"WOULDN'T YOU RATHER BE RIDING A MULE ON MOLOKAI?"is what the bumper sticker says that my husband brought back from his recent trip to Molokai. He and my dad took a couple days to explore this small, Hawaiian island island together over the weekend. Although my dad (Bill) has been there many times before, he had never been down to Kalaupapa, which is the old leprosy colony. Long ago, children and family members afflicted with leprosy were torn apart, as they were sent to live out their lives and die in Kalaupapa. It's a beautiful place, but also a sad place. It's history has a strong presence here in Hawaii, and most everyone here knows of the stories and the people that lived and served at the leper colony.
|The overlook of Kalaupapa below.|
This small and historical colony is located at the bottom of a very, steep cliff. The only way to get there is by boat, or by hiking down switch-backs. These days, you can also ride a mule.
They rode the old Hawaiian Kalaupapa trail down the highest sea cliffs in the world, boasting 26 switchbacks, an 1800 foot elevation, and 2.9 miles from point to point. The final point being, the Kalaupapa National Historic Park, where they went on a bus tour of the old leper colony. Very impressive! No pictures of the colony, but I can magine some leper-inflicted patients enjoying this beautiful beach!