David and I went to Molokai for the Christmas Holidays 2003.... Molokai is one of the smaller Hawaiian islands and is the most rural. It is called the Friendly Island and has a population of less than 8,000. It is 37 miles long and 10 miles wide yet has only two or three decent restaurants, 2 bars (both at hotels), a couple of market/grocery stores, a liquor store, a fish/dive shop and a few miscellaneous shops. It is obvious that the people are accustomed to living off the land and ocean and drink at home (the liquor store was one of the few stores open on Christmas Day and Sunday!). The downtown was about 2 blocks long along 1 street. Thank goodness one of the restaurants (with bar) was about 1 mile from our condo (though see below why we only visited it a couple of times)! Here are some of our photos..... I'm working on getting enlarged versions uploaded.... these are kinda small I know.
This is the view from our condo at the Molokai Shores Suites looking across a nicely manicured lawn to the ocean. They had nice gas and charcoal grills for us to use, picnic tables and a pool. It was very laid back! Some people live there year round, some were visiting like us, and some were there for a month or two. The ocean was very calm at the shore because the waves broke at the reef offshore. The view was to the south/southwest and we could see the islands of Lanai and Maui.
We decided to go to the Wharf to see if we could find fresh fish. What we found was two guys who had just pulled in from a day of sailing and fishing and they offered us this Ahi Tuna they had just caught. We gave them $50 for what turned out to be enough tuna for us to live on for weeks! We ate sashimi, grilled tuna, sauteed tuna, tuna salad, froze some to bring home, and gave some to the neighbors. Well worth the $50!! Dave is getting ready to filet it here.
Below are some of the photos from our drive around the east end of the island that ended at Halawa Bay and a neat little beach at the bottom of the Halawa Valley. If you position your mouse over each photo, it will give you the title of each.
This is Moku Hooniki Island and Kanaha Rock also on the east coast of Molokai. They were used as bombing targets during WWII. I took this photo for my Daddy who tells me he sailed past these islands many times when he was in the Navy stationed in the area. I didn't know that when I took the photo - my plan was to ask him if he had ever been near there.
Now to the West End of the island... This part of the island is not very populated at all. The Molokai Ranch is at this end - which is a real working ranch with cows and horses and everything. Also very deserted beaches which were the most beautiful on the island. You can see from these photos that we were the only ones on this beach which is about 3 miles long. There were actually a few people when we got there, but after a short time they left and we had the beach to ourselves for a nice picnic! I'm sure it had nothing to do with the fact that it was overcast and had rained the night before so the ocean was red with Hawaii mud.... Anyway, it was very nice and I picked up many puuka shells... You can buy an oceanfront lot here for $1.5 million.... yeah, right after my ship comes in!
Molokai was the island where lepers were exiled during the 1800's by King Kamekameha V. This is the peninsula where they lived - Kalaupapa Peninsula. It was separated from the main portion of the island by 3,000 foot cliffs. The only way to get there is by small plane, boat, hiking or mule ride down the side of the cliffs. We didn't venture down, but took these photos from the overlook. In case you didn't know, leperosy is now called Hansen's disease and a drug was developed in 1946 to control it. The people who still live here are protected by law for the remainder of their lives and are now free to come and go if they wish. We learned that Hansen's disease is actually not nearly as contagious as many other viruses that we have around now.
At the end of each day we were treated to beautiful sunsets... even when it was cloudy. Here is one of the more beautiful viewed from one of the benches that were along our shoreline at Molokai Shores. The benches were usually filled by people at the condos and is how we met several interesting people there.
It was a great trip which we'd recommend to anyone. We wished we had taken more photos, but after a couple of days were more into relaxation than taking photos.... If you'd like to see more about the island, you can visit the Molokai Visitor Association website.