M and I rented the Mustang for a very specific purpose, to drive it on the road to Hana. We rented the ‘stang for just one day so we woke up early and headed off to the East side of the island. We had our camera along with plenty of snacks and towels.
We had picked up a map of the road which revealed all the “must see” spots. This map was both useful and frustrating.
I (K) have experinced the road to Hana once and I was very little. My parents drove and all I remember was being hidden in the back of the convertible, sitting in the deep seats with my brother trying to peer out the windows. We ended up just getting nausea. I don’t remember much.
Some advice that could have been useful is planning for how crowded the roads can get, how little parking there is at each sight, and why a brand new convertible Mustang is probably not the best car to take on this drive. Our map labeled every stop on the road to Hana, but the actual road did not have any signs explaining what each stop is. Which made it very difficult to hit the points we wanted to see. We attempted the first stop but there was absolutely no room to park on the shoulder of this highway overlooking a cliff, so we continued on.
Since there are SO MANY stops along the road to Hana we did have a lot to explore. We stopped at a few State Waysides (rest stops) and waterfalls. Our first successful stop was the Rainbow Eucalyptus Trees. It is a little patch of trees that have stripes along the trunk in varying pastel colors. We do not know if it is natural or some Hawaiian elf comes along and paints them at night but they were pretty interesting.
Of course along the way we saw some incredible waterfalls, some we were able to capture at stops others we had to drive by. Our favorite falls were the Seven Sacred Pools at the end of the Road.It is actually a national park that you hike down and there are a bunch of small pools enclosed by rocks where you can swim. We walked out to the base of the falls and swam around for a bit. People always look so magical swimming under waterfalls but I’m sorry, that water falling down is to powerful you can easily be pushed off the slippery rocks.
Another cool stop we enjoyed was a Red Sand Beach. This stop was past the small city of Hana. Which really meant that we had to drive on a highway along a cliff that should have been a one way road. This freaked out all tourists with their nice little rental cars but the Hawaiians had no problem plowing through and nearly running us off the road…anyways… we had already seen two black sand beaches so going to a red sand beach seemed interesting. We hiked for about 10 minutes along the edge of a cliff which led us to a little bay with a bunch of very rocky red sand. The sand looked like it was broken clay from the cliff. The ocean waves would ride up the cliff and erode the dirt little by little. While the sand was very rough, the colors of the blue water and red sand were very pretty.
By this point it was about 4:00PM and we wanted to get off the “Road to Hana” before it got dark. We headed back and returned our Mustang.