Another breakfast at Stella Blues. Dan decides on the breakfast burrito while I have the banana pancakes with toasted macadamia nuts and coconut syrup, yum! Since we might meet with the doctor tomorrow, we decide to do the 8 hour loop on the road to Hana. Dan has read that it is one of the top 5 most beautiful drives in the US. We leave Stella Blues at around 8:30. On our way we drive "upcountry" through Makawao. It so beautiful and cool, about 15 degrees cooler. As our waiter said it can get Africa hot in Kehei where we are staying. If you were to combine the lush vegetation of the south with the cool air and mountain charm of Breckenridge you'd have Makawao. From there we get on the Hana highway and it does not dissapoint. Hugging the rocky coast line, the lush, tropical rainforest creates a canopy of sun dappled highway, every now and then, around the bend, is a view of the vast, clear, deep blue Pacific ocean. Black lava cliffs contrasting against the blue of the ocean and the white of the waves crashing against them.
Horses or cattle grazing in a green meadow in the foreground. Giant trees and tangles of roots clinging to the rocky road side a sheer 20 feet up, leaves and branches whipping into my open window while Dan makes frequent stops at the narrow 1 way bridges that congest the 2 lane highway.
We see an inviting sign for a botanical garden called The Garden of Eden. We've been in the car for about 3 hours so we pay $19.00 to get in. It's costs 20 but that's all we have and the guy who says he's working in paradise let's us in anyway.
It's about a 2 mile loop filled with beautiful views and unique flowers. We see a 100 year old mango tree
Bamboo trees, and a waterfall. Back on the road to Hana we see a turn off for a lava tube. We can't resist! Luckly, they take credit cards, we pay the $22.00 and we're in. There is a stand where a young lady passionately explains that the lava tube was formed 960 years ago when mount Haleakala was formed. Behind her is the "owners" house. This tube runs through his property. We walk about 20 feet and descend into the tube.
There is plenty of room to walk, averaging a 20 foot tube. The tube is pitch black but we are supplied with flashlights. As we walk on 960 year old, unchanged lava, water drips down on us. It is one of the coolest things I've ever done. About an 1/8th of a mile in there is a vent hole
The tube runs down the mountain and when the lava was flowing a boulder trapped the flow, the pressure shot it straight up and blew a hole from the tube. Some parts of the tube look like chocolate ran through it instead of lava.
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