Racing Along At 5 MPH: Adventures of Driving in Maui0
My husband has always been a bit more adventurous than me and I am fine with that. He likes to take risk and feel the exhilarating closeness with danger while I would like a glass of wine and a massage at the spa. Once in awhile he pushes me out of my comfort zone and I join him in his quest for new and exciting adventures and sometimes I join him and never plan on it.
On Thursday we flipped through the ‘Maui Revealed’ book by Andrew Doughty that my friend Natalie lent to us and picked a destination that we wanted to explore. It sounded gorgeous, a bit remote and undiscovered; the Olivine Pools were, ‘gem like quality, the color of the area and the… natural lava swimming pools…’ sounded heavenly!
I guess I read the part that describes the beautiful natural parts and somehow missed the parts that described the drive to get there as ‘sphincter squeezing’ because I took the drivers seat and we drove from Wailea to the very northwest tip of Maui and I explored my adventurous side without even trying.
The drive started simply enough with a tight road and some curves which seemed more fun than scary but after 30 minutes of driving around the mountain the road became much much narrower and the curves became more hair pinned and all over the place. I was driving 5-10 miles per hour with all the tight hair pin turns you can take.
To the right there was no guard rail or even sketchy fence just the side of the cliff with an ocean to catch you way down below. Sometimes we would encounter people coming head on because the road was big enough for ONE vehicle. Yes, a two-way road, up and down a mountain, that is only one vehicle wide. You definitely feel the adventuresome part when you are reversing down the skinny one lane road, back through the hair pin turns to let the other car pass you because there are no shoulders to pull over to.
It definitely feels like a driving adventure when you talk to the locals and they agree with you that this is the highway to hell and apparently worse than the infamous Hana Highway. Alas, there are no cool t-shirts to say that I survived the drive but I did.
The whole point of the horrible anxiety inducing drive is that you reach the Olivine Pools. Except it started raining (yes, seriously raining) and when we got to the spot we really should have had proper foot wear on and not beach wear because it would have been quite a climb down to the ocean and the pools. So, we didn’t even make it to the Olivine Pools but that was fine. My knuckles were so white from the drive that I just needed to sit and relax.