A Travellerspoint blog

Day 3 – Central Molokai

sunny 27 °C

Hi everyone – I know, I’ve been very slack – I have plenty of excuses though. Firstly in Molokai I had a major allergic reaction (more about that later), then Helen hogged the computer in Kauai and we were far too busy for computers in Honolulu attending world premieres and all that………

Back to Molokai – Day three – seems like months ago now rather than days. Today we headed off to the main town in Molokai – it’s called Kaunakakai - there is only one place that can be officially called a town in Molokai and it has one main street, lots of pick-up trucks and no traffic lights – in fact there isn’t a single traffic light on the whole island – we loved the Molokains – they’re so relaxed and friendly – you want to walk across the street in front of an oncoming car – no problems – they just stop their pick-up since you can only go 20 miles an hour anyway – the main street kept us entertained for the whole morning – there were shops that combined beauty treatments with hunting supplies (I kid you not), clothing stores with kitchen wares and the local department store had a full range of fatigues on offer – we could have built a bunker, bought our rifles, decked ourselves out in the latest army gear and nobody would have batted an eyelid. But there were some more normal stores as well. We bought a few sundresses which ended up being quite unique and reasonably priced. Helen bought a hula skirt (and don’t mention the hula skirt to me when we get back – I’m so over it – it’s so large and bulky that it won’t fit in her suitcase so I feel like I’m managing a part-time hula band everytime I travel on a plane with her – did I mention she bought a ukulele as well?). After shopping main street we had lunch in the favourite local diner – and yes, you guessed it – it was burger – this time a shrimp burger with a side of stuffed jalapenos – both were great (surprisingly).

Then we headed to the most famous part of Molokai – Kalaupapa National Park (another Hawaiian place name that starts with “k”) – up until about the mid-1960’s any Hawaiian with leprosy (Hanson’s disease) was shipped out into this peninsula which was formed when lava spewed up from an underground volcano – the only way to get there is by light plane (very light considering we were transported to Molokai in a 10 seater plane) or by mule ride down the side of steep cliffs or a rather strenuous 3.5 mile hike – Helen drew the line at a mule ride so we opted just to go on the hiking track to the look out point. The view is spectacular and the sea cliffs are the highest in the world reaching 1700 feet - It was such a sad story for all the Hawaiians who were dragged away from their families under such horrible circumstances. A priest named Father Damien went to help the people on Molokai and tried to publicise the inhumanity of their treatment – unfortunately he too succumbed to Hanson’s disease like the people he was trying to help and died in the camp. He’s now revered by Hawaiians and there are lots of statues dedicated to him around the islands.

After being moved by the story we headed up to Phallic Rock – yes, that’s what it’s called – its about ½ mile through dense forest until you come to the clearing and there it stands before you in all its…..um…glory – if you touch it apparently it will make you fertile!!! I certainly hope not………

On the way back we stopped off at the Royal Coconut Grove – yes, it’s just not any old coconut on Molokai – these coconuts were planted in 1860s and were reserved for royalty only – now its just one big park and there are signs all over that say “beware of falling coconuts”. This was enough for Helen not to enter but I went ahead anyway – personally I think the signs should be amended to “beware of tripping over a coconut” since there were so many on the ground……….

Having given up on having burgers, we decided we would do our own cooking – and had an omelette on our very pleasant lanai (verandah)………….

Posted by natty176 16:42 Archived in USA Tagged hawaii molokai Comments (0)


Day 2 - Halewa Bay

semi-overcast 30 °C

Aaah - the pizza cafe - looks like there's no such thing as a gourmet meal on Molokai - not that the food is bad it's just very average and it seems I can't get away from burgers - I know I went to the pizza cafe but ended up having a mushroom burger for dinner - it was huge - I couldn't finish it.............

So bright and early next morning (no jet lag surprisingly) we had fruit by the beach - it was a delightful way to the start the day and then headed off in our dodge car which is quite ironic because it is a dodgy car - the doors don't lock - not that its a problem in Molokai - nobody seems to lock anything here but I go through the pretense of locking the car door even though the key does nothing........just in case........you can tell we're from the big smoke!!!

Today was our day in East Molokai - as far as the road (ironically called the interstate highway - can you call an island road an interstate road if its all the same state - ok, I'm being pedantic) will go before hitting water. There are no town signs in Molokai just Mile Markers and everything is measured from the centre of the main town - so we were headed off to Mile Marker 27 - at Mile Marker 19 the road goes down to a single lane - which is hair raising in itself because nobody owns anything other than a very large pickup truck - some on those big wheels - so in your 4 door standard dodgy car you feel quite vulnerable - now at mile marker 20 - they add hairpin turns and a steep gradient into the mix - there are no road guards - just a sheer drop down to the ocean below - so you beep your horn on the really tricky corners and hope for the best - and just when you think it can't get any worse, they add a fallen tree or a few coconuts on the road just for fun...............it was so twisty and turny - Helen had to get out of the car because she was feeling sick - my literal response - was where? I can't stop in the middle of a hairpin turn.................

Anyway we did manage to get to the end of the road and find the pavillion to meet our so called guide for a trek up to the waterfall - so we sat at the picnic table since we were 40 minutes early and waited..........20 minutes later another couple from Arizona comes and joins us as they're going on the same walk................waited........waited.........in the middle of this wait a few coconuts fall randomly on the road with a great thud.........we're still waiting 90 minutes later (factoring in island time and all that) - in the end we give up and go for a walk to the bay, visit the cute little green church and then head back.......yes, you guessed it - there is only one road in and out................all the way back to the hotel.........

Where we crash on the bed exhausted from the drive...........

That night we head out for dinner - we've got the salubrious choice of the Poke n' Go or the Roast Pork House (which we keep calling the House of Pork) - on the way out we ask for directions - it's 7.20pm and the hotel reception says "oooh no, you can't go to the philipino place - they'll be shut at this time" - ok, so the House of Pork it is - we rock up there and as soon as we walk in the door, a lady comes running out of the kitchen yelling - we're closed, you're too late..... nothing like being wanted - so we went and had dinner at Molokai Burgers where, surprise surprise I had a burger...........

Posted by natty176 00:22 Archived in USA Tagged hawaii molokai Comments (0)

Brisbane - Sydney - Honolulu - Molokai

Day 1

overcast 29 °C

Hello everyone!!!

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.........

Take care

Posted by natty176 00:43 Archived in USA Tagged hawaii molokai Comments (0)

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