Monday, August 16, 2010

Hawaii's winding roads

I was walking Painted Church Road again the other morning, admiring the flowering trees and birds, thinking how much I love this walk.  I’ve walked it for years, at all hours of the day, through all seasons, and just don’t tire of it.  It’s another winding farm road and it, like Napoopo’o, or Manini Beach Road, are remarkably beautiful.

Sometimes we joke that Hawaii is a big pile of rocks in the middle of the ocean.  The thing about the big pile of rocks is that it is outrageously gorgeous.  But make no mistake about it, the nature of these volcanic islands is that they’re mountainous and feature dramatic rock formations, hills, and cliffs.  The older the island, the more dramatic these features are.  This is what makes for the variety of microclimates we have here, as well as the unmatched beauty.  However, this also means that there are plenty of windy mountain roads to navigate.  For some visitors, this is no big deal, for others, it can be a little nerve-wracking.

We have observed that the way you feel about the roads here will be based on what you’re used to.  If you come from a place with broad, flat roads, Hawaii’s winding, coastal roads may be a little nerve-wracking for you to drive.  If you come from a mountainous area, Napoopo’o, or any of the island’s roads, will not be a big deal.  We’ve had guests lovingly count each bend and turn in our road, pining for a nice sporty little car rather than their rental, they found it so beautiful.  We’ve had others who found its turns exhausting and tiring.  Unfortunately it’s something that you have to get used to being in Hawaii.  With the sheer cliffs and steep mountains come the stunning views, the mind-blowing tropical foliage, and some of the island’s most spectacular spots.

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