Some 70 participants from an international field journey to Molokai to compete in this 32-mile race, considered to be the world championship of long-distance paddleboard racing. The race begins at Kaluakoi Beach on Molokai at 7am and finishes at Maunaloa Bay, Oahu around 12:30pm. Call tel. 808/638-8208. Mid- to late July.
You can visit Perdy's Macadamian nut farm and have a tour from how they are grown on the tree to how they are harvested, dried, methods of roasting, how to cook with them,etc.Definitly buy some of the nut oil; different flavours and it is very healthy.
In addition to being the home to Honolulu, the biggest city in Hawaii, the island of Oahu offers its vistors 100+ miles of white sand beaches, transparent ocean waters, extreme waves for surfing, historical monuments, museums and tropical gardens and rainforests.
Picture: The lifeguard tower on the left overlooks a small island called Chinamans Hat from a beach in southwest Oahu.
Here's a quick list of things to do and places to visit is Oahu...
Waikiki Beach: A great spot to pop open a Corona and chill out in the daytime...and the go clubbing at night. This beach is right in the middle of all the action with sweet restaurants, bars, clubs and shopping in its midst.
North Shore: If you've ever surfed then you've probably heard of this spot which produces some of the largest and most majestic waves in the world. Surf contests are hosted here on a regular basis by surfers competing for the ultimate glory.
Pearl Harbor: The USS Arizona Memorial commemorates the 1,102 crewmen who perished when their ship was attacked on December 7, 1941. All told, 2,390 lives were lost in the early morning raid by the Japanese military which led to a war declaration the next day by US President Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Polynesian Cultural Center: This nonprofit center is located in the predominately Mormon town of Laie in the North corner of the Windward Coast in
This peninsula is one of the most remarkable and unusual travel destinations in the world and the highlight of any visit to Molokai.
It is a working leper colony and can only be visited by plane or by descending a narrow spectacular trail from the top of a cliff.
I went down on a mule. Our group was met by a guide (one of the lepers) who showed us around. Then we had a picnic at one of the most beautiful places on earth (and this is no exaggeration) at the eastern end of the peninsula.
The mule tour costs 140$ and can be booked through one of the hotels or at the stables near the Kalaupapa view point.
One of the more difficult National Park sites to reach in the U.S., Kalaupapa may be visited only by persons 16 and older, and then only by invitation. The best way to secure an invitation is through Damien Tours. (See our activity tip under Kalaupapa Mule Ride).
Once we arrived at the park on muleback, we were greeted by a congenial fellow in a dilapadated old school bus. He informed us that he was a mechanic, but today had been designated to be our tour guide. He did a great job. It was heart-rending to see the now mostly empty buildings and hear the tales of isolation and desperation experienced by the hundreds of victims of Hansen's disease who lived and died here. This is the source of Molokai's nickname, "The Forbidden Isle."
The natural history of the site is also extremely interesting. We viewed ruins which dated back to the times of the first Polynesian settlers to these islands, hundreds of years ago. The tour included a box lunch which we enjoyed overlooking what is certainly one of the most dramatic coastlines in the world.
This dramatic point in the Palaau State Park offers a spectacular view of the Kalaupapa Peninsula. A "leper" colony, this idyllic peninsula is seperated from the rest of the island by dramatic sea cliffs which soar half a mile above the Pacific.
The term "leporsy" is no longer politically correct, having been replaced by the term "Hansen's Disease." This contagious malady swept through the Hawaiian islands in the mid-19th century and hundreds of victims were exiled to this remote spot. Hansens Disease can now be controlled by modern drugs, so few patients remain.
Father Damien, a Catholic priest, came to Kalaupapa from Belgium in 1873. He literally gave his life in service to the patients, succumbing to the same disease 16 years later. Today Father Damien is highly revered as the unofficial patron saint of the islands.
No roads lead to Kalaupapa. In fact, this remote pennisula is a County to itself, Kalawao," totally seperate from Maui County, of which the rest of Molokai is a part. There is a small airport, and twice a year a supply barge lands at the dock, but the more adventurous way to visit this remote outpost is to walk or take a mule down the Kalaupapa Trail.
