Hana

Series: Maui 2021

Personal note: I've been bouncing around and VERY slow at uploading these Hawaii posts, but there is at least one more ready to go. Expect them to slowly trickle online as time permits.

hana

Whenever I travel to a new place, I try my best to have as few expectations as possible.

But because the act of getting there itself is often some combination of stressful, tiring, long, and/or expensive, and because it takes some time for me to find my bearings and adjust to my surroundings, there's usually a bit of mental and emotional gymnastics involved.

Case in point, Hana.

View of Hana from the walk to Fagan's Cross
View of Hana from the walk to Fagan's Cross

At first glance, Hana hardly registers as a town at all. It's the largest settlement for miles, but it has no sidewalks and no traffic lights. It's a place that tourists pass through more than they stick around. The tranquil silence of the early morning and evening are broken by a steady stream of traffic as tourists visit during the daytime hours, leaving to avoid being caught in the dark on the Hana Highway.

The corner near Hana Bay Park, an average corner in Hana.
The corner near Hana Bay Park, an average corner in Hana.
Hana's dilapidated Buddhist Temple. Donations for its restoration are being collected in the local general store.
Hana's dilapidated Buddhist Temple. Donations for its restoration are being collected in the local general store.
No matter the time of day or day of the week, Braddah Hut's was always closed while I was there.
No matter the time of day or day of the week, Braddah Hut's was always closed while I was there.

If you spend more time here, the town both more and less than what everyone expects. It's cloudy, and subject to bursts of quite frequent rain. Its beaches are small, rocky, and filled with rough surf -- not the best place for a beach holiday, but starkly beautiful in their own way. Its restaurants are almost entirely food trucks -- I think there's maybe one sit down restaurant in the whole town (which boasts two churches, a bank, post office, and general store.)

Hana Bay Park
Hana Bay Park

It's a town whose most highly-acclaimed barbeque shops are only open on opposite days of the week. If you want both Huli Huli Chicken and a visit to the nearby National Botanical Garden, you'll have to stick around for a day or two -- and in doing so, acclimatize yourself to the slower pace of life.

A town where high school graduation is marked with parades of cars, fireworks, and honking.

Hana Bay Park
Hana Bay Park
The famous Huli Huli Chicken.
The famous Huli Huli Chicken.

Some things are the same as anywhere else. The local post office has the same matte boxes, the same glum faces of surly postal workers, and even the same scant hours as others that I recall.

I decided to spend a little over a week in Hana, because I was looking for a quiet spot where I could do some remote work, where I could be close to nature, and which would be less crowded than other towns in Hawaii if the pandemic worsened. In all these respects, Hana delivered.

Koki Beach
Koki Beach
The Japanese White-Eye, an invasive bird species in Hana.
The Japanese White-Eye, an invasive bird species in Hana.
The Mongoose, an invasive species in Maui, is most frequently seen darting in front of cars.
The Mongoose, an invasive species in Maui, is most frequently seen darting in front of cars.

Moreso than in other tourist destinations of Maui, it's possible to have a beach to yourself, to feel a bit separate from the crowds, and to acclimate yourself towards a special sort of tranquility.

Koki Beach
Koki Beach
hana
A helluva choice of a fishing spot!
A helluva choice of a fishing spot!

My favorite moments were cooking on the porch or grabbing a bite at an eatery in town, chilling on a beach at the end of the day, when the crowds thinned out, and getting the lay of the land through a walk up to Fagan's Cross.

Or, hell, even moongazing.

Hana Farms' wood-fired pizza oven, and unbelievably lush outdoor dining space make it Hana's premiere dining destination for ambience... and pizza.
Hana Farms' wood-fired pizza oven, and unbelievably lush outdoor dining space make it Hana's premiere dining destination for ambience... and pizza.
An 'outtake' a few moments before my I took my favorite cow-egret photo.
An 'outtake' a few moments before my I took my favorite cow-egret photo.
Night time cloud cover makes Hana a poor choice for stargazing. or even moongazing, despite the lack of light pollution.
Night time cloud cover makes Hana a poor choice for stargazing. or even moongazing, despite the lack of light pollution.
The May 26, 2021 super blood moon lunar eclipse, or what have you, happened while I was staying in Hana. Despite heavy cloud cover, and the fact that the moon was moving... behind the house I was using as a vantage point, I managed to snap a couple of pics.
The May 26, 2021 super blood moon lunar eclipse, or what have you, happened while I was staying in Hana. Despite heavy cloud cover, and the fact that the moon was moving... behind the house I was using as a vantage point, I managed to snap a couple of pics.

Thanks for reading!

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