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Hiking in Molokai can be a wonderful experience. Most of Molokai land is privately owned and you will need to ask permission to enter their family grounds, especially if it is gated off or says "Kapu" (forbidden). Also flash floods happen every so often and can rain you out in certain parts of the island if you're driving by automobile, especially to the end of the island known as "the East end". Watch for signs stating low lying areas or flood lines. Sometimes a cow or horse will stray from it's owner land, so please be wary of that. Much of Molokai is very rural and there is no need to go speeding down the highway. It's much better to take your time and enjoy the scenery.
Written Sep 21, 2003
Forgetting to rent a car until the last minute can be a critical mistake on Molokai, an island which is not really optimized for tourism. Take it from one who knows! There are only two national car rental chains and one local chain on the island. If you wait too long, you can end up with an expensive jalopy if you get anything at all.
Landing on Molokai at just about sunset, the local car rental company (Island Kine -- the two national chains were sold out of cars due to a plethora of family reunions on the island -- that's really the only thing to do there: reune!) picked me up late and drove me the 12 miles into town to give me a beat up 5-year-old Toyota Echo with 70,000 miles on it. Talk about plush!! The overhead light didn't work (which i didn't discover until after dark when...) the trunk didn't open with a key (...I was looking for the tab inside the car to open the trunk) and the windshield wipers did more to smudge the dirt on the glass than they did to clean anything. The seats were stained and the carpets were dirty and it smelled a little like cigarette smoke. Of course, the car rattled like a frightened robot every time it got over 40 mph, but at least it got good gas mileage. Maybe it's that last positive that justified the $90 a day rate, but I'm not sure -- after all, every ounce of gas was required to get to the remote filling stations from Kalaukoi!
To be fair, the people at Island Kine were very friendly. For that reason alone I would call them again (as long as I could get better rates).
Updated Jul 13, 2008
just your basic precautions....please be aware of the ocean as it can change anytime.
respect the people and the land.
if in doubt ask someone and you may be pleasantly surprised.
Written Sep 12, 2003