“It’s time!” The jeep driver said, smiling cheekily in the rear-view mirror. In front of us stood a little bridge, way too small to support our white Ford Escape that had already been through quite a beating. Regardless of whether or not we wanted to proceed, he slammed on the accelerator, and the car bounced along the stone-paved roads and took a hairpin turn to the right. This was the point of no return, we had crossed the line that divided civilization from the untamed forces of Mother Nature. It was here where anything could happen, where triumph could turn to tragedy in an instant.
I look out my window and marvel at the reassuring sight of driving adjacent to a solid hundred foot drop with nothing to protect you other than the lush canopy of trees swaying gently in the Hawaiian wind. We were passengers aboard the luxurious Pride of America about to spend the next two hours battling wilderness. The truck continued, ascending like a roller coaster without a peak. The road looked as if it went on forever until it eventually met with the sky. Everyone was pin-drop silent as the vehicle careened around closer corners and scaled steep heights.
Our journey to the top reminded me of the duality of nature. On one hand, here we are, a suburban family of four cruising along on one of the most dangerous drives on the planet. This is nothing like Jersey, this is nothing like anything we’ve ever seen before. This was miles and miles of pure adrenaline, with surprises at every turn. While some of these unplanned events seemed threatening, most were calming, like unnamed waterfalls cascading down shimmering rocks and falling into beautiful canyons. The lush rain forest, with its exotic smells and sounds, brought us one step closer to a simpler life , and yet, one where every day is a battle against the unknown.
The apex revealed a picturesque sight of the Pacific open, looking out towards Tahiti and Australia. The crystal-clear blue waters provided a fresh contrast from the grey rocks that separated us from the waves below. We got back in the Escape and the driver pulled a sharp right turn, almost sending half of us to the roaring waters below. We cruised down the mountain, winding back in and out of the rainforest like a serpent hunting its prey.
The drive in Maui, more commonly known as the Road to Hana is only crossed by a handful of people every day, due to its unpaved roads and uncharted hidden passageways. This excursion is meant for the truly adventurous, those who embrace nature and are not afraid to see danger at every turn.
Some insight from Siddhi:
I also did the Road to Hana when my family and I were in Hawaii. We decided to pump the thrill factor to yet another level by going solo. Meaning, still in a jeep, but without a professional driver. We drove on our own. Everything Rohan described nails it when it comes to encapsulating the experience. If you’re truly an adventure-seeker ,then consider renting your own vehicle- preferably a convertible- and taking on Hana on your own. It’s really an unforgettable experience.