Aloha  – More Information

Aloha, Welcome to our Oceanview Condominium. Take the Kaluakoi Resort Road from the Maunaloa Highway 460 down the hill for 5 miles. Take the second right turn at the bottom into Kepuhi Beach Resort (Kaluakoi). Then turn left into the second lefthand parking lot of the Kephui Beach Condominiums (opposite the Ke Nani Kai sign). Building 17 is then in front of you. We hope you will find this place as charming as we do, and we hope you will keep it clean. This island has a spectacular natural history, making it a great place for many outdoor activities. After you have been a guest here once, you will be given priority over others.

Check-In Time: 3PM Check-Out Time: 11AM. You may see our website: Please close the patio doors when you leave, in case we do not clean until the following day. Note that if you have the deck doors open on a windless night, your lights will attract bugs from the gardens outside. You may draw closed the new screen doors (be careful letting them spring back, please). Most bugs want to go back out during the day, but get trapped by the screens and eaten by the geckos, which are allowed to live in here and do that (a “pet of Hawaii”).

Getting Around: Call Hele Mai Taxi (808-336-0967) for a reservation to get to Kaluakoi if you have not rented a car (you might try renting a car from our friend Dana Kish 808-658-0093). This is a “destination resort” so you can just relax, and be happy. If you want to get around the island, buy serious groceries, or eat in town, you will want to rent a car. There are, essentially, three dead-end paved roads leaving the airport area, so it is tough to get lost for very long. We take Alaska or Hawaiian Airlines from Seattle. Book ahead with Mokulele Airlines for the flight from Honolulu to Molokai. There are now two MEO Buses that a do endless loops between Building 14 to Maunaloa, the airport, and Kaunakakai town. The times leaving the airport are: 5:40a, 7:40a, 9:40a, 11:50a, 1:50p & 3:35p. The bus does not meet later incoming planes, as it is not meant for tourists, but it is free. The times leaving our BIdg 14 are: 6:00am, 8:00am, 10:00am, 12:10pm, 2:25pm, and 4:1Opm. (Subject to change).

Phone, TV, and Noise: We have a landline phone with a  recorder in the unit, 808-646-0608 or 808-336-0969. Long distance is now free, including interisland, US, and Canada, but not other international, which is blocked. The office of our Homeowners Association is in nearby Unit 1171 (first floor, building 17, first unit on the right end). The phone number is 1-800-552-2313. We have an Internet service cable on the desk, beside the little upstairs TV. You can also get itinternet wireless on the AOAO deck.  The best TV cable channels are 56 (index), 2, 4, 7, 8, 9, 11, 13, 47.4 (c-span), 48.1(CBS), 48.9(ABC), 49.3(NBC HD), and 51.3(CNBC).

Valuables, Stores, Clinic, Police: We are not responsible for your stuff. We will let you know, if we find something of yours on our cleanup. Drug, grocery, and hardware stores, etc. are all located in Kaunakakai. Molokai Clinic: 553-5353; Molokai General Hospital:553-5331; Ambulance:553-5911; Police and Fire Dispatch: 553-5355. The Condominium Association has security guards; they carry a cell phone: dial 1-808-336-1903. “The 808 is necessary, so don’t be confused.” There are two propane barbecue facilities below the palms out front. Renters are not supposed to have big evening parties there without a homeowner present. For charter fishing, snorkeling, and other activities, see one of the local papers. The TV is now on cable, and we have CDs, DVDs and VHS tapes and players. Please remember that you have large open screens, so your TV noise, as well as your conversations, can travel to other units. It is not the same as being in an enclosed place. Please respect your neighbor’s right to quiet from 10pm to 8am. If someone is bothering you, please knock on their door, and ask them nicely to keep the noise down; after that you call security. (In earlier times you might have tried the ancient “ana’ana” death prayers. If however, YOU are the problem, maybe they will call the Kalaimoku, or maybe the Kahuna-Nui’s “sacrifice snatchers”!) The 5 mile private entry road, water, etc., are shared by the Molokai Ranch, and all the condos and homes in the West Molokai Association, which was formed by (and from a part of) the Molokai Ranch. You can have mail sent to you at General Delivery, Maunaloa, Hi 96770. Packages can be sent to “Kepuhi Beach Resort, unit 2176, Kepuhi Beach Road, Maunaloa, Hi 96770”.

