First full day
Punalu'u Travel Blog› entry 2 of 6 › view all entries
March 2nd, 2008 – by: agarcia
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.
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.
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.
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