Hello Friends and Family,

1982 - HI, Maui, Part 3

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Just when you think you cannot endure another hairpin curve or single-lane bridge, the road to Hana straightens out, making the final bit of the trip so much more relaxing. One begins to see signs of civilization then ultimately, homes, a small resort hotel, and a pier. I was surprised to learn that the Hana Pier, built to load sugar cane and cattle onto barges or ships destined for Honolulu, was demolished just a few years ago.

Note that this is the spot where Kaʻahumanu was born. She became the favorite wife of King Kaʻahumanu I (who united the islands into the Hawaiian Kingdom) and eventually became the co-regent with Kamehameha's young son Liholiho upon the death of Kamehameha. Upon Liholiho's death during a trip to England, she became sole regent. Lots of history here.

Hana is a sleepy little town surrounded by cattle ranches. You can see the cattle at the bottom of this photo. But there are also natural wonders like dramatic waterfalls, Seven Pools, and a red sand beach. I did not know about the latter until after my visit. I need to go back and photograph that wonder. (If you can't wait for my eventual return trip, you can Google "red sand beach hana maui images" and you will be richly rewarded.)

Fewer than 800 residents live here. One of its most famous residents was the late George Harrison of the Beatles. His former estate is a few miles north of this spot. The story that I heard was that after the Beatles' breakup, he was seeking solitude — and the Hona area would seem to be ideal. But people being people sought to see the former Beatle and also to cross his property to get to the ocean. Of course, there were legal battles but eventually George won — only to lose his life to cancer a short time later.

This is Hana Bay, the same spot we saw in the first photo above. I could not find a mention of where boats can tie up now that the pier has been removed. They probably have to resort to anchoring just offshore. But at least the residents have relaxing beach access now.

From the old pier, you could see some of the residential housing available. Even then, many were vacation rentals. I just checked Airbnb and they have plenty of listings from $135 to $450 per night.

Because of stories from others who have driven the road to Hana, I definitely did not want to do a day trip. So I booked a couple of nights at the Hotel Hana-Maui — it was quite nice and not very expensive. It is now the Hana-Maui Resort, a Destination by Hyatt Residence and the price has gone through the roof. They are currently offering rooms for $851 per night.

At the time of my visit, it seems very homey — of course, most of the workers were Hana residents — but also the entertainment was provided by the workers and their families. I especially enjoyed the keikis (children) doing their version of the hula with their elders supplying guitar and ukulele accompaniment. Delightful.

The grounds were picturesque and nicely planted — it was like walking in a tropical garden.

I very much enjoyed the variety of tropical vegetation that had been planted — a plumeria tree here, a huge fern nearby, next to a hibiscus plant with palms swaying in the tradewinds just across the way.

This combination of pink plumeria and a coconut palm tree dancing in the trade winds was just perfect.

You can't spend all your time in your hotel room so a bit of exploration is in order. One of the destinations that everyone recalls (both daytrippers and overnight guests) is Hasegawa's General Store. And it is a real general store, much like my uncle's store in Showell, MD — offering food, clothing, hardware, film, and even gasoline.

Just outside of town I found this tiki (AKA ki’i) marking the end of the driveway for the home below. I wish I had one (but my HOA would never approve it).

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com