Not for the faint of heart, some parts of this trail were a bit frightening to me since I tend to have a fear of heights. These are the highest sea cliffs in the world. A half inch of wet rock and the sure-footedness of my dumb beast of burden were the only things between me and oblivion. I asked our guide if he had ever lost a mule and he replied, "Only one." Fortunately that mule was a "trainee," and not carrying a passenger at the time. Small comfort!
Karen is an experienced horsewoman and not afraid of heights. She said she wasn't scared at all. Of the many things we saw and did in the islands, this is the memory we talk of most.
In the high country on the north end of Molokai we reveled in the cool misty pines that comprise Pala'au State Park. There are picnic tables, petroglyphs, and winding trails atop 3,000 foot sea cliffs.
One trail was a pleasant walk to Phallic Rock. According to traditional Hawaiian religion, any young maiden who has trouble conceiving a child will become pregnant if she brings a gift and spends the night at the base of this unusual formation. Karen posed for a picture but didn't dare leave an offering. A necklace beside the rock let us know that an earlier visitor had done just that.
This is one of the most beautiful places on the planet. One of the Jurassic Park movies opened with helicopter shots flying up the valley. Two high waterfalls at the inland end, lush vegetation down to the black sand beach at Halawa Bay. Excellent surfing, calmest in August when it's double overhead. Six residents there now but previously uninhabited since everyone died the night of April 1, 1946 in a tsunami. Oldest human habitation in the Hawaiian Islands, dating to the seventh century. It was at its most crowded when we were there, thirty people max, all locals except us. If you go to Moloka'i DON"T miss Halawa (pronounced "HALAVA") Valley. Bring boogy boards and flippers.
You will find many beaches on Molokai and some of them you will hardly see a soul. Beaches here are not like the sardine packed beaches of Oahu. Great views, nice white sandy beaches and your own footprints....priceless!
The most beautiful beaches on the island can be found on the west coast.
Even though the sparse vegetation in this part of the island does not fulfil the Hawaiian cliché of a tropical paradise, the beaches, esp. the 2.5 mile Papohaku beach are world class (white sand, blue sea) and usually deserted.
Located on the west side of the island, Papohaku Beach is considered to be the best in Molokai and 2nd largest. It spans 3 miles in length and 100 yards wide and is almost deserted. We saw at the most maybe 3 other people on this beach. Appeared to be a great place for relaxing or a barbecue, camping is available also.
However, the currents looked threatening so I'm not sure how safe swimming would be.
Built in the 13th century this heiau is the 2nd largest and perhaps the oldest religious site in Hawaii. The temple was a school for sorcerers and was known for human sacrifice. It was constructed of stone passed hand by hand for 8 miles over mountains and a steep trail. No mortar was used.
On the National Register of Historic Places.
It is located on private land so you must call for permission to enter the site.
Ok, we didn't realize this and visited the site without permission or any problems when we got there, not that I'd recommend doing that. Perhaps nobody was home when we visited.
Anyhow, the trail leading to the heiau is across the street from the Hawaiian Warrior sign shown on my "general" tips. Walk around the gate (it's locked) and it's about 10 minutes down the dirt road right past a small house and to the left in dense vegetation.
The statue of Father Damien is next to the church and often draped with leis.
Father Damien was born in Belgium in 1840. In 1864 he was ordained a priest in Honolulu, then 9 years later he joined the leper colony on Molokia when many of his parishiners were being shipped there after becoming inflicted with leprosy. He dedicated 16 years of his life assisting the lepers and built 6 chapels, a home for boys then later one for girls, said mass every morning, administered medical service, built homes and even dug graves. In 1885 he contracted the disease but continued to work almost until his death in 1889.
The 2nd church built by Father Damien on Molokai, completed in 1874. The church is set amongst a beautiful background of mountains. Looking out towards the ocean another ancient fish pond can be seen.