Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Road to Hana

As I basked in the beauty of my tropical surroundings absorbing my daily requirement of vitamin D from the sun, I was reminded of a trip I took to Hana a few years back on the island of Maui. The road to Hana is an incredible day trip full of waterfalls, underwater caves, trails, and black sand beaches - definitely not to be missed for those visiting the island. It is recommended that you start your trip with a visit to a little convenience store on the corner to purchase a self-guided tour on CD, load up on snacks and drinks, and jump in your car. If you miss that step you might miss the whole point of the Road to Hana.

It is a delightful day of frequent stops to enjoy scenic event after event - some involve climbing, traipsing along a trail, jumping in an underwater cave or just standing by a rushing waterfall enjoying the roar and the mist. Some adventures are not for the light of heart - many stand on the shore and watch the crazier ones dare the waves to crash over them. Once you reach Hana you are cautioned to turn around and head back in the opposite direction of how you arrived for the road ahead can be lonely and treacherous. The car rental companies warn you they will not rescue you if you decide to ignore the warnings and continue your way around the back side of the island.
"Ah - let's do it" - my husband smiled. And we did. Granted - some turns were a little "hairy" - with seemingly nothing between us and the ocean but the air. Once in a while we saw another car but they were very few and very far between. A few curves made me hold my breath but he was very careful and we were never in any real danger. My concern was reaching civilization again before the sun set so we could see where we were going as those mountain turns were no place to be in the dark. We did see a winery hidden in the hills and vowed to return the next day to check it out (from the opposite direction). We made it home to our hotel safe and sound.

"Hana?" a friend exclaimed as I detailed our trip on our return. "I drove to Hana and it wasn't all that spectacular - what is all the hoopla about?" he asked. "Did you stop at the little party store and pick up the CD", Did you stop along the way to see the waterfalls, the black sand beach, the underwater caves, the forest trails?" I asked. All his answers were "no". "Then you missed it all" I lamented. "It is not Hana itself, but the Road to Hana that is so heavenly".

In yoga, students are always asking "When willI be flexible", "How long will it take for me to be able to do that pose?", ... I would respond that "we have all the time in the world - our whole life. Enjoy the journey. It is all practice - yoga develops patience my dears - enjoy the road (to Hana)."