Thursday, Nov. 28, Thanksgiving. We took the long road to Hana to meet up with Erin, a gal we had connected with on Couchsuring.org. We found a private jaunt along a little hike, spent some time enjoying the ambiance of Twin Falls and, after a few hours of driving on a twisty road (I drove to keep my motion sickness in check) we arrived to the undeveloped, isolated paradise of Hana.
What followed was a bit of a comedy of errors. We went to a farm that Erin had told us to meet her at only to discover she wasn’t there. The guys there were a friendly lot and told us to come back in a few hours, when she was expected to return. We had no luck connecting with her via phone or email so spent some time having Thanksgiving dinner at the lone restaurant that was open that evening, Travasa Restaurant. Their dining experience is described as a celebration of life and the bounty of the earth that nourishes us body and soul. Unfortunately for us, it was also above our budget and so we ordered small plates from the bar. I had three delectable, zesty prawns that, we decided, were as far from traditional thanksgiving dinner fare as one could possibly get.
As we were munching and enjoying the dancing by women made more graceful with age do solo dances to the live, Hawaiian band, we had the forethought to ask the server if they happened to know Erin, hoping that, it being a small town, there was a chance she might. We were surprised to find that not only did she know Erin, Erin was working there this evening! We finally met our host for the evening and exchanged big, patchouli smelling, hugs. She explained how to get to her house, which involved unmarked roads, a very long driveway and an “overgrown lawn” that, in reality, turned out to be a forest.
She wouldn’t be able to join us back to Chez Erin but would meet us there in a few hours, after she got off work, so we set out to find her place alone. Using our spidey senses, we located the large craftsman house amidst of jungle of papaya trees and foliage. Upon entering, we found a crowd of about 20 folks, crowded together in the living room. Erin had mentioned roommates but this was more than we had bargained for. I remember two people in particular. A mother, daughter duo who were sharing a joint and giggling to each other. The bedrooms were spoken for and the couch space was filling up fast, hippies were passing out where they lay, so we opted to set up our tent in the jungle, aka their backyard. I clutched my sleeping bag as Tom told me scary stories and a gnarly storm tore at our tent walls, the wind wailing like a crying child.
The next morning, we woke early and spent the day enjoying the many natural delights in Hana. We hiked 7 sacred pools, ‘ohe’o gulch trail, and followed a tiny, precarious path out to the Red Sand Beach, and hiked to Waimoku falls through a tantalizing bamboo forest. All the while, we picked produce from trees and cracked open the coconuts we found, hoping for a refreshing taste of the sweet, sweet water within. Later, we made our way back to mainstream Maui, feeling the touch of Hana’s wild beauty upon us as we left.