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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 The isolation law was enacted by King Kamehameha V and remained in effect until 1969, when it was finally repealed.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...


Blogger UpNorthLurkin said...

So beautiful! We are about to get hit yet again with an "Alberta Clipper", bringing with it another half foot of snow! The photos make me pine for spring/summer! And, I'd post more often if I could remember how to log into this blogger deal! (Coming up on 58 yrs old ya know!! ;o) )

February 27, 2008 9:18 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

You are one lucky man indeed? One of these years I'll have to tag along. I'm sure that more fun can be had with a knowledgable guide!
Some wonderful shots and I'm certain that the scene itself os some 1000 times more impressive than the photos!

February 27, 2008 9:33 AM  
Blogger boberin said...

Oh, and one reason for the seeming lack of posts is the sign in proceedure. I'll be lots of folks are reading but few have the patience for the login!

February 27, 2008 9:34 AM  
Blogger JR said...

Did you take the tour of the coffee plantation??? A Mocha Mamas sounds good right about now...

February 27, 2008 10:00 AM  
Blogger Bunny said...

Wonderful pictures and narrative, Jack. I'm glad that you had a chance to explore a place you hadn't been to before. I know what a curious and adventurous traveler you are. ;-)
I'm sure you'll be a Moloka'i "regular" on future trips to "Paradise."

February 27, 2008 10:16 AM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

I've never been to Moloka'i - it looks lovely. I'm jealous.

It's cold and cloudy here in Maryland. I'd give anywhere to be somewhere where the sun is shining. Thanks for the lovely photos.

February 27, 2008 12:51 PM  
Blogger Hawkeye® said...

Good pics Jack. It looks like you had a good time...

while I was slaving away here in cold, boring NJ. Be that way... see if I care! I'd post more often, but I like to keep you in suspense. (Jack asks: Is he or isn't he reading these things?)

(:D) Best regards as always...

PS-- I don't think I missed that many.

February 27, 2008 1:17 PM  
Blogger Ms RightWing's Ink said...

I looks wonderful but I waited all winter for a snow storm and we finally got it so I am staying here. Nyah. Now on Monday it is going to be 50 and slush up to your ***, so by then I will be ready.

Aloha and smooth sailing

February 27, 2008 6:50 PM  
Blogger Beerme said...

I really have got to go there!

February 27, 2008 7:31 PM  
Blogger camojack said...

I came home to snow on the ground myself.

Spring's a-comin'!

I've made a lot of my own luck; growing up in North Philly with essentially nothing, I got myself educated, and currently make a very good living. A big part of that was going into the military and the programs that offers.

I reckon that I could be considered a knowledgable guide to Hawaii, having been bopping around on those islands for decades now. I'm glad that you liked the pictures.

I toured one of the coffee plantations in 2001.

I like to learn about all kinds of places and things, and figure a lot of other folks do too. I'm glad you (et al) appreciate it.

Also, you are quite correct...I'd like to spend more time on Moloka'i someday.

Before this trip, I'd only ever stopped on Moloka'i for fuel once back in the early 80s, and airports don't really count.

As for the weather here in the Mid-Atlantic States, it'll get better in a few weeks. Oh, and you are most welcome for the photos.

Having a good time is what it's all about. Don't feel too bad about slaving away in cold, boring NJ; I'm back to "the grind" now myself.

Ms RightWing:
It is wonderful in Hawaii, which is why I love it there. The temperature peaked at around 80º one day, and I think it got all the way down to 65º one night.

Yes, it's very beautiful indeed!

February 27, 2008 9:21 PM  
Blogger Grant Jones said...

Great pictures, Molokai is one island I never got to. Maybe some year....

March 01, 2008 10:23 AM  
Blogger camojack said...

Grant Jones:
Molokai is one island that most folks never get to; it certainly took me long enough to get around to it...

March 02, 2008 4:38 PM  

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