Dishwashing, Laundry, and Garbage: Dishwashing is your responsibility (there is a KAPU on dirty dishes when you leave). There is a small washer & dryer in the unit. Please do not overload. Coin-op laundry machines are behind buildings 16, 20, & 24 8am to 6pm (have quarters, and soap). I try to leave laundry soap for you, but sometimes it is used up. Of course, you can take your stuff home dirty, and let the housekeeper clean the sheets and towels. Please leave your garbage tied up in the plastic bags provided, in our dumpsters in the parking lot. Any open food in the garbage or on the counters, or on the floor will attract tiny ants. Recently I watched all evening while a thick line of them traversed the wall in the unit, going both directions. In the morning they were all gone, so I recommend just not disturbing them! Keep your food closed up or in the fridge. There is a water spigot & hose beside the dumpster enclosure for washing cars.

Plumbing or Other Major Problems beyond your control: See the AOAO staff at unit 1171.  If you need immediate shutoff of water, turn off the stop valves under the sinks and below the toilet To start the shower, lift the ring on the end of the tub spigot. The electrical breakers are inside the unit, on the wall behind the entry door. If something simply needs fixing, please leave us a written note, or a note in the guestbook on the table, so we will be sure to notice it after you leave. The electricity is the most expensive in the U.S. …23 cents a kilowatt-hour, so please be judicious in your use of it.  Solar electric will soon be installed on the roofs of three buildings (the covid issue has postponed this installation).

Tennis, Golf, Food: What remains of the the former Kaluakoi Hotel & golf course is still owned by Molokai Ranch. Our tennis courts have photogenic palms growing in them; take a look! The Homeowners Association would like to get the courts fixed, but they are on Ranch property. Ke Nani Kai has courts, but you have to play with someone you have met over there. The upland nine-hole Ironwood Hills Golf Course is $20 (turn left at the Ironwood Hills sign in Kalae before you get to the mule stables). If you are good, you will get over the 3rd hole gulch. The Cookhouse in Kualapu’u has mahimahi burgers and hamburgers. The  restaurant at the Hotel Molokai, Hiro’s Grill,  near town is at the water’s edge, and has local “singalong” music Friday evenings starting at 4pm, running to 6pm (bring your instrument if you want to be included in the group). On Saturday evenings they often have “Lono” from 6-8pm, who should not be missed. Also, do not miss the free Na Ohana Ho Aloha (“Family of Friends”) concert, ask where they playing.  We suggest taking some rice and cereal and so on with you, so you do not have to buy a big bag when you get there, and you have some independence from the grocery store shopping trip.

Ocean: There are beaches for every occasion. Kepuhi beach, in front of the Hotel, like many beaches in Hawaii, is nearly all sand in the summer, but is rock on the western half in the winter. It is a very steep beach, and has posted warning signs, because winter surf has drowned people. In summer, with small waves, this is a charming swimming beach we have greatly enjoyed, riding the small “shore break” waves up the beach, getting a suit full of sand each time. Remember that anytime of year, the offshore tradewinds and current is dangerous: “we didn’t get to one lady on a plastic raft until she was three miles out”. The beach between the hotel and Kiaka rock loses most of its sand in the winter months, like at the Maui Surf or the Kalalau Beach on the Na Pali coast of Kauai. The beach behind the 11th hole of the golf course has sandy-bottomed tide pools you can lounge in at low tide. Papohaku beach, the largest beach in the Islands, is just south of Kiaka Rock. A lot of sand from here was trucked and barged to Waikiki. You can find the remains of Libby Pineapple’s “cable landing” on top of the rock. (In fact, part of it is built upon & covers an old heiau.) According to Cooke’s book, “it was used for bringing ashore buildings, fertilizer, paper, and pula-pula (planting materials), starting in 1923”.) The surf on this beach is often dangerous in the winter. During high surf, you can watch the white spray rise from the cliff face forty or fifty feet, and blow back over the rock. Both the snorkeling and surfing in this area can be good, but obviously, good judgment is necessary, as well as the proper conditions in season. The stormy months (“rainy season”) are January, February, and March, sometimes into April. This provides good surfing in front of the Hotel these months, if you are good at it (this is where the locals come to surf). After rains, the seawater is muddy along the shore, so the best snorkeling is in the summer months. The dry washes and gulches are evidence of what happens when it rains ten inches a day. If it happens to you, don’t sit in your room. Get happy. Put a swimsuit on, a hat, and go barefoot and watch. I’ve seen kids actually surfing on the golf course behind Ke Nani Kai in 3 inches of water! (All that will remain a million years from now will be a reef, like French Frigate Shoals and others strung out to Midway.) Molokai’s high rainfall, dampness, and high temperature combine to produce a luxuriant growth of organisms that break down organic material, and aerate the soil. As with everywhere in the Tropics, the result is oxidation of the soil’s iron and aluminum and depletion (through breakdown and leaching) of potassium, calcium, phosphorus, etc. needed by plants. This results in the acidic “lateritic” soil, rich in minerals like red iron oxide, but poor in organic matter. If the rains have run this red mud into the sea, you have to find a place snorkel where there is an onshore wind.

