On our 5th day in Maui Jim & I booked a “Road to Hāna” tour for everyone with Valley Isle Excursions.  Valley Isle was highly recommended by the Pioneer Inn’s concierge.  Their website says “The 600+ turns, 50+ one-lane bridges, and occasional rock or mudslides creates enormous stress and often exhaustion when you don’t know the territory…  Letting someone else take care of the driving is the best way to see the famous Road to Hāna and the surrounding area without the added stress of driving it yourself.”  Jim & I agreed.  Especially since “driving the backside of Haleakala, past Oheo Gulch, goes against most Maui rental car agreements”.  The tour van was small – 12 passengers – which made it a nice, relaxing experience.  Our tour guide Damien “the local boy” made the tour educational, funny, and fun!

Here’s a google map of the Road to Hāna, starting and ending at the Pioneer Inn.  The area I highlighted in red is where rental cars are not allowed to go:

As we headed away from Lahaina, I could see Haleakalā in the distance, and could see the observatory glinting on top – so cool we were up there:

       

I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.  I took > 300 but managed to narrow it down to just under 40 for this post:

        

       

I forgot we saw a Pacific Golden Plover – we also saw those on Oahu in 2016:

       

Pop & Susie, and Pop & Auntie at one of the stops:

       

Hawaii always has beautiful waves:

       

And waterfalls:

       

And very strange plants, and beautiful natural pools:

       

And beautiful flowers:

       

At one stop Damien told us to watch the cat because during one of his tours the cat hopped on board without his knowing, and he had to drive it all the way back to the farm where it lives after the tour:

       

It was unnerving to look out the windows sometimes and look straight down a cliff – much of the Road to Hāna is one lane [cars take turns]:

       

The far side of Maui is like an alien landscape:

       

There were lots of wild goats but I didn’t get any on film.  One of the bad parts of taking a tour van is you can’t always stop where you want to!  But it was a gorgeous tour of a gorgeous island:

       

       

       

Once we got back to Lahaina we ate dinner and then Pop, Susie, Auntie, and I enjoyed snacks and live music at the Pioneer Inn [hubby was tired so headed up to bed – can’t say I blame him, it was a long day]:

       

Pop & Susie – always adorable:

       

It was great to spend time with them & Auntie:

Another beautiful sunset across the street, looking out over Lanai:

       

Stay tuned for Part 6!

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4 Comments

  1. We only got halfway to Hana because we got distracted at another big botanical garden! (So we must go back!) We wouldn’t have been able to take our rental car on the “forbidden” portion, anyway. Thanks for the peek into the other side. That vine with the turquoise bracts is otherworldly!

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