out there were really nothing more than shacks. It was interesting. Also interesting was how quickly and drastically the land changed. On the north and east side of the island it was all rainforesty. On the Southeast side, all pastureland (Hawaiian language lesson: horse=lio, cow=pipi, goat=kao, duck=kaka {ain’t that the truth}). On the central south side, nothing but desert (well, desert with a coastline). We stopped for a short hike at the Oheo Gulch and at Charles Lindberg’s grave (just for you, Bob). We also stopped to take some pics of a very pretty window rock in the water on the south side. We made it back around just in time to see the sun setting as we drove around the volcano. It was a great idea to spend our first day doing a nice relaxing drive. Randal also got the chance to start using his birthday gift and has decided he’s never going anywhere without it again. I’ve got to admit, it’s pretty darned useful. We had no idea where the bike place is for tomorrow morning so we called and got an address, entered the address into the GPS, and it told us how far we were, approximately how long till we got there and then beeped before each turn. We found the place with no problems even though we had to go through some little neighborhoods to get there. And since it beeped and told us when to turn, it didn’t matter that we couldn’t even see street signs on some of the streets. After we found the bike place, we entered Wal-Mart into it just to see if it would find one. It came up with a list to pick from and then guided us there. Too cool. Anyhow, after all of that driving, we ended up in bed by about 1930.