Becoming a Believer - Page 4
It's quite a feat for us even to find the entrance to this shrouded kingdom. We drive back and forth in front of an old fence looking for an opening. Finally, a single car parked on the side of the road gives it away. We pull over and poke around in the stalks until we see a path, and then we step into another world. The light is instantly transformed into soft glowing beams, and the rolling landscape that lies beneath the bushy tops of the bamboo is revealed. We hike back and find clear pools of cool water where the distant sound of waterfalls entices us on; eventually we come across the occupants of the car that had revealed the entrance to us.
"Hey guys, what's back there?" I ask.
"Heaven," they say. "But I don't think you're getting there in those shoes."
I look down and realize I have stupidly worn my flip-flops on this current exploratory.
"That's OK," I reply. "I'll make it work. Which way do we have to go?"
They smile and say, "Well, first you need to hike up this muddy, slippery hill and get to the small ravine. Then you need to cross the dicey, moss-covered log to get to the river. Then you need to swim part of the way because it's too deep to walk, and when you see the vines hanging down on the right you can climb out and get back on the path – it's only a few miles from there."
OK, smart guys, I think. I look at Andrew and do what any quick-witted girl would. I lie. I tell them it'll be no problem and thank them for the directions. As soon as they're out of sight Andrew and I take another route. I am all about discovering hidden corners of the world, but this particular journey requires a sturdy pair of hiking shoes and a dry bag, neither of which we have. I can hear it, though, and I know it's there, taunting me from afar.
The fact that we can't make it all the way to that waterfall on this trip only motivates us to go back, because Andrew and I are the same kind of person: All we have ever wanted is to travel the world and soak in what it has to offer. Because in the end, the only thing you really have to take with you is your experiences. And the only thing you really leave behind is the impression you have made on the world and the people who live in it. All material things fade, but you will remember the road to Hana. You will remember that sunrise and the scent of the air as you bike down the volcano.
Maui is full of experiences that enhance your life. We'll be back for sure – with a dry bag, some Tevas, the smart guy's directions and something to prove.
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