The Kisa and I drove the length of the road to Hana up to the Haleakala National Park. We hadn’t really eaten anything and needed a break from the road. I didn’t realize it until we stopped driving but I had been holding my breath for a good part of the trip. The road does take your breath away.
This Haleakala National Park is just another entrance – on the other side of the entrance for the sunrise. This side offered a larger information house/gift shop and a picnic area with a smattering of tables. When we grabbed one I took the opportunity to update my journal, tick off a few more scavenger hunt items and try the candy apple banana we bought earlier. Question – why can’t we get these bananas in lowly Massachusetts? The same reason why I can’t get an Ono Pop on the mainland. It really was like taking a bite of candy. Yummy. The rest of lunch was uneventful – saw a mongoose go skulking across the grass. To walk off lunch we took the tiniest of hikes (only a measly half mile) and then got back in the car.
My two favorite stops on the road back were the black sand beach and Paia fish market. Hands down.
I am going to sound like a beach snob when I say this but the beaches in Hawaii seem entirely fake. The black sand beach was no exception. I am used to sea shells and glass finely ground up to construct a beach. Black lava as a “beach” was completely wild to me. I couldn’t get over how positively alien it was. The only thing that brought me back to earth was the sea turtle waving at me from the sea, daring me to come chase him.
The other wonderment of the black sand beach was the lava tube. The ocean’s roar was muted from inside the tunnel. I could have squirreled myself away there forever.
Paia Fish Market. Seriously. I had been eating fish tacos for nearly two weeks and was completely blown away by the ones at Paia. The entire experience was one I won’t soon forget. Sadly, I will be comparing every fish taco from now on to the ones I had in Paia. But, let me back up. I don’t remember how we discovered we needed to go to Paia. I only remember that we cut our Hana adventure short so that we could make it back in time for dinner. True to legend the place was packed. We ran into our snuba photographer and he was just as nice as when he had been making money off of us. (As an aside, that’s one of the things I loved about Hawaii – when the people were nice (and everyone we met was nice) they were really nice. Real as in real. I can’t tell you how much I hate fake nice.) So, anyway. I got a lesson in social studies at the Fish Market. Give up your seats so that a Japanese family of eight can all sit together and they will be eternally grateful. After they finished their meal they came, one by one, to thank us for moving. Half the time my mouth was full so I could only bow my head in acknowledgement but it was funny just the same.