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On a White Sandy Beach

We were playing in the sun
We were having so much fun
On a white, sandy beach of Hawai‘i

Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole (iTunes link)

It's less than two weeks until I get on a nonstop, 8½ hour flight from Minneapolis to Honolulu. I've spent a little time working out an itinerary - nothing too complicated to prevent us from relaxing and enjoying things, but enough to get in some unique experiences.


Moaula Falls in the Halawa Valley.

Annie is going to pick me up at the airport, and the first three days are open, although she does have some ideas about what to do in and near Honolulu. So I'll let these first days just be a surprise.

I also pre-ordered a Hero HD helmet-mounted camera, to be delivered to her house during the first week of November. It should be an awesome deal - it takes full 1080p video and saves to an SD(HC) card, and includes the waterproof case so I can take it snorkeling if we end up doing that.

Tuesday we're starting a trip-within-a-trip with a half hour flight from O‘ahu to Moloka‘i. We'll arrive on the island around 11 AM and meet the guys from Moloka‘i Bicycle at the airport. Then we'll ride east from Kaunakakai to stay at the Bamboo Paradise - an upstairs apartment rented out by a friendly, probably retired, grandmother.

The rest of the day and all of Wednesday are simply there for exploring. Maybe we'll ride a bit, along the shore, up the mountain, hang out on the beach, explore Kaunakakai, whatever. Annie has been spending a lot more time biking and exploring, up to 30+ miles per day, so we should be more equal in our ability to go places then we have been in the past.

On Thursday we'll get up early, around 6 AM and ride back through Kaunakakai, up over the central ridge of the island to the Mule Barn in Pala‘au State Park. Then we'll lock up and take a mule tour down the cliffs onto the Kalaupapa Peninsula. This was the location of the Kalaupapa Leprosy Settlement, currently a National Historical Park.

On Friday I'm hoping to get a reservation at the Moloka‘i Hotel so we can see Nā Kūpuna sing, dance, and tell traditional stories.

Over Saturday and Sunday we'll take a leisurely trip out to the East End. Saturday we'll have to stay overnight, even if it's in a tent on the beach somewhere. I'm sure the folks at the bike shop will have some ideas of what to do. Then we can take the Halawa Valley tour on Sunday morning. The seaward end of Halawa Valley was the first area ever settled in Moloka‘i, by travelers from the Marquesas in the 7th century AD. We'll come back during the afternoon and evening on Sunday.

On Monday, we have a choice of what to do - we haven't decided yet between a snorkel on the south coast fringing reef, or a sea kayak expedition. Much will depend on the condition of the seas, which are generally rougher in the fall and winter.

We come back to O‘ahu on Wednesday for another three days, and then I fly back home on Saturday, with a layover in Portland and a redeye flight back home. Still, the early arrival time should allow me to adapt to the five-hour time shift before I go back to the daily grind.

I'll do my best to post updates, either here or on Attackpoint. It may be the latter when we're on Moloka‘i, since we'll be traveling light and carrying everything on-person, I may not have my laptop, just my phone. And the video will definitely have to wait until I get home (even the laptop isn't powerful enough for full HD). And I have no idea what to expect with connectivity... but we will see. Part of the fun is not planning too much.