The cooling northeast “trade” winds (easterly at the equator) are funneled over the West End Kaluakoi Resort by the East End cliffs, and blow strongly offshore at Kaluakoi. This is our “air conditioner”. The breeze blows through the louvers at the rear of the unit. Without these winds, we would be more comfortable at a higher elevation. The less frequent “Kona” winds blow the opposite direction. If the Kona wind starts to blow in the night, it can carry the sound of booming surf right into your room and wake you up! Both Kona winds and trade winds can cause big surf at Kaluakoi. The trade wind surf is bending more than 90 degrees around north point, and coming in to the beach against the wind that caused it (watch the foam blown backward off the cresting waves). Depending on how the winds are blowing, you may find snorkeling on the East End, around “mile 20”. Look for a concave bend in the road where a tree overhangs the beach. You can swim out there without a problem with shallow coral. At the reef’s edge, the botttom drops off between coral heads “to approximately twenty feet, all along the south side of the island, a mile offshore”. It is good snorkeling for miles. The locals use boats. We suggest you try the Fish & Dive Shop to see what tours they are offering. We swam with big turtles and whales when we went out with a guide. Sometimes they swim with porpoises, sometimes sharks. Locals and some condo owners scuba for lobster. Fishing out on a boat on the deep blue is quite an experience, also swimming over whales out there was amazing. We caught a “200 pound” shark on a third tuna line we didn’t get to fast enough. It took us an hour to get it up to the boat & release it. We froze the tuna and mahi filets for fish all week. Do this early in your trip.

The two small best-protected swimming beaches are “Dixie Maru Beach” and “Kaunala Bay” the smaller beach (better boogie waves) beyond it. (Take the trail behind the beach, and go over the fence bridge.) To get to these, drive to the parking lot at the end of the paved resort road behind the beach through the “Papohaku Ranchlands” to the south. If you go on the beach and walk the beach rocks further, you go toward Laau Point (a dawn departure is best). It is beautiful, but quite a long way to the point, and you will be sunburned on the return walk without a lot of lotion. In the other direction (N), small Kawakiu Nui Beach is the most gorgeous. You can walk there from the golf course along the ocean. There is a direct road, from the end of the short paved road end behind Paniolo Hale, but is quite a challenging 4WD experience. I suggest you walk: take the main left hand dirt road for half a mile or so. The walk can be hot, but you may be the only one at the beach. There is a small cave on the left side of the beach where you can get out of the early afternoon sun. I have seen an intrepid lady drive her little car there, hard to believe. I advise taking a walk to see what it looks like to you, going down the gulch, and then up the the hill out of the gulch before driving there. The further Kawakiu Iki Bay is rocky, but has a rock shelf along its left side that is a good snorkeling spot when it is calm enough to get in the water. We recommend the ancient oceanside trail beyond Kawakiu Iki Bay to the old Coast Guard buildings and the fishing shrine (Ko’a) at Ilio Point, but leave time to return (darkness comes very suddenly in the tropics). The trail is along the cliff edge, and the surf on the rocks below is often beautiful. Sand dunes surround the old Coast Guard station ruins. Ilio Point was a WW II practice bombing range, so shell casings lie around between the exotic plants that can stand the lack of rain here (3″/yr). Please do not trample this soft vegetation, which stores water in its leaves. We hike under an umbrella, with flashlight, sunscreen, water and food. Note: by law, all the waterfront in Hawaii is open to the public. Recently, “explosives” signs have been put up. Past the point, you come to “Ana Puka”, where a lava flow ran over a flat area sloping toward the ocean through a forest. The lava formed tube casts around the sticks, the empty tubes now standing a foot high.

Molokai Ranch: Watersports activities are offered through the Molokai Fish and Dive shop in Kaunakakai. The ranch was unable to build a large residential development on La’au Point because of opposition led by 15 very active local citizens. They say that eventually a car ferry at (then public) 0-Lono Harbor will link all the islands, which will make Molokai a very different place. We keep hoping that the Ranch will move ahead with plans to sell. Someone might make use of the dilapidated Kaluakoi Hotel and restaurant, adjacent to our condo complex.

