For only 6 nights on the island I can't believe how long this trip report is.
Consider yourself warned......
Wow, the flight to Molokai was absolutely fantastic. We booked through Go! and ended up on a flight operated by Mokulele Air. The plane was full, all 9 seats. We flew directly over Waikiki and got some great views of that area before some more fantastic views as we flew right over the west side of Molokai and were able to pick out our resort/condo from the air. We walked right off the tarmac and out to the parking lot.
I left hubby while went off to find the car. It came with the condo and was classified as a ‘local’ vehicle, the door was unlocked, keys under the mat. I didn’t have high hopes but even so was surprised by how awful it looked. Not surprisingly it didn’t start. Fortunately, it was just a low battery and with a jumpstart (from one of the friendly locals) we were off. For all the noise the car made it actually worked just fine and other than the tire exploding we didn’t have any other troubles. Since it was a private vehicle and the owners were really nice, I won’t put a photo, suffice to say it was quite an adventure and we enjoyed (and are still enjoying) plenty of laughs over the car. It took us where we wanted to go and got us to and from the airport safely.
Our condo was at Kepuhi Beach Resort out on the west side. I picked this area because I wanted to watch the sunset over Oahu and be hot and dry. Well we got a couple sunsets but it certainly wasn’t dry and only a few times were we actually hot. Not having been to Hawaii in May, I expected it to be much drier and hotter than it was. In fact, it rained almost every day and some days was cloudy more often than sunny. This was fine with us as we were more into exploring than suntanning. Kepuhi Beach Resort is beautiful and the grounds and guest areas are very well maintained but hubby found it a bit disconcerting that there were so many buildings boarded up and empty. There was hardly anyone around the first few days and it felt like we had the place to ourselves. Next time I go to a place like that I want to stay for months, hubby was getting a bit cabin feverish after a couple of days. Either way, the price was right and we had a nice view and plenty of peace and quiet.
Our first day was fairly short. Once we got the car started we decided to do a bit of extra driving to charge the battery and ended up in Kaunakakai. While there we filled up the gas, went to Friendly Market for a few extra groceries then headed out to the condo. I had also picked up a cooked chicken at Costco and carried it on the plane. I could smell it the entire flight and even though it wasn’t Huli Huli chicken it was still pretty good. Dinner on the lanai watching the sunset with Mai Tais was the end of our first day on Molokai
The condo owners recommended doing the hike to Halawa Falls with Kalani from Molokai Flower Farm. The only day that he could take us was the first full day we were on island. So, up and out the door by 8:00am we made the drive all the way out to the East side of the island. At times the road reminded me a bit of the drive to Hana on Maui, without the traffic of course. I think we came across one or two other vehicles the entire last half hour of the drive. We were a few minutes late but everyone waited for us and shortly after parking we were off. The hike was approximately 2 miles through beautiful open jungle and we could see the old walls and terraces from the previous inhabitants of the valley, as well as the newer farms and areas that are being reclaimed for taro fields (as far as I was told). It was not difficult at all but bug spray certainly was a necessity. We were able to swim in the pool and even though it was quite cool I forced myself to go in, swim across to the base of the waterfall and get my picture taken. Hike back down was easy and the bonus of fresh fruit smoothies at the end was the perfect finish to a lovely morning.
After a bit of time exploring the beaches at the end of the road, we started making our way back to town, stopping at least 100 times along the way for photos. At the Friendly Market grocery store we asked a guy beside us in a parked van where was the best place for a burger. He said the Pizza Kitchen so off we went. Can’t disagree with a grizzled old local in a beat up old van. He was right. The burger was huge and really good (took 1/2 mine home and ate it for brekky), service was better than expected and I quite enjoyed the people watching. Another sunset, another couple Mai Tais and off to bed.
Thursday we went to Kumu Farms to get some fruit and see what else they had for sale. 4 papayas, one pineapple (from the big island) and some bananas for $15. After lunch at the condo we spent the afternoon checking out the resort, hanging out by (and in) the pool and walking on Kepuhi Beach. We were the only ones at the pool and the only ones on the beach. The sun was shining and it was divine.
