Not to do any disservice to my other Hawaii posts or anything, but this one is kind of my favourite.
We flew from Oahu to Maui for the wedding of one of my oldest and best friends, Morgan. I was her bridesmaid and from landing in Maui we were all wedding all the time until it was over - and then after that it was just one long holiday with all the guests!
Everyone Adam and I had ever spoken to about Maui had mentioned that we should do a road trip along the road to Hana. It's one of those things, like the golden circle in Iceland... it's touristy but for a good reason. So it's worth the crowds.
We set out early one morning, Adam and I, Morgan and Ben (her new husband, hooray!) and an actual convoy of convertibles. When you go to Hawaii, apparently the thing to do is rent a convertible. Adam and I went for a 4x4, and given how changeable the weather was while we were there I was pretty happy with our choice.
We started at a few of the more well known locations, but some we just drove right past because they were too busy. Others we stopped off at, like the Bamboo Forest, and it was so flooded we just couldn't manage to walk very far.
At this point we thought maybe it would be best to just give up, everywhere was so flooded that we figured it may just be better to try again another day. As we were standing around the cars, debating what to do, Adam pulled up one of the sites he had saved to his phone about what to do along the road to Hana. He and Ben discovered a small hike to a waterfall and we figured it was worth a try, and if it didn't work out we would just turn back.
I'm so, so glad we didn't turn back...
We all pulled over to a site on the side of the road that was a bit too small for all of our cars, and definitely didn't look like an official spot to stop along the way to Hana. None of us really expected to find anything I don't think, but we started walking anyway in the hopes that we would at least discover some interesting views. But it was so misty that each time we looked over the side of a cliff we could see nothing of what was below or on the other side.
But after about only 10 minutes of walking we spotted something across a valley that looked a little bit like it may be a waterfall, or something "from the set of Goonies" - as Adam liked to point out.
Turns out it was only the best and most amazing private wild swimming spot we could have asked for! We slipped down the rocks trying to get to it and had to help each other not to fall flat on our faces, but when we arrived we stripped down to our bathing suits and jumped it. And oh my goodness it was freezing!!
I said to Morgan as we were swimming to the waterfall "this is one of the most beautiful palces I've ever been!!" And it absolutely was. It's the kind of thing you always dream of stumbling across, a private waterfall swimming spot for just you and your friends, but that only happens if you're really really lucky. If you don't turn around when you probably should, and if you just keep going that little bit further with hope that there's something amazing around the corner.
After swimming for as long as we could, we had to head back to our airbnbs to get ready for a murder mystery party! We took off in our convoy again, stopped for a few snacks along the way, and drove along possibly the most beautiful shoreline I have ever seen in my life!
I feel like amazing banana bread is becoming a theme in my travels. This time last year I was writing about banana bread I had discovered in Guatemala, remember? Anyway, we discovered some along the Hana highway and it was also very delicious.
We also stopped for coconuts on the way home, we had hoped to stop for some BBQ that we had spotted along the way but unfortunately they were sold out. We were all so sad because everyone loves a good roadside BBQ, so we decided to go back the next day and pick some up. More on that coming soon!
And this last ridiculous photo I had to include because it's essentially Morgan and I looking exactly like we did when we were nine years old, being silly and laughing the loudest at our own jokes.