Drive to “East End”, Halawa (“halava”) Valley: This is a fantastic one-lane paved road. It would probably have to be closed or made taboo for haoles if the Maui rental car fleet came over here! Please drive slowly; watch for local pickup trucks. The trail to the falls should be taken only when rainfall in Halawa Valley has been low, because the stream crossing is very dangerous when the water and current are high. (Know that it can rise very quickly.) The old village site is on the south side of the valley, below the small falls used as the local water supply. There are “Halava (Moaula) Falls and Culture Hikes” (Google this). If you go with Pilipo Solatorio, you will get a lot of “story”; Pilipo has been giving talks on local history to Elderhostel and other groups. Near Philipo’s place, is the flower farm of Kalani Pruet, an interesting side-adventure. You might enjoy horseback riding at the Pu’u-o-Hoku Ranch, @808-558-8109, Fx 808-558-8100 ($75/pers/2 hrs, 2 person minimum if the ranch is offering rides). The ranch location is spectacular, but the horse “sugar” is a bit slow. You get a choice of riding down to the coast cliffs, or up the ranch roads into the mountains, where most of their “ranchlands” are located.

Sandalwood Ship, and Nature Conservancy’s Kamakou Preserve: “4WD required if it has been raining up there” (it rains a lot – you can see the rain clouds from Kaluakoi, down below). The mountain has tropical jungle, rare & exotic plants and birds. They really don’t want a lot of people going there. The mountain road is west of Kaunakakai – turn uphill just east of the big concrete bridge. The pavement ends at the Kapiolani Cemetery. If dry, the 10 mile gravel road to the top can be done in a rental car if you have courage for pools of water, deep ruts and dust, but do not drive past the lookout at the top without 4WD, which actually might not make it the rest of the way, past the two gulches with streams at the bottom. We suggest taking a windbreaker for frequent rain and fog at the top. It is not difficult to walk the one mile “road” to the Paeopae Bog sign & boardwalk. The Boardwalk itself is not as good it used to be, but the overhead bromeliads, forest of flowering Ohia Lehua, swamps, lava tube holes, and the tundra-like bog at the top are an amazing contrast to the island below. Keep an ear out for vehicles coming up & down the road. Within the 260 square miles of Molokai are ecosystems extremely varied – wet rain forest with rainfall of 150″ and desert land on La’au Point, where an annual average of 1″ is recorded. According to G.P. Cooke, the ranch manager (1908-1948), “Old timers … have told me that the cloud line which forms in the late afternoon in trade wind weather is now (1948) at a thousand foot higher level than in the early days. This was caused by denuding the forest …”. The Sandalwood went to China, where it was cut into incense sticks. The other wood was “carried out in oxcarts through the shallows to ships”, for boiling sugar cane on other islands. Today you see reforestation results:  separate stands of eucalyptus, pine, paperbark, etc.. On inaccessible Olokui the State Department of Land and Natural Resources protects nearly pristine native forest and the last of the endangered ‘olomao birds.

Sand dunes, and Mo’omomi Preserve beaches: Nine hundred twenty-one acres here were deeded to the Nature Conservancy by the Molokai Ranch.  Some of is is being replanted after elimination of the invasaive, thorny Kiawe trees. It is a big area, with multiple beaches, and rutted, muddy jeep roads passable in the dry season. You walk west along the beach fronting the Molokai Ranch property. Start early in the morning, it gets better the further you go, but remember to time yourself to avoid dark. This area is spectacular, but has stinging blowing sand in strong trade winds; it has good swimming in summer or during kona winds. In this area, approached by an old ranch road or from the cliffside, around thorny brush, the rocky ground is itself wind-eroded, with very small thick-leaved ground-hugging plants, for very interesting and difficult walking. Recently, the rough dirt road out to this area, off the end of Farrington, is on notice to be closed temporarily due to vandalism. Consider walking.

