Fy 25 minutes romMaui to Mookai onboard Mokuee Airinesor Isand Air. Enjoy yourrst views o Mookai’sword-amous sea cis.I made sure to heed the signthat visitors see when exitingthe isand’s airport: “Sow Down,This is Mookai.”There are ony a ew roads onthe sma isand. Head towardCoees o Hawaii, a pantationand espresso bar, to order yourrst o many Mocha Mamas. Thebeoved chocoaty iced coeedrink is the unocia beverageo the isand — or good reason.
Eat dinner at the Kuaapu‘uCookhouse. I it’s Thursday, it’sprime-rib night, so don’t evenook at the menu. Order thespecia — a huge sab o beecooked to order and served withrice and gried veggies — andchoose the papaya-seed dress-ing or your garden saad.Head 30 minutes west on theony road toward Maunaoa, andcheck into the Mookai Komo-hana B&B. Your hosts, Tom andKary Rancour, wi be waiting upto wecome you.
Rde a Mue
atMookai Mue Ride inront o their stabe at8 a.m. There are onytwo ways to get downto the Kaaupapa peninsua: Iyou choose to hike, get ready ora ong, muddy day. Opt or themue ride, and a you have to dois et your mue do its thing — itknows the 26 switchbacks downto Kaaupapa Nationa Histori-ca Park better than you do, sothere’s no need to be nervous onthis steep descent.At the bottom o the trai,board the bus with Damien Tours,the ony operator permitted toead groups through this ercey
protected nationa park. You’make severa stops — MotherMarianne’s grave, St. FrancisChurch — but the highight isSt. Father Damien’s seasidegrave. At the end o the tour, yourmues wi carry you back up tothe top o the trai.Freshen up and then head tothe Hote Mookai, just east odowntown Kaunakakai. Fridaynight is Kupuna Night when theisand’s eders break out ukue-es and perorm or diners at theproperty’s oceanront restaurant.Ater dinner, stop or anotherMocha Mama at Coees oHawaii. (Great any time o day.)
You’ be gad you ueed upon caeine; at 10 p.m., Kane-mitsu’s Bakery and Coee Shopbegins seing hot, reshy bakedMookai bread. Wak down theaey just to the right o thebakery and ook or the hand-painted sign — or the ine opeope. A huge oa sathered intwo toppings is $5.75.
You can meet Timrom Mookai Fish &Dive at the KaunakakaiHarbor. Ask to see theBig Turte House or ana but guaranteed sea-turtesighting. Or et Tim expore newsites and see what you discoverwith him. He might even et youname the dive site.
You’ be hungry ater the dive,so have a hamburger, ries anda shake at Mookai Burger indowntown Kaunakakai.Stro down the street toon the history — but rememberto bring your own unch. This u-day adventure isn’t an easy hike.
Back in Kaunakakai, eat aneary dinner at Mookai PizzaCae. It’s the ony pace on theisand to get a pizza pie — andone o the ony spots that wi beopen on a Sunday evening.
On your way back to Komohana,stop and watch the sunset atKapuaiwa Coconut Grove. Justbeware o aing coconuts.
Ht the Beach
Ask Tom to makehis amous banana-and-macadamia-nutpancakes or breakast.Pack a cooer withcod drinks and snacks. Tom andKary can end you a reiabemap o the west-coast beachesand point out the best spotsto snorke (Dixie Maru Beach),picnic (Kaupoa Beach) and takea stro (Papohaku Beach).
Stop at Coees o Hawaii andorder one ast Mocha Mama orthe road. You’ have to speed upagain or the fight back home.
WHEN TO gO>
May or dry, bamyweather and a historic hua estiva
How to Do>
“Rustic charm meets tropical paradise on Molokai. And the people here are some of the warmest, mostcolorful friends I’ve ever met traveling. This may not be the Hawaiian island for everyone — but it was denitely the one for me.”
ADRiENNE EgOlf, EDiTOR
J O N A H E G O l F