“Did you do the Road to Hana?!”
“You have to do the Road to Hana!”
“The Road to Hana is awesome!”
“Hana, Hana, Hana!”
Of all the things M and I did in Maui, The Road to Hana was definitely one of the more popular. A breathtaking, scenic, sometimes harrowing road, the winding 52-mile drive could take up to 4 hours. That is if you’re not stopping at the numerous lookout points, waterfalls, fruit stands, etc. along the way. Throw in a few floral and cross memorials of those who weren’t lucky navigating the turns and mountain edges, and it’s a full-on adventure baby!
Most concerned with the twistiest section of the road, which M read was 20 miles long, he reset the odometer once we hit the curves and forward we drove, counting each mile marker!
Now, when M gets a goal, destination, end point in his head that’s it, eyes on the prize. Like, when we were in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris a few years ago, suddenly he was on the Amazing Race, speed-reading the map, divvying up each section of the museum, mentally noting how much time it would take to see everything. Rush to this painting, “Aha, lovely,” scurry to that sculpture, “Great, done!” quick to this room, “Bing, bang, boom, cocktails!” I finally told him to sit down and wait for me, because I just don’t do museums like that.
But with Hana, knowing he had 20 miles of sketchy driving helped prepare him for the twists ahead, and since I wasn’t the one driving, however M wanted to approach the journey was fine by me.
So there we were. What a drive! Spectacular! Up and down mountain edges, weather changing, ears popping, ocean blues far and wide, green rain forests, just stunning. We decided to keep driving to Hana without stopping, and then do any lookout points on our way back. But as each mile marker passed, we noticed that the dodgy twists never ended and neither did the road. It went on and on, mile after unending, ass-numbing, urine-accumulating mile. Though the postcard views continued, we just wanted to get there already. And, of course, because the information M had about the 20 miles was clearly bullshit, he was getting irritable. With every hopeful approach to anything resembling a town, we inevitably continued on the same twisty assholey road. Suddenly our “Mahalos,” and neighbourly hang-loose hand gestures disintegrated into bitter scowls and “Where the fuck is this place!”
Finally, we arrived at Hana! Ahhhhh… angels sing! There was a beach and a snack place and some people. We got out of our car and the first thing I heard was a woman swearing at the top of her lungs. I have to say, up until that moment, I hadn’t heard anyone swear in glorious Maui, or yell, for that matter, so I was a tad alarmed. I turned to look at who was yelling, and there were a few people gathered under a brick gazebo type thing, with, what looked like, stray dogs and puppies milling about. I walked towards the snack place and passed a plastic port-a-potty. M opened the door to investigate and reluctantly stepped in. I continued walking and saw that the men’s washroom was out of order (hence the potties), but luckily the ladies’ was open. The entire time I was thinking, Hmm… Hana. Not exactly what I was expecting. I met M outside and we walked towards the beach. When I say beach, I mean water and a patch of sand and one middle-aged couple. They looked like they were thinking the same thing as us, This is it? But they were determined, damn it, and they lay their hotel towel on the patch of sand that no one else was on and took a dip in the water.
M and I couldn’t eat our gas station sandwiches fast enough.
“If we leave now, we can make happy hour,” he said.
On our way back to the car we passed a parked black pick-up truck surrounded by a few guys – a very athletic looking guy in a wheelchair, wearing black jeans, no shirt, leather vest; and two other guys not in wheelchairs, wearing black jeans, no shirts, leather vests. One of them may have been missing teeth, and I may have heard a banjo playing. We got in the car and locked the doors.
Later at the resort, I Googled Hana and, as I suspected, we hadn’t driven far enough. We’d made it to “Deliverance,” but not quite to Hana.