I didn’t appreciate Moloka‘i while I was there.

But I think that’s because of my lack of planning and unfortunately, my naiveté. I had no idea, that I’d be spending my weekend on an island that screamed of Old Hawai‘i. Had I not experienced it for myself, I never would have known that 95% of the entire town (save for the gas station and a couple of restaurants) was closed on Sundays. Nor would I have ever known that there was one main road to drive on, that I swear takes all of 2 hours.

While I was there, I was admittedly (and shamefully), bored. There was really, nothing to do… we hit the town, we hit the east side and Halawa Valley. We hit the west side and tried to enjoy Papohaku Beach, to no avail (waves were pounding). We ate and we hung out near the pool at our weekend digs – Hotel Moloka‘i. We hung out at Murphy’s Beach, we hung out at the beach near our hotel and we even picked up a hitchhiker to try and make things fun. Also, to no avail.

It wasn’t until I was long gone from this place that I could truly appreciate how countrified Moloka‘i is. The respite from crazy, daily life in O‘ahu is sorely missed now. And the beauty of what little there is on the island is so mystifying to me. I really, can’t wait to go back – with a plan, of course.

Anyhow, if you’ve never been and are planning to go, here are my takeaways for you:

  • Befriend a local! That’s always how you get into the good stuff anyway, right? 😉
  • Check out Halawa Valley on the east side, just be cautious when you go (especially if you’re driving early in the morning). Of course, be very respectful of anyone you may meet along the way.
  • Eat at Kualapu‘u Cookhouse! That’s my favorite place on the Island. PS: It’s BYOA (bring your own alcohol) even in the morning for brekkie
  • Plan to spend time down in Kalaupapa. I never got to go, but you can bet that’s the first thing I’m doing when I get back there.
  • On Saturday Morning, check out the local market in the heart of town. There’s fresh produce and locally made jewelry, clothing, and more!
  • Plan for Sunday! We didn’t, and there really was nothing for us to do. We luckily found Kualapu‘u was open… otherwise, we would’ve been doomed, because even the grocery store is closed.
  • If you need a Styrofoam cooler, you won’t find one. We went to the hardware store (Ace) and bought a bucket instead. Worked just the same. 🙂

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