Molokai – The Friendly Isle (Day 2 & 3 – North and East Side…Plus a little car key mishap)

BugleIn case you missed our first day on the island, catch – up here.

Day 2 started out perfect.  We woke up to birds chirping and cool and refreshing breeze blowing through our little hotel room.  I was a little worried about how hot the room would get at night, but with the sliding door and windows open, the breeze was perfect.

We ate at Kanemitsu’s Bakery for breakfast before heading to the north to see Phallic Rock and the Kalaupapa Lookout.  I thought that this would take the better part of a day to accomplish, but the drive was a quick, but scenic one.  After a short walk down a paved trail, the trees parted and we were at the edge of a cliff overlooking the pacific and the settlement of Kalaupapa.  The settlement of Kalaupapa is the main attraction on Molokai.  There are only three ways to see the former leprosy colony, you can hike down by foot, ride down on a mule, or fly in via a plane.  We were not able to take the tour because you must be 16 or older to enter the colony and we had Ellie with us, so maybe next time.  It was such a sight to see this small settlement surrounded by the world’s tallest sea cliffs.  Talk about isolation, even by today’s means of transportation.

After the outlook, we walked in the opposite direction for another short walk to view Phallic Rock.

On our way back toward town, we stopped at the Old Sugar Mill and attempted to look through the museum and mill, but Ellie was running around and starting to get cranky, so we had to cut our visit short.  She passed out as soon as we put her in the car.  We headed back to Kaunakakai, the main town, and grab us some burgers to go and headed to a park to eat them.  We stopped at this nice park right past our hotel and ate our burgers near the water.  It was nice to look out and see Lanai directly across from us.  You can even see the evidence of the ancient fish ponds that used to dot the south shoreline.

It was still early in the day, so we headed off to the east.  It was such a beautiful and scenic drive.  Since the road runs next to the water, we had perfect views of the water throughout most of the drive.  The further we went the narrower and winding the road became curving in and out of coves and hugging the mountain.  Towards the end, we came around a deep curve and a beautiful waterfall came into view.  You can actually set up to take a tour through the Halawa Valley and to the falls, but again, we had Ellie with us and didn’t want to drag her through a 4 mile hike.  We were content seeing Hawaii’s tallest waterfall from a distance and driving to the end of road to view the Halawa Valley.

We noticed this little sandy beach along our drive and decided to stop on the way back to enjoy a quick break.  Ellie had just woken up from her nap, so it was the perfect time to stop.  Our quick break turned into about a three hour ordeal…why you wonder…well silly me lost our keys.  In my defense, I think the ocean decided to play a trick on me.  I forgot my camera in the car and went back to grab it and am not sure what happened to the keys after that.  Our cell phones, water, snacks, you name it, were all locked in the car and no keys in sight.  Thankfully some locals were enjoying the beach as well and were gracious enough to help me call the Alamo Roadside Assistance…luckily I added the package to our contract when we picked-up the car…the extra $5 a day is soooooooooo worth it.  So there I am on the phone with roadside assistance and we get to the part in the conversation where we have to locate where we are so they can send someone out to us…well…we have no idea where we are.  The people helping us said that we are at a beach called Sandy Beach….go figure.  The guy on the phone kept asking me if we were near any landmarks…no…houses…no…anything…no.  I am guessing at this point in time, the guy on the phone has never been to Molokai or else he would understand the lack of anything that would be near us.  All I could say was that we were directly off of the only paved road on the east side of the island on some random beach in a small cove.   Finally after him looking on google maps, he thinks he has found our location and will send someone out…fingers crossed.  The people that had let me borrow their cell phone also gave us some bottled water, a baggie full of trail mix, and even let me borrow a sarong to wrap around my shoulders that were becoming burned.  I had to stand next to the road in the midday sun in order to get phone service…in fact, if we were about 100 yards in either direction, we wouldn’t have phone service.  We pretty much didn’t have any phone service on the island unless we were in town…or….where we were at that moment…talk about lucky.  The locals that were helping us had to leave before the roadside assistance showed up, but they said that they would come back in a couple of hours to check on us.  It warms my heart how helpful these people where, not only did they loan out their phone to us, but the snacks…and the water…and the sarong, which she let me keep…and I could just go on and on.  They also stopped by the fire department and sent them out to see if they could help us.  The fire department and the roadside assistance showed up about the same time.  While the roadside guy worked to open the car, the fire department scoured the beach in search of our keys.  The airport did not have a spare on hand, so they were hoping maybe I somehow dropped it in the car or on the beach.  Whatever happened to the keys…they were gone…never to be found again.  We grabbed all of our belongings out of the car and hopped into the roadside assistance car and headed back to the airport to get another car.  Thankfully the crime rate is really low on Molokai, so the chances of our rental being there the next day without a scratch was pretty high.  We were given another rental at the airport and we were on our way again….just in time to grab dinner and head back to the hotel for the night.  I’ll take a beautiful beach to be stranded at any day.  Despite the key mishap, we had another wonderful day and had one more to look forward to.

Our last day on the island was really relaxed.  We grabbed breakfast at the bakery again and then headed to a different beach on the west side.  Kepuhi Beach was beautiful, but the surf was rough, so we just relaxed on the sand until it was time to head back to the airport.  We grabbed some sandwiches at a one of the local grocers and headed back to the same park to picnic.  Afterwards, we headed back to the airport, boarded our little prop plane, and headed home, just in time to beat some bad weather making its way over the mountains.

This is one of those vacations that will remain at the top of my favorites list.  We didn’t do much, but something about not doing anything seems to make the best vacations…even if the most exciting thing to happen was to lose the car keys.

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