Thursday, April 28, 2011
5) Visit the Punalu'u black sand beach - 01/10/11
When we were in Hawaii in 2009 there were 4 big things on my to-see list that didn't get seen.
1) A true black sand beach (apparently the ones we had gone to aren't true black sand beaches. 2) Flowing lava.
3) South Point/Ka Lae, the southern most point in the good ol' USA.
4) the Green Sand Beach.
Blair was bummed about the lava but didn't give a hoot that I missed out on the other three. In fact we drove right by both of the twice in the same day when we went to Volcano National Park.
Correction. In 2009, we thought that we have been to Ka Lae, in fact we followed the guide book directions to a T but the cargo lowering contraptions and cliff diving spot were missing, seeing as we drove right down to the ocean. It was windy though just like the guide book promised, turns out we were about 2 miles over to the east. Not good enough for me!
I've given up on the green sand beach only because it's a long hike and you can't swim in the ocean... so I'd be hot and sticky with no relief.
So long story long... when we were in Hawaii this winter I begged, pleaded and whined to go to the Punalu'u Black Sand Beach and Ka Lae. Everyone agreed to Punalu'u because the weather was bad in Kona and we wanted a change of scenery. So we had lunch at the bakery where they make the best Taro bread in the world (#28 on my list) and explored the beach. It was black. The sky was overcast. There were sand flies. I was relieved that no one else wanted to sit on the sand after driving 2 hours to get there. Oh, and there were no turtles on a supposedly turtle infested beach (didn't God know we were driving there too see the green turtles on the black beach... what do you mean it doesn't work that way?) So we wandered around, the kiddos dug in the sand, Seth took a million pictures, and I took some pathetic ones with my camera (I've been too lazy to bring my external hd over to my in-laws to get all the good pictures).
Somehow after that disappointment, I convinced my father-in-law to attempt the road to Ka Lae again. And we followed the directions to a T again, in case we had missed something. And we arrived at the same parking lot and saw lots of other people taking pictures and assuming they were at Ka Lae like we had 2 years before. So we got back in the van, and I felt like kicking things. I asked if we could stop at the historic Ka Lae sign back up the road to take a picture, and then I would get over it. WELL! Right by the sign where the book says go left, there was a plaque nestled in the grass and a road the went right. So we went right. And there it was! Cargo rigs for lowering cattle and produce onto ships. Sketchy ladders. A hole in the rocks that you can jump into it at just the right time it will shoot you out into the ocean (not sure what happens at the wrong time, we didn't bother to try). Gorgeous blue ocean. Beautiful stormy sky. Scary winds. Lava flows. And lush greenery. Perfection!
It ended up being such a gorgeous day, I had victory over the elusive South Point/Ka Lae. And I think M might have even slept on the way home!