After a nasty rainstorm that caused flooding and mudslides on Kauai, our kayaking trip along the Na Pali Coast was canceled. The park is closed until further notice so the beautiful valley can heal. Since the trip was canceled along with a planned work trip, I booked a little weekend getaway to Molokai, the last island I had to visit. Since it was last-minute, I wasn't able to book the mule tour everyone raves about. However, the weekend ended up being the perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and ice cream (don't judge).
Molokai is very old Hawaii. There are no stoplights, chain restaurants, Starbucks, malls, etc. It's known as The Friendly Isle and is full of friendly Hawaiians. This is really only surprising because we've experienced the opposite on all the other islands. As it turns out, most people don't like their islands being overrun with Haole tourists and military beouffs. Go figure.
Molokai is Southwest of Oahu and North of Maui. It's hot and dry with gorgeous western beaches and a beautiful green mountain on the east end. The first day, we landed and had breakfast before driving up to Kalaupapa Lookout and Phallic Rock (no joke, they call it that). Kalaupapa is the old leper colony. It's this incredibly beautiful green peninsula at the bottom of steep pali (cliffs). The overlook really only gives and idea of what is there. Since a permit is required and strictly enforced, we were unable to go. Maybe I'll go back and hike or ride the mules.
Phallic Rock is a very phallic rock. I think I'm funny. No? Anyway, it is said that if a woman makes an offering and spends the night there, she will leave pregnant. I'm not sure if she is supposed to take the man there with her or not. Either way, it's a short walk in on a pretty little trail. I touched it, barely, but didn't spend the night. So, probably safe? :)
Following that, we drove east to Halawa Valley. We stopped to check out a farmer market in the main town. The road out is beautiful and coastal. Then it turns and winds through the valleys to Halawa trailhead. Apparently a permit is required to hike here too. We arrived too late for the hike, but some sites listed $60 for it. That's sixty dollars to move my own legs up a trail.... Sigh. There is a beautiful little beach at the bottom with waves for surfing and a giant pile of marine netting. This makes me sad. Mike found us a cocount and we split it for lunch.
We stayed at Hotel Molokai which has funny little villas for rooms. Ours was super cozy. We enjoyed a long nap and played in the pool before dinner. The resort has a little oceanside restaurant with live music. Mike was a copy cat and we both had the blackened swordfish salad for dinner. It was fabulous! Afterward, we had to run into town to buy some of the Molokai Hot Bread, which is literally fresh warm bread with cream cheese and jam inside. Everyone raves about this. There is a line and everything. They are open every day! So, this just confuses me. Mike said it was tasty, but nothing mind blowing. It smelled way good.
The next morning we stopped at the town's only coffee shop for breakfast. My acai bowl had zero acai and all strawberry. New concept for me, but it tasted fine. We headed out to the west side to check out the beaches. We chose the longest beach in Hawaii, Papohaku, for a walk. Mike jumped in, and I chickened out. We walked all the way down to the other end and ran intervals back. The sand was so hard to run in!
We ate at Molokai Pizza Cafe for lunch. I had a chef salad with no dressing (not as bad as you'd think). Mike had a pizza burger which looked awesome (are you seeing a theme yet?). We followed it up with this banana split just to make me feel better. We spent the rest of the afternoon curled up in a hammock at the hotel reading our books.
The flight out may have been the best part of the trip. I booked us on Mokulele Air, which I've never flown. We were checked off a list to board. The flight left early because everyone was there. Instead of a noisy jet with sterile flight attendants, we were on a 12 seater single prop with big windows. The captain turned around in his seat to breif us. The flight was both stunning and fun. We flew lower because it's a prop plane. So worth it. I don't think I'll be island hopping on Hawaiian anymore. Loved it!