Monday, June 8, 2009
This little church with a big name sits is a large lawn below the tall walls of the Haleakala's Ko'olau Gap, the centerpiece of the quiet seaside village of Keanae. The village, about halfway along the fabled Hana Highway is a good choice for day-trippers not wishing to make the whole twisty drive to Hana. In addition to the village, with its coastal lava stacks and river pool, visitors can visit the nearby Keanae Arboretum, a (free) soothing stroll among towering tropical exotics as well as native trees and plants.
Then check out the two quaint churches (St. Gabriel's and St. Augustine Shrine) in the close-by village of Wailua, where few tourists venture. When the weather is fair and dry, visitors can also take a dip in the Sapphire Pools, which are tucked away below the highway and usually not crowded. Don't count on lunch in Keanae, since there's no commerce to speak of, but you'll want to snag a petite loaf of Aunty Sandy's righteous banana bread at the Keanae Landing Fruit Stand.