CulturalThe island of Maui can be neatly divided into eastern and western sections.  The eastern portion has twice the land mass of the western section and a 10,023' high mountain range separating the northern and southern sides of the island.  The northern part of the eastern section of Maui is the windward and rainy side with a very tropical topography.  The southern section gets very little rain as most rain storms don’t have the ability to get over the top of the mountain.  The southern portion is subsequently desert like.
The preceding paragraph sets the scene for the storied “Road to Hana”.  Along the northern shore the road starts near the town of Pā ìa and heads east to the far end of the island and the town of Hana.  The raison d’̕etat for Hana is the road to Hana needed a destination.  Hana is a sparsely populated village with small houses, a general store and a cultural museum.  There is little interest in tourism.  All the guide books refer to the road as rather obligatory to obtain the essence of a tropical island.  The road is about 100 miles round tripRecycle with 600 curves.  The road reminded us of the eleven mile section in Deals Gap North Carolina (The Dragon); fun on a motorcycle, not so much in a rental car.  It takes about eight hours for a round trip and a high level of concentration, as it is narrow in spots with many blind corners.  There were few places to stop although there were food trucks/trailers offering banana bread and shaved ice in some of the alcoves along the way.  Once in Hana we stopped for lunch at a local diner and contemplated whether to go back on the same tropical twisty route or continue through a lightly maintained road through the desert like southern section. 

PaiaWe had been informed that some car rental companies forbid travel through the southern section; portions are not paved, although we had not received any such warning. 

Heading on the southern route we found the narrow single lane road with blind hills and corners more risky than what we were prepared for so we turned around and headed back the same way we came.  Our schedule permitted us a stop in Pā ìa for a gentle walk and photography.  We ended our day at the Westin Hotel just in time for happy hour.  For a slideshow presentation click here.