This is Day 3.5 of our Maui adventure, to read Day 1, go here.
Everything that we had seen in Maui up to this point, had been what we expected, but not what we had come here to see. Our primary goal at Maui, was to see the "rainforest" that we saw displayed in pictures everywhere. All we had seen was beaches and oceans and although they were strikingly beautiful, we aren't beach people. What we want is an adventure, not soft sand to lay on as time passes us by.
Hana, was supposed to be a different side of Maui. The adventure we were searching for. The yearly average rainfall in Hana was 252 days a year with an average 79.2 inches of rain
. Compared to Makena State park on the opposite end of Maui which was only an average of 82 days a year and 17.2 inches of rainfall.
As someone who grew up in the hot barren desert with more browns than greens in their everyday scenery, Hana was like stepping into a whole other dimension.
As we drove down the designated path, I could imagine monkey swinging from the vines that hung loosely down the trees. I fought the urge to get out and try it myself, as the vines appeared large enough to support a human.
The path we were on was to lead us to Halemano, the private retreat we had found on Airbnb to stay at while in Hana. If you haven't, you should read our post on planning the trip in Maui
, where we discuss airbnb.com and how we were able to find this unique location.
The sign for Halemano had been passed a good 1/4 mile back, but the path continued further into the rainforest. The old rusted cars that looked as if they had been abandoned sometime in the 1950's didn't help qualm our fears. Bits of rusty orange could be seen underneath the vines that entangled the vehicles. Luckily the driveway was a clear indication that we were being led towards some remains of human civilization. We followed the path for almost 1/2 a mile the deeper we went the less light there was. The sun was blocked out by the trees above. The shade created by it was cool and refreshing.
Then it open up and we knew we had arrived. Stepping through the archway was once again transporting you to a whole new world.
Gardens, art, and scenery was all around us.
The grounds at Halemano had a magical feel to them. The tranquility around us created an emotional, palpable sensation.
To the right, up a small hill was the communal kitchen. We went exploring the ground as we searched for a place to "check in".
All food was prepared and shared inside the communal kitchen. It is shared with all guests and employees. Everything is recycled and due to the lack of resources in Hana, electricity runs off solar during the day. All products are divided up and recycled according to their labels. Left over food is used for create compost. There is no electricity at night (the hosts run a generator when necessary) but for the most part it isn't needed because there is also almost no cell phone service.
Just outside the communal kitchen was a chair to sit and enjoy the view. A perfect spot to sit while drinking your first cup of coffee in the mornings. It seemed as if we were the only people at Halemano, but we were finally able to locate the managers. They welcomed us and showed us around.
The first stop was the communal bathroom. Coming here, we were aware that we would be sharing a bathroom with the rests of the tenants, but we had no idea it would be so... open. In the picture above, if you look through the door you can see the white lid of the toilet. On the plus side, the view from the throne is spectacular.
Throughout our stay at Halemano we saw a total of 12 people staying at the location. It's important to note that it felt as if we had the entire place to ourselves. The only times we saw anyone was on the way out and on the way in to Halemano.
This is the shower. We suffered this with cold water until we figured out how to get the manually activated hot water heater going. That's right. Before moving on I would like to draw your attention to the red pump bottle on the shelf. Slightly above center of the shower picture. Notice anything? Let's enhance that.
Yep. Two giant spiders. One had attached its web to the loofah and both of them had made 3/4 of the bathroom their territory. These spiders were harmless, as they plant themselves in the center of the web and just stay there. During our stay in Hana we learned, (sometimes the hard way), that these spiders and their webs are EVERYWHERE. Thank god phones and most electronics don't work out here, because you really need to pay attention as to where you may be walking. On the positive side the spiders center themselves about eye level so they are easy to spot when looking straight ahead. The negative side is that many girlish screams may erupt from those who aren't paying attention and find themselves with a hair full of webs and a very large spider.
Of course its a necessary "evil". The spiders take care of the pesky flying insects that love wet areas. The spiders can't build webs in high traffic areas as they will be taken down. They always plant themselves off to the side or in low traffic areas.
The grounds are are covered in beautiful and well maintained gardens and we took the time to stroll through them throughout our stay there and captured a few pictures. The detail on some of these spiders is simply mesmerizing.
The botanical life in the gardens is just as mesmerizing as the spiders and we spent the rest of the day exploring the grounds.
You would think with so much botanical life and moisture that the grounds would be a breeding ground for all kinds of flying pesty insects, but thanks to the spiders we were rarely bothered by any.
After touring the compound we finally went searching for our yurt.
It was nestled into a small cove on the edge of a cliff. This would be our home for the next 4 days.
Before our trip, the hosts at Halemano had asked us if we would like to have food prepared for us for a small extra charge. The thing about Hana is that there are almost no restaurants out here and the ones that are out here close as early as 4 PM. There is zero nightlife in Hana. Aware of all this before our trip, we had ordered the meal for the night. It was prepared and ready to eat in the communal kitchen by the hosts before the sun went down. The hosts had prepared a delicious Indian dinner for us. One meal was enough for two people and well worth the price.
After eating we went back to our yurt to relax and unpack. We were amazed. Speechless. This was some sort of Paradise and it was half the price of the hotel we stayed at in Wailea Makena three nights prior. We felt honored that we were allowed here and we highly recommend that if you ever get the chance to stay at Halemano you should it. It is a once in lifetime experience.
We also highly recommend the Ocean Front Yurt
out of the other sleeping quarters. The view is breathtaking, and we were the only ones that had an unobstructed view of the ocean.
It may cross your mind that being on the edge would be bad if the weather picks up, but throughout time we went through a rather big rain storm and at no time did we feel unsafe. There are trees that shelter the yurt from the majority of the weather. There is a very very steep cliff that next to the yurt. In order to get the yurt a person has to walk a narrow 3 feet pathway located right on the edge of the ocean cliff. If you have a tendency to sleepwalk at night you probably do not want to stay at the Ocean Front Yurt.
The hosts were very kind and accommodating and Halemano was so large that we felt we had the place to ourselves. The communal kitchen is well maintained and they have a running refrigerator where you can store perishables. You should bring your own food from the other side of the island if possible, as there are very few stores in Hana and the food can be very expensive.
Recently, we found out that Halemano is for sale, so the experience may not be around for long.
We spent the rest of the evening watching the day turn to night on our own little edge of the world.
To continue to Day 4, go here.