First full day

Punalu'u Travel Blog

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Scenic view stop along the highway
We had a slow morning as we were trying to get use to the 4-hour time zone change from Chicago.  Some of us (like me) woke up at 4 am and had trouble going back to sleep.  How do you deal with jet lag?

In talking with some of the resort personnel we discovered that the main tourist attraction - the National Volcano Park - is not fully open.  The earthquake that hit the island last year had caused the lava flow to shift into a forested area.  Also, there was an increase of the odorless, dangerous sulfur dioxide in the air around the volcanoes.  

Crap!  It seemed that the main reason we had chosen this island to visit was out of the question for safety reasons.  So we had to make another choice for our first full day.
Trying to get a better view


We decided to go see the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach Park located on the southern coast of the island.  The beach is known for its black sand (thus the name) and the Hawaiian Sea Turtles seem to enjoy coming to the island and “bask” in the sun.

On our 2-hour road trip to the beach we were astonished to see how the land drastically varied as we went south on Highway 11.  It went from a nicely forested landscape with a couple of pine trees scattered here and there to a land filled with black, lava rocks that looked like topsoil and then into a very beautiful green landscape.

Along the highway there were several designated scenic points.  It was from one of these points that we got to see a couple of whales - most likely a mother whale with her young calf.
If you look closely you can see some whales...maybe not...
  It was towards the end of the whale calving season when we went to Hawaii so this was the first of several whale sightings we had all week.   

We finally arrived to the Punalu’u Beach Park and for the first time for all of us we got to see black sand.  The sand was such a deep, black color that we thought our hands and feet would become muddy.  The sand is roughly textured but there was no problem walking bare-footed in the sandy area.  There were portions though where the terrain was a bit rougher and rockier.

It was while we were walking along the shore that we spotted a couple of sleeping turtles.  They were huge!  I don’t think any of us were expecting to see such huge examples of green sea turtles but we were happy to see them.  

Signs on the beach warned us that we couldn’t get closer than 15 ft. under penalty of fines - so everyone was a good distance from them.   

The day was somewhat cloudy and the water was a bit too cold that none of us were willing to go swimming in the ocean that day.  So after we ate our late lunch we decided to head back to the Kona area.  

On our way back we stopped at a nearby bakery to buy some Hawaiian bread for tomorrow’s breakfast and to try some of their ice cream.

sybil says:
i deal with jet lag by forcing myself to not nap once i get there, drinking lots of water and no alcohol for the first day. hard. i know. :D
Posted on: Apr 01, 2008
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Scenic view stop along the highway
Scenic view stop along the highway
Trying to get a better view
Trying to get a better view
If you look closely you can see so…
If you look closely you can see s…
My sisters and Daniel
My sisters and Daniel
Is this Hawaii?
Is this Hawaii?
New topsoil thanks to the volcanoe…
New topsoil thanks to the volcano…
Back into lush land
Back into lush land
What happened to all the trees?
What happened to all the trees?
Beautiful green color
Beautiful green color
Another scenic view stop along the…
Another scenic view stop along th…
Me
Me
Punaluu Beach Park
Punalu'u Beach Park
Cilvia and Daniel
Cilvia and Daniel
Carefully making our way down the …
Carefully making our way down the…
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles
Close-up
Close-up
Me
Me
A turtle relaxing in a pool of wat…
A turtle relaxing in a pool of wa…
Contrast 1
Contrast 1
Contrast 2
Contrast 2
The Southernmost Bakery in the USA
The Southernmost Bakery in the USA
Cilvia in the garden
Cilvia in the garden
My sister Patricia & me
My sister Patricia & me
End of day 2
End of day 2
Punalu'u
photo by: agarcia