World’s tallest waterfall, and world’s tallest seacliffs – The North Shore: The easiest way to see them is on the flight to Hilo or Maui on a clear day. Fishing boats can sometimes be chartered in the summer, to go along this coast. The north side of the old native Wailau trail where it descends the cliff into Wailau valley is reported to be steep and dangerous due to crumbling lava on the steep pali. A young couple who hiked it recently said it wasn’t too scary, because of all the vegetation along the trail, but it scraped up their legs quite a bit. A friend says there are ropes that are a help, if you know where to find them (we haven’t tried). Pelekunu Valley has also been deeded to the Nature Conservancy. They say the stream in Pelekunu is the last of 51 streams in Hawaii to still have sea runs of anadromous fish in it. Inter-lsland Helicopters (1-800-245-9696, Molokai 567-6128) can occasionally be seen touring from Maui, or at the airport (“when there is enough demand”). Most folks go to the overlook of Kaluapapa, and then take the mules, or walk down the 27 switchbacks. In the afternoon, coming out, the whole area is in the shade. I understand the mules are now out of business, due to their refusal to pay substantially increased rent.

Fishponds: The “sixty” offshore fishponds on the South Shore were the largest aquaculture operation in Hawaii, developed long ago by the burgeoning native population. Erosion, caused by cutting wood, and other human activities has silted in or filled most of the ponds, but you will see some them when you are driving the south shore. They are much more clearly seen from the air. A few of them have been repaired recently, with “cultural” financial support. The shallow water in and beyond the ponds to the reef is a traditional site for torch-spear fishing. Formerly done with Kukui Nut (in bamboo) torches, it is now done with rubber booties and white gas lanterns on windless summer nights with no moon. “Large Parrot Fish sleeping in the shallows are ‘paralyzed’ by the light.”

Phallic Rock & Kalaupapa: Anciently (B.C.= Before Cook, A.D.= After he Died) the place to go if you were unable to get pregnant, was the Penis of Nanahoa. You stroke it and leave an offering. Guests have reported doing this for infertile friends, but may be taking a personal risk. It is a short walk through a planted pine grove, off the end of the road, beyond where the mule ride trail goes down the cliff to Kalaupapa Peninsula (created by a small side cone of the volcano). You walk past the female stone on the trail up to the phallic rock, and one with a “pregnant belly”, and others with stick-figure petroglyphs.  The get down to Kalaupapa, you can walk down and back up the 27 switch backs of the trail,  you can fly in/out or you can ride one of the Molokai mules.  Regardless, you must have permission, which is granted when you take the mandatory tour at the bottom.

lli’ili’Opae Luakini Heiau: This “largest and oldest” religious structure is on the private property of the family living in the house near it. Drive east 15 miles from Kaunakakai and park immediately past the first small bridge with a white pipe railing. Just inside the cow fence on the mauka (inland) side of the road, is a muddy road. Walk across the field, and up the road until you see the house, and then turn left and follow the short trail into the woods. Be very careful not to disturb any of the rocks. It would be in the Bishop Museum if it were not so big. “The stones are said to have been brought by hand (bucket-brigade style) over the mountains from Wailau Valley.”- G.P. Cooke. Don’t touch the lua-pau (bone pits) and other features that were involved in the frequently (once a month) human sacrifice rituals that followed the religious revolution caused by new religious experts from Tahiti in 1200. A smaller, four terrace heiau (with a view) is sited on top of the beginning of a ridge – if you stand with your back against the Wavecrest entrance sign you can just see it uphill under the near palm’s fronds. There is a well-worn short trail to the left from a parking area located straight up a short road immediately west of the Kilohana school beyond Wavecrest. The road goes through a horse/cattle yard – just keep going straight up (do not take turnoffs to the right) to the open area where jeeps can park. You will probably prefer to walk. I have seen very tall grass in the road, but last time it was more open, as access to a local cemetery. The Kawela Place of Refuge (1-3′ walls of rock in a box shape) is not where the local map says it is. It is a hard, hot, two hour uphill hike up the creek draw (mosquitoes) to the east, on a steep spectacular ridge of rock. While the place is said to be “sacred” to some of the locals, you’d probably prefer a nap. George Cook says that “the mole (town dock) which is one-half mile long, was constructed in 1899 by (the ranch). Rock for its construction was obtained from a heiau called Oloolo above Kalamaula … during construction, the loaded cars, running on tracks, and carried rock by gravity to the mole”.

Hawiian Antiquities, by David Malo, 1898, reprinted 1987
Moolelo 0 Molokai. a Ranch Storv of Molokai. by George Paul Cooke, 1949
Molokai. an Anthropological Survey, by Summers, 1967
Molokai Solo. (VHS) by Audrey Sutherland, $32.95, 4-527 Puahi St.,Waipahu, Hi.96797

Regards, kipa hou mai (come visit again),
Jay and Suzy Wakefield

Revised 5/1/2021