I remember stepping off of the camel, and there was ice everywhere. Pulling my parka close and, yes, avoiding the landmines, I gingerly plodded ahead, through the crowds and the noise and the filth . . . stumbling, me, Suzie, and the camel. . . on to the road to Hana.
The road, all 3.5 meters of it, was long and winding, of course. The smell of diesel fuel and cheap gin joints permeated the freezing cold night air.
Road to Hana
The most striking thing about the crowded streets of Hana is the NOISE! I had just about everything in my backpack stuffed into one ear or another, and I just couldn’t hear myself think. Often I sat in a frenzied stupor, gazing across the flat barren landscape, when some local would offer up yet another cement lollipop and mock my mainland ways.
There were just about enough distractions to get by.
The funny thing about urban toxic waste dumps is all the damn tourists. Sure, they made me wear a red football helmet and yell, “power play” regularly, but I still kept running into people.
Oh, I did clear one street corner of crowds and tigers and oxygen bottles to snap a quick photo of Suzie and her new people just before the “event” (see photos 27A and f-45).
Then, God help me we went back to the Hana trail! I thought I was gonna cough up a lung or something. But my years of smoking the unfiltereds came in handy again.
Did I mention that it is perpetually night time in Maui? Yes. It’s a vampire paradise and all you see are a bunch of garlicky crosses for sale. Dig it? I mean, we’ve all got a favorite way of dancing and / or fish. Oh yes, and Waikiki.
So there, in the dead of night and pitch cold, we loped through the dusty ice caves, past the skinnyfunnypeople, yelling, and (camera in hand) snapping wildly. I managed to produce (after considerable computer chicanery) a photo of this blessed trek. But despite all my efforts at disguise, you can still see the horrors of that god-forsaken tundra. LOOK at the mud! It was purgatory.
I got a few strange things while I was there, but I’ve sold most of them, and ointments and pills are working on the rest. Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen.
Of course, as soon as we could, we took the helicopter out of there. We enjoyed many drinks in the ‘copter’s finely appointed saloon as we skimmed the ocean’s surface. (Hawaii is an island, kiddo.) I looked out the bar window and saw some boat on the horizon. Suckers!
All in all, I’d say it was a thing, kind of. Nobody was willing to disagree. So sit back and read on. . . .