Our first day port day! The thing about NCL in Hawaii – they’re all port days! No days at sea! They are able to do this as the Pride of America is a US-flagged ship, so there’s no need to sail to a foreign port. That’s what drew us to this itinerary. Well, that and the fact it’s NCL, so we can eat whenever we want and not dress up evar. That’s a big priority. Wearing khakis or a dress wouldn’t kill me, you say? Nope, not gonna. I am on vacation – do not tell me how to dress. Besides, now that I am practically retired (teaching online), I don’t even own those sort of clothes anymore. Yay!
This would be the longest excursion of our trip – The Road to Hana. It was scheduled at 9 1/2 hours, but I think we made it in about 8-ish. Our driver, Tai, grew up driving the road to Hana, so he was well-accustomed to its quirks. Like its 620 curves and 59 bridges between Kahului and Hana. Or being a two-way, one-lane road for several miles. However, all of that was well worth it. The eastern side of Maui is rainforest, lush and verdant.
On the other side of Haleakala, it’s almost desert-ish.
Some of the tours do not travel completely around Haleakala, but ours did. The halfway point was Hana, and we stopped at a black sand beach for a very good lunch of sandwiches with homemade bread, macaroni salad (but this purist didn’t eat hers), a cookie, and orange wedges. We also had our choice of fruit juices (tasty things like guava or orange-passion fruit) or water.
Soon we were back on the road. This was the portion of one-lane, two-wayness and also when we were glad our driver had grown up knowing this road like the back of his hand. He said his secret was driving it clockwise so that when he met someone, they were the ones on the open side, and he could hug the inside. Tai, you are a smart man.
One of the premier sights from this leg of the journey is the Seven Sacred Pools. Although with all the rain, instead of serene pools, they were almost rapids.
Our final stop of the day was at the winery at Ulupalakua Ranch. We tried three of their wines, two pineapple-based and one raspberry, then we proceeded to the general store for ice cream. I had haupia (coconut), and Ramblin had passion fruit- orange (or something tropical like that). After trying to sway Ramblin and I to move to Maui, Tai dropped us off back at the ship. Many people fear this excursion, but we found it to be excellent.
That evening was spent dining at the Aloha Cafe and resting up for the next day.
Rainbow in Maui
A bay along the Road to Hana
A yard on Maui