We took Valley Isle Excursions, and it was fabulous. Unfortunately, one stop was cut off the trip, which I found out the day before when I'd called to confirm, and that stop was the winery. I haven't been drinking alcohol since like ever, but for some reason, on this particular trip, I was downing some kind of spirit or malted beverage once a day, so the stop on the winery was a huge downer. (When I got home, after a few emails, the company sent me a small refund for part of the trip--that's good service!). Apparently, the winery put the kybosh on all tours coming through because there were too many people not buying wine. Valley Isle has smaller tours--12 in the van--but other tours have like 30 and that's a lot.
Even so, the Road to Hana was everything I dreamed it would be. It rained quite a bit that day, but Tim the Tour Guide kept spinning it--more rain means better waterfalls. He was so right. Water was gushing everywhere, and it was amazing and pretty. Ah, nature. Through the window of a comfy van. That's exactly my kind of being one with the world. I'm getting ahead of myself.
We had a continental breakfast at a golf course. Crescents and muffins with butter and jelly. Pineapple and cantaloupe. Coffee and tea. And pog. Of course, pog. It's the sweetest most delicious juice ever because it's three in one: passion fruit, orange, and grapefruit (or is it grape?). Tim the Tour Guide had warned if we are prone to motion sickness, steer clear of the pineapple because it tends to spike something inside along the windy roads. I can't eat pineapple anyway as it causes sharp stabbing pains in my stomach about an hour after I eat it, so I was good with skipping out on it. This was the breakfast in which I discovered lilikoi jelly. Oh my. It's the best jelly ever.
I'm realizing that I basically ate and drank my way through my vacation. Seriously, was that the only thing I did?
|I took a picture so I could find it later on and buy it somewhere, which is exactly what I did.|
The entire tour was basically Tim the Tour Guide pointing out plants and animals and pig hunter trucks (those exist) and then his stopping the van along the side of a narrow road and saying to us something like, "Okay, so carefully get out of the van, don't get hit by a car, walk along the side, climb up onto that mound of dirt, and look down." We would do just that and a gorgeous waterfall would be there. Every single time. We went over one lane bridges and saw water rushing below. We went on unpaved roads (that felt like the roads in New York after the winter--pish posh on their unpaved) and made other vehicles back up so we could go through. The whole time, Tim the Tour Guide was explaining Hawaiian culture and history.
And yes, it rained, especially on our first stop when I jumped out to get some banana bread.
Wow, it really was all about food.
|This is a type of tree that has roots that grow outside.|
|It was raining on us in this picture, but we're professionals, so you can't tell. Except for my matted hair.|
|Some other kind of tree--I learned so much and can't remember any of it.|
|Raining and cold|
|Of course I ate some right away.|
|Rainy but that's what the flash is for|
|Don't know what this is but it was on the road to Hana.|
|There's one of those bridges.|
|He's looking at the button to press instead of at the camera lens.|
|It's rocks first.|
|This is a cave.|
|This is my husband's idea of a good picture of me. Thanks, Edwar.|
|All that climbing on slippery rocks led to this.|
|One lane bridge|
|Clearing up. This is my favorite picture.|
|Look at that painted trunk that's not really painted!|
|Lunch! Eddie ate it!|
|The sun came out and I took off my cardigan!|
Getting down to the pools was quite a trek in itself, and when we got there, it was so windy as all heck and I thought I was going to fall over on the rocks. Then there were other people in bikinis and board shorts, swimming and jumping in the water. We are not like other people at all.
|Looking down on Oheo|
|I said this was a pretty tree. Eddie said it looks broken.|
|Terrified in the wind|
|That's the bridge from where I took that top pic.|
|You can see the comfort potties under this tree.|
|Cattle as we drove through ranch land. We also saw wild goats.|
On the long road home, we saw wind turbines that we'd seen far away from below up close.
We thought we were going to be dead to the world exhausted when we would return from the Road to Hana, but surprisingly, we were actually pretty awake still. Sidenote: whenever we came back to the resort and someone was in the entrance booth, we would show our parking pass, and they would say, Welcome home. Awww. That was nice.
We walked around the resort. We walked to the shopping center next door where our favorite general store was, and we went to CJ's Restaurant Diner for dinner, and it had so much hope and promise, but, well, it sucked really really bad. Poor service and yucky food. To make up for it and end Road To Hana Day on a high note, we went to our favorite general store and I bought some guava gummies and ate some.
|Cool and funky decor do not make food taste good.|
|Looks good, tastes gross|
|Because it's all about the food|
|Fashionista. Don't be jealous.|
Eddie thinks this joke is hysterical.