Today was our first full day on the ship, and we were scheduled for our first excursion.
Our ship docked at Maui early this morning. We needed to get up early and be ready for the excursion by 8 AM. We went to the buffet for breakfast. Once again, the buffet had lots of choices. I had waffles with a type of bananas foster topping. Cheryl had scrambled eggs with sausage.
Breakfast done, we got ready and headed for the meeting point on the dock. The excursion was called “The Road to Hana”. We met our tour guide and the six other people on the tour and boarded the van. As we got going our tour guide explained that the point of the tour was the road to Hana, and not Hana itself. The road is 35 miles long and would take us about two and a half hours to drive. The road twisted and turned with over 150 turns including many hairpin turns. We encountered many single lane bridges and many places where the road shrunk to one lane.
Along the way, we saw many different types of trees, plants and flowers. We saw many waterfalls and drove through a rain forest. Our guide told us about many of the plant types, slowed for us to take pictures, and told us about much of the area’s history. We stopped once to walk to a triple waterfall. There were a number of people there, including some folks diving from the top of the falls into the pool at the bottom. Not my cup of tea! Another time we stopped to see a peninsula that had been created by lava flows. It was quite a sight, with waves breaking along the rough coastline. Finally, we made it to Hana. The town itself is a small town (pop. 800) which is quite isolated. Our guide was right. The big part of this tour was the journey itself.
We stopped for lunch in a park in Hana. Our guide provided a lunch of chicken or fish wraps, pasta salad and fresh pineapple for dessert. It was quite good. Now it was time for the return trip. Before leaving the Hana area, we made two more stops. We stopped at a nursery and went on a tour of the facility. They specialized in exotic tropical plants. The woman at the nursery showed us a plant with leaves that felt like the surface of a peach. We saw a number of types of orchids, including one type that smelled like chocolate. The plants were amazing. Unfortunately, my description doesn’t do it justice. The nursery is called Hana Tropicals and can be found online.
Next we drove a few miles and made a stop at a black “sand” beach. This is a beach that has sand made of lava and is actually small stones that look like a coarse sand. We were able to walk down to the beach and swim if we desired. Cheryl and I waded, but that was it. The stones were hot and rough on the feet.
After an hour, we started the return drive. Unfortunately, there is only one road into and out of Hana. The return trip was a quiet drive. We returned to the ship at about 4 PM or so. We decided to head for the pool. It was not very crowded, and we were able to sit in the pool for a while. Later we sat by the pool sipping on drinks from the nearby bar. The Mango Meltdown is really good! We finally got the hang of having all our drinks and gratuities taken care of. For dinner we went to a place called The Liberty. The restaurant was a step above many of the other restaurants and is styled in an early patriotic American theme. I had pork roast and Cheryl had a steak. Quite good.
Dinner finished, we decided to take in a show of Broadway selections. There were 5 singers alternating on stage with songs from various shows. They were quite good, but we wished they had said what show each of these songs came from. There were a few that Cheryl and I didn’t recognize. After the 45 minute show, we decided it was time to go back to the room and eventually turn in for the night.
Tomorrow: A trip on a submarine!