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Date:7/25/2014 9:23:42 AM
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Serene seascapes, unspoiled coastlines, untamed wilderness. We visit Molokai & travel back to a timeless place. This is an island that stays true to its Hawaiian traditions - tucked away from the hustle of the outside world; where no building is taller than a coconut tree; there’s no traffic & no traffic lights; where you can feel the power of Hawaiian culture from an area near Maunaloa, said to be the birthplace of hula, to the natural wonders of Halawa Valley.

Molokai is only 38 miles long and 10 miles across at its widest point. It is a friendly & family-oriented island that has deep connections with its Hawaiian ancestors. Unlike the visitor industry on the larger Hawaiian Islands, Molokai has preserved its true Hawaiian culture. More than one third of this island's residents have over 50% Hawaiian blood. Molokai residents farm, fish, hunt & gather many of their basic needs & they enjoy this lifestyle. Here we need to slow down, be less demanding, & respect the Molokai way of life. Molokai is the real deal. We are visiting the true Hawaii. We will enjoy & respect Molokai & her people.

Lining the northeast coast are the towering cliffs of the North Shore Pali. At 3,600 to 3,900 feet from sea base to top, they are the tallest sea cliffs in the world; their near-vertical plunge ends 2000 feet below sea level. We step cautiously to the edge to peek over. Whoa, that’s a drop! Later in the day, we do some ocean kayaking along the face of the cliffs; this is amazing beyond belief! We also discover secret, secluded beaches, sea birds, & cascading waterfalls which provide incredible, photogenic scenery

We then hike into the East End’s classic cathedral valley to see Hawaii back in time. It is believed ancient Polynesians settled in lush Halawa Valley as early as 650 AD. This area, half a mile wide and three to four miles deep, and blessed with beautiful vistas and towering waterfalls, is one of the island's most historic areas. Roughly two miles up the trail is the impressive, double-tiered 250-foot Moa’ula Falls. If you’re considering taking a dip into the pool, drop a ti leaf into the water first. Hawaiian legend says that a giant moo (lizard) lives at the bottom of the pool. If the ti leaf sinks, the moo is in no mood for visitors. If the ti leaf floats, it’s safe to enter. Our ti leaves are forming a veritable flotilla, and we slip gratefully into the refreshing pool. Soon we are splashing and playing like … well, kitties.

We have been invited to a luau by the residents of a small village near Maunaloa, birthplace of the hulu. After dining on succulent roast pig, and all the tasty side dishes, we are given grass skirts to put on for a hula lesson. Soon we are dancing and telling the stories of the island, looking almost like natives.

Tomorrow we will head for the island of Oahu, where our Hawaiian adventure will eventually finish.
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