Friday was the day to get out and explore. It was super windy but still warm. First we went to town to the gas station and to look for a hat for hubby. There was a few stalls set up near the bank selling fruit and baked stuff so I had to check it out. 3 mangoes for a dollar - sold. Mmm, coconut and cinnamon buns will go great with our coffee. (we also had to get a coconut log - never heard of it but she said to slice it up and fry it in butter for breakfast).
Next stop was Coffee’s of Hawaii to go with our buns, followed by Purdy’s Nut Farm, then the Phallic Rock and Kalaupapa Lookout. Coffee was good Purdy’s Nut Farm was really interesting and delicious and the hike up to the Phallic Rock in the fog/clouds and mist was like something out of the Hobbit. Of course that fog also completely obscured any view from the lookout but we checked it out just in case. No luck, maybe tomorrow. We were also too late for the museum by then but figured we would just go the next day. Next on the list was Dixie Maru beach and the sun was shining over there so off we went. After our wander along Kepuhi Beach I found Dixie Maru to be a let down. It was ok but full of thorns and the water was murky. We stayed for an hour or so and people watched but neither of us went in the water.
Saturday was market day and we headed off to town in hopes of some great shopping. Well, we didn’t buy too much but had some Dave’s ice cream and really enjoyed wandering around looking at everything. Wish we were staying longer and could justify buying some of the amazing produce on offer. We took a drive out to the end of the pier and marveled at how shallow the water was and how far out the reef went. I just had to stop and wander in the coconut grove, even after the warning of death by falling nut. In the afternoon we took a hike out to the rock point in near the resort. What an amazing view. It was then that we realized just how big the surf had become as we watched the waves crash on the rocks. I knew it was windy but wow.... After dinner we took our Mai Tais down to the pool area and just watched the waves roll in and the sun go down.
Sunday was our last full day on Molokai. We started out with fruit, yoghurt and fried coconut log (it was like eating warm coconut cookies - so yummy but not heart smart). After we went for a really nice walk to the right of the resort to check out the beaches there. I was amazed by the different rock formations and colors and textures. The beaches were stunning and the waves crashing on the rocks, mesmerizing. After lunch we went to the pool for a few hours and there were quite a few other people there which was nice. The clouds seemed to be gone and the rain stopped so we decided to take another drive out to the lookout to see if the visibility had improved. We didn’t make it. About 3/4 of the way there the car started making a pretty bad noise, then the tire blew. Not just a flat, but actually blew apart. Thank goodness the spare was in good shape and a couple of the local resident young people stopped to see if we needed any help. Considering that we had a spare and a jack but no tire iron we certainly could use the help. They were so very generous with their time, very friendly and had exactly the tools that we needed to get the job done. In less than 10 minutes our tire was changed hugs and handshakes all around and off we went. Not wanting to push our luck we headed back to the condo for our last night.
Next morning was still cloudy but at least the clouds seemed to have rained themselves out. We were up early and packed, ready to make one last attempt to get a view of Kalaupapa, of course first we had to go out and see if the spare tire was holding up. Luck was with us and we were good to go. The closer we got to the lookout the wetter it got and the thicker the clouds got. Things were not looking promising. Surprisingly, there was a window of about 5 minutes where the clouds parted just enough for me to see the peninsula and then rolled back in again. Mission accomplished and off to the airport we go. I loved the fact that I left a bottle of rum in the condo because we couldn’t take it through security in our carry-on, only to find that there was no security for our outbound flight. Oh well, hope the next people enjoyed it.
Another beautiful flight. Even though it was really windy the takeoff and flight was really smooth and very enjoyable. Both our flights with Mokulele Air left on time and the crew were professional and friendly. I would certainly fly with them again.
Overall our time on Molokai was very nice and way too short. I would love to come again and am already making plans to. The people were amazing and very friendly, but best of all - genuine.
