The second half of the road to Hana is even more exiting than the first. As you approach the town of Wailua, you will pass a few fruit stands offering homemade goodies and fruit. If you are hungry for a snack, this is the place to stop.
The first stop on this second half of this journey is Our Lady of Fatima Shrine. It is a little blue and white chapel built in the 1860’s. This church has an existing congregation, but they no longer worship in this chapel.
Another site not to be missed is the Ka’eleku caverns. You can actually go into underground caves that were formed by lava eruptions from ancient volcanoes. You will probably need a four wheel drive vehicle to access this one. The Kahanu garden is a botanical garden located on the road to Hana. It is a National Conservation effort. The next stop just past the botanical garden is the sacred pools. They offer a natural water park of sorts. The view is spectacular and unlike anything that I have ever seen.
Near the top of the mountain, almost to Hana is Wai’anapanapa State Park. The park is located on an impressive black sand beach and has two caves that you can walk through. They actually lead to the ocean, so be careful. I have heard that there is an opportunity here for good snorkeling, but I will never find out. There are several signs warning would be swimmers of unusually large man of wars, strong rip currents and sharks. Hmm, maybe I’ll sit this one out!
Now get back in your car, for the next stop, Hana. Before I mentioned that Hana is not really all that spectacular considering all the gorgeous stops along the way, however, it is worth your time to stop in this sleepy little town. There are a couple of little café’s that make for a good place to have lunch. The beach is complete with a pier that you should at least take a quick stroll on. Hana even has an airport. You can either stay in Hana at one of the few lodging options, or if you are like most people it is time to head back to the resort area.
Most people will drive back the way they came, perhaps stopping at a few of the places that they might have missed along the way. Or, if you are among the brave few, you may continue onward. This will require a four wheel drive vehicle. You will drive along a dirt path that could be called a road, but it’s extremely winding and curvy. It goes along the top of a cliff with no guard rails to protect motorists from falling hundreds of feet into the ocean below.
There are a few signs instructing drivers to honk in order to alert oncoming traffic, because this is only a one lane road. It is a little bit scary, but thrilling at the same time and the view is unbelievable. This isolated road complete with ocean views on one side and cow pastures on the other only lasts for a few miles, and then it’s back to civilization.
You can get a detailed map complete with a C.D. from your concierge or even the gas station. The map will give specific mile marker indications, allowing even the most lost prone driver to find these breathtaking sights.