Sunday, May 4, 2008
Molokai- an inside visitors guide
I've put up quite a few posts and pictures from the Hawaiian islands lately....covering three islands, Maui, Oahu, and the Big Island. I took a day trip to Molokai and it was fantastic. Molokai is the least developed of the five Hawaiian islands, and has the highest percentage of native Hawaiians on the island. I decided to shoot pictures and put up a post as if it were a visual travel brochure....just to change things up a little bit. Please read below.I took a ride on a ferry from Lahaina, Maui that took us over an hour to get to Molokai. Upon first leaving the harbor I noticed a capsized sailboat just sitting in the water....no hope for rescue.
We passed some surfers which was great because it enabled me to get an upclose shot from the side of a surfer. I was fortunate that he was a good surfer.
Looking back on the island of Maui. It's a beautiful island that has so much to offer.
We passed a whale that was far off in the distance. This shot was taken with a 500mm lens and cropped in....but it was still neat to see whales. Whale season ends in May as they leave for Alaska. During the season you can see them all over the place.
The first thing I noticed as we came to the harbor at Molokai was two fishermen fishing literally 1/2 mile off shore....standing in the water. Molokai is very unique in that it is 38 miles in length...and has 28 miles of coral reef...which enables people to literally walk out into the ocean.
I rented a car and took off on a drive. There is only 1 stop light on the whole island, 1 block for downtown, 1 gas station, and no fast food. There are two main roads that run from East to West and from North to South. I first headed West towards Molokai Ranch. The first thing I noticed was the unfettered access to beaches. This shot was taken through my windshield...you can drive right into the ocean if you were crazy enough to do it!
While driving I saw this amazing tree right on the sand with an amazing background. I just had to stop and take the shot.
I passed a campground where the inhabitants just made a home for themselves. No permit needed....I doubt anyone in the world knows where they are. Molokai is the perfect place...if you just want to disappear.
I passed the Molokai Ranch. It was the only commercial hotel operations still running on the island...and now the Ranch and the Cinema has closed down due to lack of business. Molokai isn't the place to party....so don't go if you're looking for Los Angeles on an island..(Oahu).
I traveled back to the middle of the island to hit the road going north to Kalaupapa. This is the famous peninsula where a minister named Father Damien ministered to a Leper colony in the late 1800's. They were placed on this peninsula for isolation purposes. You have to take a mule down 36 switchbacks to get down there....I didn't feel like riding a donkey for that long. So I got this shot from above.
Next to the Kalaupapa monument is the legendary Phallic Rock where ancient Hawaiian chiefs would travel to..to summon ancient powers. It took about 15 minutes to walk there...and it was definitely a sight. See below.
I left the Kalaupapa National Monument and went back down to the East-West highway (450) and started down towards Halawa Park. I couldn't help but take a picture of a horse tied up to a brick...just on the side of their only highway.
While the beaches are beautiful in Molokai....it's vastly different than Waikiki or Maui beaches where there are sunbathers everywhere. This is the ONLY person I ever saw on any beach....and I passed every beach on the island that you can drive to.
I had to take a picture of a bird sitting on a horse. It reminded me the birds that sit on the backs of rhinos in Africa.
At about the 20 mile marker down the 450 the road shrinks to 1 lane...and you're driving along this for the next 15 miles.
The road gets so narrow and windy that you are traveling at 5mph in a lot of areas. You have to honk at some curves to alert oncoming drivers...because there is no way you can see them.
A shot of the curvy, narrow, windy...but very beautiful road.
A shot of Halawa beach....isn't the beach just beautiful? It amazes me this place hasn't been found by developers yet...or if it has...the island isn't allowing development.
There are abandoned homes and settlements everywhere..I love it. I want to bring a bride or model here to do a shoot...it would be amazing.
I loved this shot. If you look to the bottom left corner of the shack you will see in red writing "Bus Stop." This is obviously a remnant of years past.
I turned around...Halawa beach is the end of the road. I got this shot of the water...it is so beautiful and untouched. This is why they call Molokai the most Hawaiian of the Hawaiian islands.
Shot of the beach coming back. They have a mix of sand and rock beaches.
I headed back to the ferry after returning the car and caught this rainbow as we headed back towards Maui.
There are two levels on the ferry...and with the wind and wave swell there was a ton of spray coming up. They kept telling me to not shoot on the 2nd deck (where this shot was taken) because I would ruin my equipment. But I just had to get some shots...and of course I shoot with a Nikon...so why worry?