15.09.2012 - 15.09.2012 27 °C
When we were in TAFE we were told that if a client didn’t like rain on an island retreat, we should book them on the western side of the island – this was met with some harrumphs by Helen and I – however if you ever go to Molokai (and indeed Kauai) the evidence has never been so clear – on the other side of the Molokai it is dry and barren and here they have all the cattle ranches – some houses look suspiciously like drug baron retreats but maybe Helen and I have been studying criminal law too long.
Today was also the beginning of my skin allergy – yes, another one – very similar to Perth – though it must be the washing powder again so headed off the chemist to buy lots of cream……
After the chemist, we set off through the dry grasslands to the Western side of the island. On our trip over to this side of the island we saw about 4 pick ups/cars on the entire 40 mile journey – Yep, its pretty quiet here – we stopped off at the only town – Maunaloa – billed as a “charming plantation village” but in reality a collection of buildings and it was pretty much dead here. However the Big Kite factory which was our destination was open and Helen spent a lot of time browsing here being stalked by the crazy owner of the place – unbelievably the kites aren’t even made on Molokai but rather Indonesia which the crazy owner visits once a year to see the kite festival. Since the only other store open was the convenience store (not even a burger place was open) we stocked up on chips and salsa and headed to the beach.
On the furthermost Western side there are a series of beaches that the local visit to swim – the most famous one being Papohaku Beach (3 mile beach) – most Australians would probably go “ho-hum” – the sand is quite coarse, the seas rough and where you swim there are lots of dangerous rocks underneath – but in the distance you could see Oahu and Diamond Head and it was quite peaceful just sitting and eating salsa and chips – at this end of the island there is a huge time share resort that Helen and I billed as the “nearly dead” retirement village since everyone was either in a wheelchair or on crutches and nobody was under 70 years of age. It had a time warp feel as though you had entered another dimension with beautifully manicured gardens and scooters transporting the elderly around. At one beach, a group of men were practising for the big Oahu to Molokai outrigger race next month – not sure how seriously they were taking it though – in one handed they had the canoe and in the other they were swigging big cans of beer…………
After our tour of the beaches we tried to find the Molokai Coffee Plantation – despite lots of signage, the place never materialised and we were left driving on deserted roads seeing lots of old school buses left in people’s yards – after 20 minutes of driving round in circles, we finally found it but it was closed so that was that.
So we headed back to the resort because the old people’s society (they did call it that) was having a hula sing-a-long night at the resort. We thought it was going to be very cheesy despite nearly every local we met telling us that we should go along because the best singers on the island belonged to that group. We arrived a bit late and the resort was full – after pushing through the crowd we found a seat, ordered a pina colada, watched the sun set and proceeded to listen – the group was excellent and it was obvious they were all having a great time. It was like a jazz jamming session except the theme was ukulele Hawaiian songs……..
After the session had ended 2 hours later, we rushed back to take photos of the Royal Coconut Grove at sunset – the sunsets here aren’t that spectacular – maybe it’s the wrong time of year – after that we headed back to the hotel to pack – sigh – our stay at Molokai was about to end……….