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How to Do > Molokai “Rustic charm meets tropical paradise on Molokai. And the people here are some of the warmest, most colorful friends I’ve ever met traveling. This may not be the Hawaiian island for everyone — but it was definitely the one for me.” — A D RiE N N E E g O l f, E D i T O R
Fly 25 minutes from Maui to Molokai on board Mokulele Airlines or Island Air. Enjoy your first views of Molokai’s world-famous sea cliffs. I made sure to heed the sign that visitors see when exiting the island’s airport: “Slow Down, This is Molokai.” There are only a few roads on the small island. Head toward Coffees of Hawaii, a plantation and espresso bar, to order your first of many Mocha Mamas. The beloved chocolaty iced coffee drink is the unofficial beverage of the island — for good reason. Eat dinner at the Kualapu‘u Cookhouse. If it’s Thursday, it’s prime-rib night, so don’t even look at the menu. Order the special — a huge slab of beef cooked to order and served with rice and grilled veggies — and choose the papaya-seed dressing for your garden salad. Head 30 minutes west on the only road toward Maunaloa, and check into the Molokai Komohana B&B. Your hosts, Tom and Karyl Rancour, will be waiting up to welcome you.
protected national park. You’ll make several stops — Mother Marianne’s grave, St. Francis Church — but the highlight is St. Father Damien’s seaside grave. At the end of the tour, your mules will carry you back up to the top of the trail. Freshen up and then head to the Hotel Molokai, just east of downtown Kaunakakai. Friday night is Kupuna Night when the island’s elders break out ukuleles and perform for diners at the property’s oceanfront restaurant. After dinner, stop for another Mocha Mama at Coffees of Hawaii. (Great any time of day.) You’ll be glad you fueled up on caffeine; at 10 p.m., Kanemitsu’s Bakery and Coffee Shop begins selling hot, freshly baked Molokai bread. Walk down the alley just to the right of the bakery and look for the handpainted sign — or the line of people. A huge loaf slathered in two toppings is $5.75. You can meet Tim from Molokai Fish & Dive at the Kaunakakai Harbor. Ask to see the Big Turtle House for an all but guaranteed sea-turtle sighting. Or let Tim explore new sites and see what you discover with him. He might even let you name the dive site. You’ll be hungry after the dive, so have a hamburger, fries and a shake at Molokai Burger in downtown Kaunakakai. Stroll down the street to
• Kalaupapa National Park Purdy’s Mac Nut Farms • • Papohaku Beach • • kualapuu Airport • Coffees of Hawaii Komohana MOlOkAi B&B • kauanakakai
The Facts PASSPORT NEEDED > No
CURRENCY > U.S. dollars OffiCiAl lANgUAgE > English WHEN TO gO > May for dry, balmy weather and a historic hula festival lOCAl DRiNk > Mocha Mama
Kalele Bookstore. Choose a dried coconut with an outlined drawing and ask owner Teri for her stash of markers. When you’re finished, you can mail the coconut to someone back home, all for about $15. I sent one to the islands office. Way better than a postcard. Stop by Purdy’s Nuts for a short walking tour of the macadamia-nut farm. Buy a sack of uncracked nuts; it comes with a handy foam ring to make cracking them open very easy. You’re right around the corner from Coffees of Hawaii, so stop by for jazz night to enjoy the company of locals — and a Mocha Mama for dessert. Join Molokai Outdoors for a cultural hike through the Halawa Valley on the east side of the island. This lush, mountainous area is the site of the oldest recorded settlement on Hawaii. Tour guide and business owner Clare will fill you in
on the history — but remember to bring your own lunch. This fullday adventure isn’t an easy hike. Back in Kaunakakai, eat an early dinner at Molokai Pizza Cafe. It’s the only place on the island to get a pizza pie — and one of the only spots that will be open on a Sunday evening. On your way back to Komohana, stop and watch the sunset at Kapuaiwa Coconut Grove. Just beware of falling coconuts. Ask Tom to make his famous bananaand-macadamia-nut pancakes for breakfast. Pack a cooler with cold drinks and snacks. Tom and Karyl can lend you a reliable map of the west-coast beaches and point out the best spots to snorkel (Dixie Maru Beach), picnic (Kaupoa Beach) and take a stroll (Papohaku Beach). Stop at Coffees of Hawaii and order one last Mocha Mama for the road. You’ll have to speed up again for the flight back home.
