In Maui, Hawaii you Must R2H in a Convertible to Enjoy 600 Curves and Countless Waterfalls
What is R2H?
Some will call it a Highway to Heaven, others will say, yes, but it is also a Highway to Hell. In both cases, they are right because driving the road to Hana, Maui, a tiny town of 1200, which has one store and a bank that is opened for 90 min a day, is indeed one experience every one visiting Maui MUST do. Some will say it is the THE thing, others will say, not so much, it is much further down on the list. Regardless, the reason for diverse opinions is not the hundreds of waterfalls seen from the road or experienced by pulling over, nor is it because of the many beaches, nor is it because in a convertible, one loses a sense of time as you traverse through a dense tropical, green, alive rain forest. It is because of the road to Hana.
While 52 miles does not seem very long to most commuters, from Kahului, the drive can take up to four hours. Why? How about its 600 hairpin-like turns and more than 50 single lane bridges and an average speed of not more than 30 mph for most of the time (much of the time it is more like 20 mph). Usually, during daylight hours, everyone seems to have the same idea if they have not driven it, usually, traffic, while not stop and go or bumper to bumper, it is at a snails pace as the car in front of you "ah's and wow's" at the lush rain forest, beaches, waterfalls. Of course, you do it also. Naturally, the downside of a convertible is a shower, and while driving it, you do have 90% change of being dumped on for 5-10 min. then, the sun will appear and after awhile, you will repeat it. Get use to it.
The one lane bridges were built in the early the 1920-30's and on approach it can be a car duel as to who crosses first. The curves and hairpin turns are like driving blind, just stay on your side of the road. Speaking of that, if you or passengers easily get car sickness you MUST take medication to prevent it or suffer immensely, seriously. Prior to starting the trip, fill up the small rental car (gas is about $4.50 a gal. now), eat a meal, go to the restroom, taking music CDs or iPods to listen to. There are no gas stations, a places to go No.2 are an issue (take toilet paper). Bring light snacks and drinks. Leave at sunrise, you want to be back before nightfall because the whole point is to SEE it.
The downside of this sort of drive is, well, the drive. The driver MUST stay focused on the cars and road-very tedious for them. The passengers will get sick or antsy and want to stop at about every damn waterfall to gaze and be enchanted, and because there are so many, it does get redundant-yes, even beauty like this! Sooner than later, you will be looking for a place to pull over to sight see, go potty, puke, swim, hike. Those the the main things you do. Too much of any one of them is, well, overkill. So, it can be a Highway to Heaven or Hell, or both.
Your best bet is to spend the night at the end of the road at Travaasa Hana, a fantastic hotel that occupies 66 seaside acres with 47 cottages ($520 a night) and 23 suites ($325 a night).This cost includes everything and meals, spa etc.
Whatever you do, you will have fond memories of the R2H-guaranteed!