As we continued the pavement left us and we had choppy roads making us so happy we had a Jeep! The landscape started to change, there were some random homes here and there and the lush jungle started to show itself. Little rodents were running across the road, which we realized later were mongooses! Crazy little devils. I tried to catch one...didn't work. We stopped at a small church near the Maui Stables that was too dangerous to walk into but had a fantastic graveyard where Charles Lindbergh is buried--random....but very cool. Haleakala National Park was our first destination. The Jeep was parked and we took on the 1.8 mile hike up to some waterfall we heard was pretty... The hike was marked with signs saying "fatal drop" and we walked through huge trees and grasses, hearing water falling periodically. Then, crossing a bridge we entered the bamboo forest!
It was so dense and beautiful that when inside the canopy, it looked like it was twilight, not 11 am. I can't describe how amazing this was. When the wind went through the bamboo it would creek and bend making it almost a creepy experience. I loved it. When the bamboo started to fade, the water sound got louder and finally we saw it: Makahiku Falls! 180 feet of water :-)Lyle took a shower as I walked around and explored my bum off. It was very peaceful and beautiful, worth the strenuous hike for sure! We went back down the way we came and then went further towards the ocean to the Seven Sacred Pools. This is an area of low water level where the different pools can fill up with water. About half of them were filled at the time, but according to the signs, it can sometimes fill up to be rushing waterfalls and cause deaths...so...I was glad it was empty as it was! The following picture is of one of the pools.
After hiking 4 miles and being quite winded, we drove to Hana (the back way) and ate a wonderful lunch at the ranch. It was quite the experience to be in the middle of a nice restaurant in a small town surrounded by honeymooners... The consensus was that you don't go to Maui on a honeymoon unless all you want to do is talk to your newlywed for the entire time you're there. Most of the couples were silent through lunch, and the man would be sneaking glances at the TV to catch some of the game. It was sad but hilarious. We then drove The Road to Hana backwards to get back home. We weren't going to hike anymore, but the stops that were right off the road we stopped at and looked around. There were waterfalls like the one in the following picture, and also lookout areas with breathtaking views of Maui.
The road was super curvy and crazy, but we had the top off on the Jeep, even in the short rain storm, and it kept the wind blowing so there was no car-sickness happening, thankfully! The only thing I decided this drive was missing were some monkeys swinging from the viney trees. There was a stop, however, that had chickens and kittens running around... It was a lovely adventure, I'm so glad I got to see all of this island!