Hit the Beach
Meet the paniolos at Molokai Mule Ride in front of their stable at 8 a.m. There are only two ways to get down to the Kalaupapa peninsula: If you choose to hike, get ready for a long, muddy day. Opt for the mule ride, and all you have to do is let your mule do its thing — it knows the 26 switchbacks down to Kalaupapa National Historical Park better than you do, so there’s no need to be nervous on this steep descent. At the bottom of the trail, board the bus with Damien Tours, the only operator permitted to lead groups through this fiercely
Ride a Mule
Hike Halawa Valley
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How to Do > Grenadines “Many travelers do the BVI sailing tour, but I think this Grenadines route is even more memorable, more beautiful, more true to the old Caribbean we love.”
— j O H N B R A D l E Y, CO N T R i B U T i N g E D i T O R
of Port Elizabeth for a proper pub crawl; the bustling fruit market is a must-shop — and a must-eat is the lobster pizza at Mac’s. The sailing cruise continues farther south to Mustique and legendary Basil’s Bar. I’m still dreaming about the frozen Mustique drinks. But after, you’ll find yourself drawn to Macaroni Beach, with a long stretch of white sand. It’s walkable, but you’re better off buying a ride from one of the taxi drivers by the dock. Climb the hillside at the south end of the beach for a bird’s-eye view. If you want to spend the night, Firefly is a great treehouse-style boutique hotel on the more lively west side.
Mopion to yourself, make sure the captain plans to arrive just after sunrise. It’s your only chance. Take it. As you enter Clifton Harbor, Janti’s Happy Island greets you. It looks like a floating patio. You should stop by for a beer. On Union, look for some handpainted signs on the main road poking out of the bushes just past Evergreen Cafe. This is the entrance I found to Costello Paradise, the confederation of bars and art that culminates with the hilltop Pelican Bar and the best happy-hour view in the Grenadines.
Drink Up Mustique
Settle into Union island
The Moorings cruise of the Grenadines departs from Canouan. So first I flew to Barbados (you can stay overnight at the Crane, if you like). Then I took a ferry to Canouan, famous for Raffles Canouan and its spa with glass-floor treatment rooms set over the water. linger there.
Start Relaxing on Canouan
Board the Moorings cruise, where Capt. Simon Goodhead and fiancée/ first mate louise Cole take care of everything. First stop: Bequia, perhaps the Grenadines most socially vibrant island. There are enough bars along the waterfront
Set Sail for Bequia
Upon arrival here, there’s a good chance that Romeo, a boat boy, will show you the fresh lobster you’ll have for dinner that night. You can be sure to work up an appetite by snorkeling along the reef and in the protected sea-turtle lagoon.
Eat Up the Tobago Cays
With a population of 300, Mayreau barely feels inhabited. Climb to the church at the island’s highest point to see the wide-open view. Say goodbye to the Grenadines with a swim in Salt Whistle Bay.
Swim off Mayreau
Here’s the thing about Mopion — it’s almost too awesome. Essentially a hump of pure white sand in the sea, it has just one permanent thatched umbrella that’s set near its highest point. If you want
get to Mopion Early
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How to Do > Mentawai “Outside of talking with the shamans, the best way to experience these Indonesian islands is with a surfboard.”
— E D DY PAT Ri C E l l i , E D i T O R
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For this remote region, travel options are limited to charter boats and surf resorts. Of the latter, the Kandui Resort is considered the Cadillac.The all-inclusive sits on its own private island, can arrange your travel and hosts just 16 guests at a time.The resort’s umas (Mentawai huts) offer air conditioning, hot water and Wi-Fi. But I mainly just slept there.The resort’s lodge and the daily surf excursions to nearby islands are the big draw.
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Wake up, apply sunscreen and enjoy a traditional egg breakfast or a local one called Nasi Goreng.Then hop on one of two boats headed out for the morning surf session.There are 16 surf spots accessible by canoe from Kandui’s lodge that offer waves for any skill level. I started on the smaller breaks first. Regardless of where you go, surf guides join you, each of whom are trained paramedics — a huge comfort so far from civilization.
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Savor the daily surf routine of morning 3-8 and afternoon surf sessions with meals in between.The staff can also arrange other activities — such as touring a nearby village or snorkeling or fishing. Jump in a skiff to explore the Dead Forest, a field of uprooted trees in the swampy interior. Or hop in a boat headed to villages in the heart of Siberut. To meet shamans, well, they come to you. The shamans stop in to entertain guests at the Kandui Resort with traditional dances. Join in and — if you dare — ask them about souls.
Repeat, Repeat, Repeat
Explore and Meet Shamans
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Nestled on a private 4300-acre beach preserve with the Bahamas largest watersports program. Pristine beaches, luxury oceanview townhomes & dive center. Ranked #2 of all 373 Bahamas Hotels.
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Wood crafts abound. To fly home with a paddle, conceal its spear-like appearance with cardboard. Prep for questions. Remind yourself this keepsake’s soul is now connected to yours. Treasure it.
get a Souvenir
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