We have wanted to see Molokai on previous visits and today we took the leap. It starts early as we showed up at the dock in Lahaina at 6.45 for a departure at 7.30. After a somewhat bumpy and wet ride for 1.30 hours to Kaunakakai Wharf in Molokai we met our tour van and guide.
We first journeyed to Kalaupapa Lookout for a light trail hike through ironwood forest where we had a fantastic view of Kalaupapa Peninsula. In the 1880's when Hansen's disease, formerly known as leprosy, swept through the Islands the worst cases were sent to this isolated peninsula. In 1873 Father Damien arrived and was revered for his infinite love for the residents of Kalaupapa. Also there is another walk down a trail where it is important to pay attention as there are many roots from the trees to the phallic rock, symbol of fertility and it is said that every one visiting this spiritual place became pregnant.
Our next stop is the Coffees of Hawaii to visit the largest and most unique private coffee farm with an estate of 500 acres producing Arabica beans. The best keep secret is the group of locals playing Ukuleles, signing and some Hawaiian hula dancing. We tried the Mocha Moma a frozen coffee drink and its the best.
Moving on to Purdy's Macadamia Nut farm and a one man show educating us in growing, drying and roasting (no oils) these fantastic nuts. Once you try the samples its a must to take home, including the Mac Honey, and mustard.
Lunch is at a local restaurant with a choice of hamburgers, turkey burgers or fish burgers with fries of course.
Leaving the restaurant its off to St Joseph Church and to Kumimi. The church built by Father Damien in 1873 was renovated 100 years later to commemorate its 100 anniversary. The Bishop Museum along with members of the Catholic Church helped to prepare the church for the special occasion. The cemetery along side the church are members. This church represents all the churches built by Father Damien as they are similar. After St Josephs it is off to Kumimi, and Maurice point. You can see the Napili coast of Maui and Lanai as well as a area which was used for a fish farm.
Last is a little shopping in Kunakakai's small town, not your tourist shops, all local. There are some local vendors, farmers market, ice cream shop, etc.. As we departed we left behind the best part of the tour, our guide. His knowledge of the island, people, history along with a little singing, jokes and such where priceless.