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Moloka’i May 03

Hotel Moloka'i

Stressed out? Need to unwind? Then I suggest you spend a few hours in one of the hammocks at Hotel Moloka’i overlooking Kamiloloa Beach,
the gentle trade breezes will remind you that you definitely are in a special place.  Although there are some rentals available, the last few times I have visited Moloka’i, Hotel Moloka’i was  my home away from home.  The Polynesian village of  two story bungalows give you all the creature comforts of home, while allowing you space to unplug from the stress of day to day activities, but don’t panic WIFI is available at the bar. Yahoo! Travel featured Hotel Moloka’i in their series on 10 amazing undiscovered islands.  Full service hotel with a restaurant, concierge service, an amazing gift shop and swimming pool.
You will not find the hustle and bustle of some of the other Hawaiian Islands, this has earned Moloka’i several nicknames such as Hawaiian by Nature and “old style Hawaii”, the birthplace of Hula but one thing for sure, with more native Hawaiians living on Moloka’i still than on any other island, you will feel the history of the island, especially when you visit Halawa Valley, Kalaupapa National Historic Park and the Ali’i Fishponds (the oldest dates to 13th century).

Saint Damien

On October 11,2009 Father Damien was elevated to sainthood by Pope Benedict XVI at the Vatican, that event alone brought attention to this small Hawaii Island.  Quarantined for life (from 1873 till his death) in Kalaupapa to care for patients diagnosed with Hansen’s disease(leprosy). Father Damien helped build houses, an orphanage,church  and many other functions. Saint Damien’s Feast Day is celebrated on May 10th, worldwide by Catholic Churches in his honor. Two of the churches he built remain today St. Joseph of Kamalo and Our Lady of Seven Sorrows of Kalua’aha (still hosts weekly Sunday Services). Today the Kalaupapa Peninsula is a U.S. National Historical Park, you can view it from the lookout above, one-day pre-arranged visits can be done by flying in, hike or mule-ride down 1,700 feet of the highest sea cliffs on earth (be prepared to be amazed) the trail is 2.9 miles with 26 switchbacks – amazing,spiritual,breathtaking – it left me speechless. Once you reach the bottom you will be met by your guide with Damien Tours who will take  you through the peninsula. Plan carefully the park is not open on Sunday. By the time you leave the Mule Barn, you will know your mules name and be trained by company owner Buzzy Sproat, Hawaii’s resident mule expert.
Yummy

 The island of Moloka’i is working on sustainable crops and opportunities. One great example of this  is  Coffees of Hawai’i a working 660-acre coffee in central Moloka’i, and yes this signature drink is as good as it looks . Visitors can tour the farm with a buggy ride through the plantation  and sip several flavors of coffee. In addition tours into the Halawa Valley introduce you to taro cultivation, truly a engineering marvel the way the agricultural systems were put in place hundreds of years ago is amazing, but it allowed people to flourish in the small stream-fed valley. Nene geese(Hawai’i’s endangered state bird) have also been released are are successfully reproducing in the wild on Moloka’i. Work is also being done to restore some of the ancient fishponds.

 

Beautiful Beaches

There are several beautiful beaches on Moloka’i – you can get camping permits for Papohaku Beach Park and One Ali’i Beach Park from the  City & County Parks Department (808) 553-3204  or  but be advised that not all of Moloka’i beaces have restroom facilities.  Other activities that can be found on Moloka’i include  snorkeling and diving (south shore is home to Hawai’i’s longest continuous fringing reef, whale watch during whale season, deep-sea fish  and even play a round of golf at Ironwood Hills Golf Course.  Shopping in downtown Kaunakakai  you will find a little bit of everything , but you will not find any name brand stores , but all the basic necessities  of groceries,hardware,pharmacy,gourmet wine, art gallery, and local arts and crafts and the world famous Kanemitsu Bakery.

Having been blessed to visit each of the Hawaiian Islands many times, I always enjoy my time on Moloka’i, it is a spiritual retreat and heals the soul, it is easy to be transported back to a simpler time in Hawaiian History.   If you do not have time to stay on Moloka’i at least take the Moloka’i Princess Ferry  across the channel from Maui, takes about 90 minutes, one ferry in the morning and one late afternoon,rental cars can be reserved in advance. If you want to visit Kalaupapa , I would plan to spend a couple nights on island .
Hotel Moloka’i – 1300 Kamehameha V Hwy, Kaunakakai, Hawaii 96748   Phone (808) 553-5347
Contact Linda Dancer   Email linda@honeymoonsinc.com   Toll Free 1-888-811-1888 ext 331

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