Black Sand, Turtles and Volcanos....

Volcano Travel Blog

 › entry 8 of 8 › view all entries
Sylvia at the table enjoying coffee

Again today we decided to go exploring. First we ate breakfast on the balcony and watched the waves below. We told Valerie about the eel comments in the book and the three of us sat and stared trying to see them… no luck. I saw a little fish in a tide pool and threw a piece of my poi English muffin down to him…

I started to walk past Valerie holding my camera….. Suddenly she grabbed my arm and screamed…. “An eel!!”. I almost threw my camera when I jumped…. I looked over the balcony and was absolutely astonished to see an eel slithering along on the lava like a snake…. What the heck??!!….. Don’t those things have gills?…… apparently it doesn’t bother them to be in the air because he slithered his way across until he got to the tide pool where the bread was….

our breakfast.... Hawaiian style: poi english muffins, spam, papayas and lychee fruit... yum...
. And he gobbled it down….. We couldn’t believe it!!! All this time we were watching under the water and it comes out the people had fed them on the lava ….. We tossed more bread down and saw others come up and grab it…… but the King was the first one… he was huge and NOBODY argued when he came into the tide pools… even the little fish and crabs backed off so he could have the bread…. We finally saw an eel after over a week of watching for one…..

We packed a lunch and headed out …… we headed southerly on highway 11 In my heart of hearts I wanted to go to the green beach but unfortunately I wasn’t able to physically get down to the beach….. (still recovering…) but we decided we are going to drive and stop when we saw something interesting… We took pictures as we were leaving town….

eel moving across the lava
Totally beautiful beaches…. We are constantly amazed by the sparkling water and gorgeous sky. The land changed periodically ….. We loved driving through the coffee country and seeing the coffee beans growing wild next to the road… we wondered if people ever picked them and took them home to roast…..

As we drove, we were shocked to see a long horn cow laying next to the road…. Of course we pulled over ….. I took a picture then saw there was also a Zebra!!!! So we wondered why anyone would have these…. We drove up the street next to the cow and saw it appeared to be a small coffee stand (closed) …. We guessed that the cow and zebra were there to draw customers….. It drew us in and we would have been happy to buy coffee had they been home…

We stopped at one tiny place that said it had free organic coffee samples….

beautiful ocean
. We got samples and the lady demonstrated how tough macadamia nut shells are to break ….. She gave us samples of her organic macadamia nuts… pretty tasty….. We bought some of those and some of the coffee….. Nice lady…. Good merchant.

Our next stop was in the most southernmost town in Hawaii…..Na’alehu. We stopped at a bakery named Punalu’u. It was a great place. We got cups of coffee and snacks. David loves coconut and was delighted to get a coconut turnover (only in Hawaii!!) I got a scone and Valerie got a bakery item too… (they also have a restaurant featuring sandwiches and soup. ) We walked out to the pavilion to eat. There was an amazing number of birds…. Valerie is a very keen bird watcher and always has a bird book with her to look things up….

The Most Southernmost Bakery in the USA
She kept spotting them and writing the date and time in her book….. There were several birds that were unusual that only showed themselves to me…. Poor Valerie was the one interested….so I’m pointing and saying a pure red bird just flew to that limb…. And she would stare and stare trying to spot it…. Then she would look down for an instant and it would relocate … and I would say…. Over there now….. It got to be a joke because I really don’t get excited about birds…..but they revealed themselves to me…. I guess it was like a little bird joke… (tweet)…

The Bakery also had a great wall that was painted with traditional Hawaiian plants and customs. It was really interesting….. On the back side was a nice little botanical garden with flowers and bushes marked….

self portrait.... botanical garden
. That was really interesting as I really love plants. David and I tried to do a self portrait…. But somehow a really tall person kept hogging the lens and cutting off the cute short blond next to him…. But we did finally get one….. The stop at the bakery was a great rest stop….. We wanted to get to the black sand beach and the Volcanic park and hopefully walk around some…..

The black sand beach is clearly marked and easy to find…. We headed past the big Aloha sign to the lava flows on the far side…. I love the lava there…. It’s in ripples….. You could just see it reaching the edge of the water and cooling in gigantic ribbons of rock….. Valerie got some good shots of the surf…. We went to a little tiny beach in that area and I found quite a few tiny smooth opaque white and green pieces of glass that were probably cola bottles at one time….

painted wall at Punalu'u bakery
I picked them up and kept them knowing they weren’t the forbidden black sand or coral….. We walked to the beach sign and wandered towards the black sand…..

All of a sudden Valerie started hyperventilating…. There was a turtle on the beach and it’s one of her favorite things in the world!!!!! I thought she was going to faint with happiness. She took pictures carefully staying 15 feet away….. Then she stood and stared at it for a long time… We walked over to the gift stand at the far side where they had handouts about the turtles. I bought a great shirt with turtles on the front and Valerie bought a shirt too….… they had post cards with tiny white, black, red and green sand packets on them …… I bought four as it was my dream to go to the green sand beach…… We walked back to the beach and sat and watched a family play with boogie boards.

