Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Bumpy Road to Hana

We booked a bus tour to Hana. It was.. colorful.


Noelani was the name of our condo thing. In Hawaiian it means "heavenly mist". Maui, or our area at least, is like Hawaiian Ladue. Lot of old people, trimmed hedges, and gated communities.


We got an early tour warning sign before ever stepping onto the bus. The tour bus was really late but they wanted you there early. Just like Fiji where if you want something it's island time but if they want something it's now time.




Our guide took obnoxiousness to a lofty new height. He mentioned the cost of living of Hawaii and that we should tip him well multiple times. When he mentioned not being "politically correct" I was expecting some casual racism and he did not disappoint. He was also super rude to the other motorists. We had heard that the drive was unpleasant due to small winding roads, sometimes only wide enough for one car to pass. Our tour company decided that despite this situation they would cram a good size tour bus down it's gullet. The fact that our guide was a douchebag meant that he was frequently playing chicken with other cars on the road. Anytime we met another vehicle head on he would honk and yell and wave his hands at them to get them to reverse back to where our giant vehicle could pass. It was a real mess.


The scenery itself was nice, and periodically escaping our horrible guide made the stops even more serene.


Another aspect adding to the journey's charm was all of the little family businesses along the road.




Some of the business pursuits of the local were nice and quaint. Others were full blown hippy-dippy. There were a few $14 jars of coconut water floating around, for example.


Here are some $18 jars of turmeric hippy magic potion.




I went for the best of both worlds with some turmeric coconut water and with it my chakra energies were fully recharged.


The fences at Jaws were made from the boards of surfers that ran out of turmeric tonic.










Hookipa Beach is a popular surfing spot. I guess the waves can reach 30 feet high.
















At one point I tried to catch up on a little sleep on the bus. I was awoken by the sound of our driver cursing someone in a traffic jam with a fire engine stuck behind us. It was especially annoying because the guidebook was talking about  how the drive was stressful but to approach it with aloha love and no honking so that everyone could coexist. This guy was the worst.




































We got to see Charles Lindbergh's grave. He repped St. Louis really well by flying the Spirit of St. Louis across the Atlantic. On the other hand he was a Nazi. I sort of think even-Steven on that one?












Our guide had lots of annoying trivia. In Hawaiian, pipi is cow/beef and pupu is appetizer. So you can go to a restaurant and order pipi pupu. Hardy har har. One thing he did tell us which was kind of awesome was that they had a beef industry in Hawaii and would do cattle drives like they do on the mainland. I think he told us Hawaiian cowboys would drive the cattle into the water and right up onto boat ramps to be taken away. The cowboys had to beat back the resulting shark attacks with bats.




Local kids apparently like to set abandoned cars on fire along the road. Really gives the journey a nice Mad Max flavor.








Our guide pointed out Oprah's property a couple of times. It didn't look any different than the other land but it was a fun fact. I guess Oprah offered to fix the crappy road we'd just barely survived but all the local hippies objected. Keep it crappy!


Our poorly behaved guide was visibly annoyed when I didn't tip him after hopping off the bus. That warmed my heart.

My heart was just too warm so we cooled it off with some Hawaiian style shaved ice at Ululani's Shave Ice. 




Toasted coconut was one of the available toppings which seemed like a good idea.


Hoots were had.