12.09.2012 - 12.09.2012 29 °C
Well - Helen and I made it to what feels like the outer limits of Hawaii - welcome to Molakai - population 8,000.
We did make it to the domestic airport on time and arrived in Sydney 15 minutes late - so the 8 of us designated to board the Honolulu flight were whisked through Sydney airport - apparently the Honolulu flight is the last to leave Sydney each night and I've never seen Sydney more dead in my whole life - immigration was all express (I managed to keep the express card for future use) and no duty free shopping - and the shops at Sydney looked fantastic - was quite upset and looked balefully at the Chanel counter as we passed by......
QANTAS had a change of plane at the last minute - so Helen was happy that she had access to the in-flight entertainment system and I just fell asleep.
At the Honolulu end, the very attentive (yes, I am mentioning QANTAS and customer service in the same sentence) flight attentendant arranged a wheelchair for Helen - just as well, it's a long walk from the international terminal to the inter-island terminal in the blazing sun - I was lumbered with the luggage but least I didn't have to worry about figuring out how to get there.
The immigration official and I had a minor argument about where the hotel that we were staying at on Molokai was located - I said it was a long the highway out of the main town but he didn't believe me so we had to look up google and then he said I was right - he told me since I only had 3 fingers I wasn't able to do the 'shaka" - I was like the huh - the what? Apparently the shaka is the formal sign for hello in Hawaiian. I'll just be a snobby foreigner instead.......
Then it was a 4 hour wait at the inter-island terminal - with one little coffee shop and rows of uncomfortable seats - here was our first lesson in island time - island time is when everyone feels like carrying out their duties. It's usually about 20 minutes later than scheduled.
Then our little light airplane rocks up and its all systems go - if you don't turn up within 5 seconds they're calling out your name as if you've wandered off - it was a 10 seater and the roof was so low you ended up nearly crawling through the cabin - but surprisingly extremely professionally run - we had the safety lecture - mmm - not sure there's much you can do other than jump out of the plane with your life jacket and say a big prayer but anyway - the view was magnificent on the journey over to Molokai - literally flew over Diamond Head.
Molokai is quite different from the other islands - all red dirt and quite barren - its not sophisticated in anyway - its a bit like going over to Great Keppel island 20 years ago - you're literally just getting away from it all - the main strip is about 10 shops and most of those are mini marts selling groceries.
We have a lovely Polynesian style room that was built for pygmies - but it has a wonderful lanai (verandah) and lots of hawaiian finishes including pineapple lamps - surprisingly we have free wi fi but no mobile phone coverage (go figure) - we were quite excited to stay here because all the guidebooks said it was the best place to eat - unfortunately the restaurant burnt down 3 months ago - sigh - so we're heading off the pizza cafe - I'll keep you informed.........