After hundreds of twists and turns, stopping, honking, and starting at bridges, and a pit stop or two for very large snow cones, we arrived at Hana. At around five o’clock. At this beach. With no one in sight. Except a creepy man in the men’s restroom with a video camera.
So Noah gathered some black sand from the beach and placed it in his water bottle, where he had plans to combine the white sand from another beach and make a nice memory for himself.
Unfortunately, it was too late for us to explore the town of Hana. So we now had two choices to make: Continue on Highway 36, which would take us full circle back towards the airport and then onward to our hotel. Or we could turn back and go home the way we came. Yes, I did just say that. Go home the way we came. The way of 56 bridges and 600 turns. The mere mention of that experience made my husband turn ghostly white and set off a loud, grumpy rumble of passenger voices.
But since the road to continue on full circle was a partial DIRT ROAD and because we were in a Kia Sedona family van with a less-than-full tank of gas and because it was almost dusk, we decided to get a local’s opinion on what to do. We passed by a gentleman who looked to be in his late 60’s, with long, grey hair, all tanned and wisely wrinkled, and told him our choices and asked him his opinion on what he would do.
His response? Well, see for yourself:
“Hmmmm. Well, I never taken that road before at night. And you just got a regular ole’ van here. It’s a dirt road, you know. It’s pretty rough too. You know, it’s farther going full circle than going back the way you came. Hmmmm. I’m kinda thinkin’ you should go back the way you came.”
I start to sweat. Mike begins to shift uncomfortably in the driver’s seat. He shoots me an “Oh, shit” glance. And then the local’s last words were as follows:
“And, you know, you’s got ladies in the car and all. Well, I wouldn’t do it. I’d go back the way you came.”
Blink. Blink. Blink. Blink. Cricket, Cricket. Cricket, Cricket. Everyone in the van shoots silent glances at each other.
And right about now I’m picturing the last horror flick I saw where the husbands and wives all die one by one as they are chased in the dark on foot by some crazed lunatic on a deserted stretch of highway.
So what did we do? We took the 56-bridges and the 600-turns way home. The way-we-came way home. And, you know, it wasn’t that bad. Since it was a road once traveled, it went by swiftly, I’d say. And we made it fun. We saw things we didn’t see on the way down, like skinny, stray dogs, wild boar, and huge bundles of bananas. Noah became a little car sick. Thankfully I had a gift shop bag in the car.
And during this adventure on the Road to Hana, Mando and Noah found out they had something in common besides perhaps motion sickness. And that was the love of Animal Planet’s TV show “Whale Wars.” And so began the saying heard throughout this Hawaiian getaway: “Ha, Ha, Ha, This is the Nisshin Maru. Warning, warning, warning!”…or some form thereof.
We will take this Road to Hana again one day, maybe stopping at Twin Falls and other hiking spots. And after finding out that continuing on that infamous Highway 36 would have shown us more beautiful ocean and waterfall views, well, of course, next time we will definitely drive the dirt road home.