Our last full day on Molokai -- and it’s been a very busy week. It was our thought on Day One that we’d just cruise this rather small island, with its perhaps 75 miles of paved “main highway”, to just scope out where we might want to go for each following day. As it turns out, we’ve spent virtually all of our time here just accomplishing what we thought we’d do on Day One. We now know a LOT of places we’d like to spend more time; but we have none of that commodity left. Maybe a return trip at some point would resolve that dilemma.
Following our fabulous flight to Kalaupapa yesterday, we did get a bit intrigued by that arduous trail that begins at the top of the cliffs in “Topside”. Not that we wanted to hike it, mind you. But we did develop an interest in seeing just what the top end of the trail looks like. So today we drove Highway 470 north some 10 miles or so from town to its terminus at Palaau State Park. There we found a sign pointing to a trail that led us down a tree-lined path to the overlook. This is the only spot on Molokai where you can actually “see” the Kaluapapa peninsula far below. Very far below! Being at the top of the cliffs, the winds here were fierce. Toss in a bit of morning mist, and you have conditions that are not conducive to spending a great deal of time at the overlook. Combine that with the fact we’d both flown over and visited this area just yesterday, and we concluded that “visiting” K’papa this way is a very distant second choice. Unfortunately, and precisely because of its inaccessibility, this is as close as most visitors will get.
Returning to our now-familiar village of Kaunakakai, were on the lookout for what we’d learned would be the day for the farmer’s market. We've visited a number of farmer’s markets, but this one was a bit different, and definitely scaled to the limited population center here. Most of these folks were homeowners that were bringing fruits and vegetables that grow on their property -- I mean, like in their back yard! Though this was a sort of micro version of a farmer’s market, it was quite colorful -- and most certainly the place the locals gathered today. Each vendor had very small quantities of items that grow here, such as yams, taro root, mangos, papayas, bananas and limes.
The only other gem we learned was to watch on Fridays for a guy parked in a pickup truck in front of the import store, because he’d be selling local fish and/or shrimp if he’d had any luck that week. Otherwise seafood, like all other groceries on the island, come in once a week (Wednesdays) by barge. We watched for the guy w/the pickup truck on Friday, and sure enough he’d showed up to sell what he’d caught that week -- fresh Molokai shrimp. Fabulously fresh, and uncommonly tasty.
Tomorrow we’ll be winging our way back to PDX to complete the circle. Our “puddle jumper” flight this time will be first a 12 minute flight to Lanai, then on to Oahu to connect with our non-stop flight back to the mainland. We’ll be doing one final “update” on our visit to Molokai, this time with a compendium of observations and travel tips for those who might contemplate spending a bit of time on this unique and friendly Island.