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Moloka'i


Moloka'i, the Friendly Isle is a shoe shaped Island which is one of the channel Islands in Maui County.  It's 260 square miles and 88 miles of coastline are very different from one end to the other.  The almost 4000 foot sea cliffs on the Eastern end of the Island are the highest in the world.  And, the valleys on that side of the Island are home to completely self-sufficient people.  Legend has it that the Polynesian who were headed on a course to discover Seattle, saw the cliff of Moloka'i and discovered the Halawa Valley instead. In any case, they built large fish ponds along the Southern coast to act as fish farms.  They are there today for snorkeling without pressure of the surf in the Kalohi or Pailolo Channels. 


Moloka'i is still locked in the 1950's, which is not a negative.  It has an airport (MKK) and a port at Kaunakakai. Beaches on the Northwestern end of the Island are beautiful. My favorite is Papahaku Beach.  This is a golden beach lined with Ironwood trees in red clay.  If you shuffle your feet in the sand, you kick up a red cloud which falls back onto the sand and vanishes, because the clay is finer than the sand.  Waves are beautiful and usually large. if you look closely are the green curl, you can see fish surfing the waves to pick off small marines creatures kicked up by the wave when it hits the sand. 


The tongue of the shoe is the Kalaupapa Peninsula. This is several thousand feet lower than the overlook above.  It is home to the last remaining families who were damaged by leprosy before it became treatable. It is home to the colony established by Father Damien, who was elevated to sainthood by the Church in 2009.


If you want to experience Hawai'i the way it used to be, Moloka'i is a good place to do it.  Just get on a ferry out of Lahaina, Maui, for a day of great exploring.