Lest anyone imagine us Madly, Kindly and Truly celebrating our “Golden Years” and Jim’s 75th Birthday on a beach somewhere under a palm tree with a tall drink with a paper umbrella—NO!!
We just cycled 50 Molokai miles today in a headwind, climbing almost 3,ooo feet on a gorgeous narrow road that even has Big Sur beat hands down for extreme coastal beauty. (This, because one dramatically rugged stretch of the road with almost NO cars, hugs the escarpment edge, zigzaging in precipitous switchbacks from the beach up to the pass offering jaw-dropping vistas of the azure sea crashing into white foam on rocks below).
Along the way, we stopped briefly to hike in hushed jungle silence to the remains of Liliopae, the island’s largest and hidden heiau (temple), where powerful Kahuna (priests) made human blood sacrifice drench the football field size array of stones blood red. The ancient aura is still potent.
At the entry to the trail, however, our path was blocked by a cursing Harpie. (Was she on drugs?) Why didn’t her proximity to the ancient sacred pools she was guarding, help her at least maintain a modicum of aloha courtesy while defending her beliefs?
She’s not alone with the major sturm and drang on Molokai against visitors. Turns out a few months ago a yacht with 30 tourists docked in Molokaii. Many locals are terrified that that signals the beginning of commercial tourism, cruise ships, etc. and they want NONE of that. Fair and foresighted enough. Unfortunately, since we’re in lycra bike shorts and neon safety colors, we stand out like beacons. We’ve been cursed, given the Hawaiian version of the double “F” sign and barked at by dogs. Not all the people are that way, for sure–some are very hospitable, and we are here under our own pedal power, respectful of the sacred sites and history of this island.
After the strident Harpie finally realized we were visiting at the invitation of our guide, her neighbor down the road, she retreated and we were able to set out on the jungle trail, probably still hyperventilating a bit from her high decibel confrontation. But by the time we reached the waterfall Jim and I were too beat and it was getting too late to even take the time to take a swim, envisioning still ahead of us, the return hike then bike ride back up and down those amazing hills. These Golden Years are exhausting!