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Uncommonly Sensible

Keeping the "anal" in analytical... (While trying to remain civilized)

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Location: United States

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

The Friendly Isle!

Those who know me are aware that I go spend some time in Hawaii every Winter; usually I just go to the Big Island, but this time I also went to Moloka'i, because (unlike most of the other Hawaiian Islands) I'd never really spent any time there:

As the title of the post implies, it is indeed a friendly isle...or at least the inhabitants are, at any rate. Perhaps that's because it is one of the least visited of the Hawaiian Islands, so it's a bit more "laid back" and relaxed. Anyway, all of the islands have a nickname (eg: Kauai is known as "The Garden Isle") and Moloka'i is "The Friendly Isle".

The first thing I went to see was Kalaupapa:
(From an overlook; access is limited)

"Kalaupapa is a small village on the island of Moloka‘i in the state of Hawai‘i, and part of Kalawao County.

The village is located on the Kalaupapa Peninsula at the base of the highest sea cliffs in the world, dropping about 3,315 feet (1,010 m) into the Pacific Ocean.

The village is the site of a former leprosy settlement which was attended by Father Damien and Mother Marianne Cope, among others. At its peak, about 1,200 men, women, and children were in exile in this island prison. The isolation law was enacted by King Kamehameha V and remained in effect until 1969, when it was finally repealed. Today, 33 former sufferers of leprosy—now known as Hansen's Disease—continue to live there. The colony is now part of Kalaupapa National Historical Park."

(From Wikipedia)

The Kalaupapa Peninsula is on the North side of Moloka'i, as seen on the map toward the top of this entry.

At the far Western end is a pristine beach:

It's called Papohaku Beach and is 3 miles long.

On the Eastern end of Moloka'i is Halawa Valley:

Halawa Valley is the site of the oldest known Hawaiian settlement on Moloka'i. It was extensively cultivated with taro, from which poi is made, among other things. The valley is divided by Halawa Stream which provided the water for the taro patches. Before a tsunami in 1946, this valley was heavily populated. Today very few people live there, but it's still a popular destination.

The South side of Moloka'i is mostly protected by a reef. Here's one of many old fish ponds on the South shore, where fish were fattened up as a food source:

An old outrigger rests quietly therein, Maui in background.

In the middle of the South shore, about a mile West of the main town of Kaunakakai is Kapuaiwa, one of the few remaining royal coconut groves in Hawaii, which was planted on what was once the vacation retreat of King Kamehameha V in the 1860s:

You can see the Island of Lana'i in the background of the picture above. Although the Kapuaiwa grove is in one of the driest places on the island, it is fed by underground springs. It is said that the original grove was about 10 acres and contained 1,000 coconut trees.

The guesthouse where I stayed is the Hale Malu:

Of course I love the seats in back of the vehicle on the right...

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