Thanks for the report! Sounds like a great time and I definitely have Molokai on my "to do" list. Glad all worked out with the car!!
JC ~ So glad you enjoyed your time on Molokai. Your 'car' story sounded just like the experience we had last year renting a "local" car. Our car was also waiting at the airport, doors unlocked and key under mat. It was a small Civic, so we loaded up the trunk and back seat (we were staying for a month so had lots of stuff) ... but then we couldn't get the trunk to stay shut, lol. We drove it into town to pick up groceries on our way out to the east end. When we stopped in the bookstore quick to say Hi to a friend, I told her we couldn't stay long as I was worried about all the stuff in our car that was not locked (or closed!). She said, what are you worrying about ... this is Molokai, nobody's gonna take your stuff. I get so paranoid since on other boards there's always so many warnings about not leaving luggage in your car. But we were fine, and still laff about it. Oh, and the next night the battery was dead also when we were leaving Hotel Molokai after dinner. The performer at the hotel came out and gave us a jump after he was done playing ... and we were on our way. The following week, the driver side door handle fell off, and the owner wasn't able to have it fixed until just a few days before we left. Hilarious. Love those memories :)
Anyway, sorry to go on and on about my own experience. But yours so reminded me of ours. Thank you so much for your great trip report!
You guys are too funny....nice report!!!! Sounds like a "Molokai kine car" :) And yes, we love the locals too.genuine is a good description too. I remember the first year that we stayed on Molokai. We had gotten off the plane and found our beat up car that I had rented from a local. I named her Emerald because of the color and used to pat the dashboard each timed we got in to say thank you for starting. She got us everywhere we wanted to go and never broke down until the day we were leaving for the airport. The police came by and were nice enough to give us a ride so we wouldn't miss our flight. Left Emerald on the side of the road near the dump and gave the keys to the policeman. He knew the woman who had rented it to us and found her at the pizza place and gave her the keys back.
Too bad Dixie Maru was murky, but that happens when it rains. Glad you enjoyed your trip and thanks for the report!
"The people were amazing and very friendly, but best of all - genuine."
Awesome trip report and now you have me considering Molokai for our next mini getaway, in the middle of our actual trip. The above end sentence totally sold the idea, even though the the entire trip report was terrific!
I just love your laid-back, no worries attitude and it is one that we adopt once we are through security, beginning our vacation. Since we are sort of crowd avoiders, this island seems ideal! But then it is fun to visit with folks, just NOT crowds! I loved finding your reports and no problem ever with length.......happy to read every word! I look forward to November's adventures........ Deb
Wonderful report, JC, I keep saying this but you make it even more important for me to get my behind to Molokai!!
Just a bit of an update.
I followed up on the two local guys who helped us with the exploded tire. They showed us the true meaning of Aloha and I really appreciated it. They went out of their way to help us and when I offered a thank you gift they said "no problem, we were happy to help".
So in the brief conversation that we had with them, I got the impression that they had been heading to the church that we were stopped in front of when they came to our rescue. The next morning I made a note of the name of the church so I could google the phone number when I got home. After a few calls, I finally got an answer (not a machine) and explained what had happened and the two guys that I thought might be from that church. The minister on the phone said yup, I got the names right, thanks for calling and sharing our experience and of course, he would be more than happy to deliver anything I wanted to send.
We just got back from a trip to the west coast of Vancouver Island to buy a couple of t-shirts from the local west coast surf shops. They will be in the mail tomorrow to Molokai as a very small token of our thanks and appreciation.
I decided to post this message because last week I read a thread on another island about the loss of Aloha. We were touched enough by it to want to make an attempt to give some back, weeks later. I want to let everyone know that it is alive and well, and it is certainly alive on Molokai.
Sounds like a lovely trip..also love the phoots. Mahalo for sharing!!
Thanks for the update JC. I think Molokai sometimes gets a bad rap, but we too have always experienced friendly Aloha there. It was so great of you to send those fellas t-shirts from your area as appreciation for their help. Nice! :)