Kerrie & I hired a mustang, as you do when visiting Maui. It sounded like a cop car on the hit TV show Cops. Every time we took off I would happily ‘boot it’.
We started most of our day trips from our hotel in Lahaina , taking the coastal road with the impressive Mount Haleakalā as our backdrop. One thing I do remember, that volcano was huge and it wasn’t like any ordinary mountain. It gradually rose from the ground up, it wasn’t steep it looked like you could easily walk it, hardly any gradient.
It’s summit lives above the clouds, its mars like terrain looks alien with deep dark red colours and plants that only exist at this height, sprouted from volcanic soil.
The air is thin, at 10,000 ft. I distinctly remember having shortness of breath for the first 30 mins we were up there. Now, I did say the mountain looked like your could easily walk it, but once you get closer, the road to the summit is very very steep. So steep, that coming down you would be lucky not to burn your brakes out, so drop to a lower gear as much as you can.
One of the most exciting, terrifying and stupid things we did was the Road to Hana. This road is popular with tourists, it winds its way around the ocean, with tropical rainforests and waterfalls. In a lot of places, it only has room for one car as well. Oncoming traffic, is a challenge to say the least, Kerrie wasn’t a fan of the Monster Truck size Ute’s coming our way.
We made our way through the impressive drive to Hana after various stops and 2000 photographs of us and stopped at the beach for a nice pre-packed lunch. Pre-packed as in we went to a supermarket and tried to find the healthiest thing we could. I recall my sandwich had Mayonnaise, so I only had half a sandwich.
Now, usually tourists will turn around and head back home, but we decided to push on. We pushed on so much we found ourselves going from bitumen to dirt. We then found ourselves pretty lonely, no other cars and the rainforest slowly turned to rocky cliffs and no barriers. The ocean continued to hug the edge of the island as we drove but a few metres from certain death.
I might mention that it wasn’t until after this drive did we find out you are not allowed to take hire cars on this road. I guess the rattling of the suspension should have alerted that to us earlier. The car was filthy, but the views were too good to turn around. What the hell, i thought. We are on a holiday we are on an adventure and we are seeing things not many people had the chance to see!
We continued on.
We passed small little local swimming spots, crevices in the mountain that flood water would rage through and even a little church right on the ocean. We found ourselves behind Mount Haleakalā, places where ancient lava would have flowed to extended the island itself.
Now, as we made our way back to a proper road, yes the suspension was still rattling and yes the car looked like it went off road, but it was worth it.
We had a few more days at Maui to let the suspension work itself out and the rain wash the evidence away, which it did.
We left the car at the airport before heading to the Big Island, I assume the Mustang is still going strong, and so are we.