Volcano park
The turtle lifted his head then went back to sleep….. Out of nowhere a huge group of Japanese tourists walked onto the beach and excitedly began taking pictures and surrounded the turtle… A Hawaiian guy spoke to them and they all got back and apologized …. The guy continued monitoring if anyone got too close. I got some cute pictures of his kids in the surf…. The turtle decided he had had enough fun and turned and crawled out towards the water…. And we decided to continue on to the Volcano National Park…

We could tell we were in the volcano area before we even turned into the park. The vog (volcano fog) was thick and it smelled a bit like sulfur…… We went to the visitor center and took pictures with the caldera in the background. I bought a really great Volcano National Park badge ….

Lehua Blossom
When I showed it to Valerie outside she hot footed it back inside to get one too (copy cat!)….. We tried to stop to look into the caldera at the turn out but the vog was too thick and we couldn’t even see half way there. We decided to make the drive around the crater on the “ Crater Rim Drive”. We started out and were surprised it was closed off at the area where we would have gone into the caldera area. The vog toxin level was too high to allow people to drive across. (and we were in a convertible jeep) David was so disappointed.

We knew the trees and plants growing in the volcanic area were only found (in the whole world) in that area…. So we took pictures as we drove. The same turn out looked almost clear as we drove past so we drove in. Now it was possible to see the crater floor although it was very voggy and not totally clear.

Unusual tree with seed pods in volcanic area
We could see quite a few people walking around on the crater bottom…. (I marked and circled them on our picture… which is a joke in itself….)

We drove back to Kailua Kona … we wanted to eat on the way but we were not able to find a place…. We followed a car that was weaving all the way….. When we passed them in town we saw everyone in the car was asleep except one frightened wide eyed girl in the back seat and the obviously drunk driver…. Yikes….. Lucky they made it.

We ate at the Kona Brewery….. Great place…. Especially if you happen to like beer .. .. (and we do!!!) We got home about 11 o’clock and fell into bed…… Great Day……Hawaii is so beautiful!!!!

mybu84 says:
Enjoyed reading it and can't believe I haven't properly read it before. I would have asked you SO many questions when you were here in Daqing about all your travels. !!:)
Posted on: May 11, 2010
sylviandavid says:
And... now I'll go through your blogs to find your eel encounter... LOL....
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010
sylviandavid says:
Hi Meg... Thanks so much for your nice comments and smile!.... Kona Brewery is wonderful!
Posted on: Feb 14, 2010
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Sylvia at the table enjoying coffee
Sylvia at the table enjoying coffee
our breakfast.... Hawaiian style: …
our breakfast.... Hawaiian style:…
eel moving across the lava
eel moving across the lava
beautiful ocean
beautiful ocean
The Most Southernmost Bakery in th…
The Most Southernmost Bakery in t…
self portrait.... botanical garden
self portrait.... botanical garden
painted wall at Punaluu bakery
painted wall at Punalu'u bakery
Volcano park
Volcano park
Lehua Blossom
Lehua Blossom
Unusual tree with seed pods in vol…
Unusual tree with seed pods in vo…
Another shot without the fence in …
Another shot without the fence in…
Hibiscus.... the edges are pink
Hibiscus.... the edges are pink
the eel...right in the middle
the eel...right in the middle
eel... middle
eel... middle
eel....
eel....
Eel... middle
Eel... middle
eel.....
eel.....
eel slithering on the lava
eel slithering on the lava
view... tide is coming in
view... tide is coming in
water through the balcony rails
water through the balcony rails
high tide....
high tide....
Leaving our condo...this beach is …
Leaving our condo...this beach is…
ocean
ocean
beaches as we are driving
beaches as we are driving
beach
beach
public park....
public park....
beach... (as we are driving by)
beach... (as we are driving by)
beach w/ palm trees...
beach w/ palm trees...
another park and beach
another park and beach
flowers growing up a house
flowers growing up a house
surfers ....
surfers ....
public beach
public beach
beach
beach
plants by the road
plants by the road
rooster ....
rooster ....
Texas long horn.... A long ways fr…
Texas long horn.... A long ways f…
Zebra
Zebra
Decorated tree... If this were in …
Decorated tree... If this were in…
the rest of the decorated tree
the rest of the decorated tree
road .... straight as an arrow
road .... straight as an arrow
desolate lava area
desolate lava area
occasional trees in lava
occasional trees in lava
Pure dark lava then suddenly green
Pure dark lava then suddenly green
lava / green area
lava / green area
green next to lava field
green next to lava field
lava
lava
scrub trees in lava
scrub trees in lava
scrub trees
scrub trees
lava
lava
huge turtle painting on building
huge turtle painting on building
Hibiscus
Hibiscus
beautiful plants
beautiful plants
Wall outside of the bakery
Wall outside of the bakery
close up of Hala tree (and it give…
close up of Hala tree (and it giv…
Foods at Luau... and what they are
Foods at Lu'au... and what they are
Foods at Luau
Foods at Lu'au
Foods at Luau
Foods at Lu'au
Foods at Luau
Foods at Lu'au
Luau (although in ancient days th…
Lu'au (although in ancient days t…
plant
plant
entrance to botanical garden
entrance to botanical garden
Im a sucker...took this picture t…
I'm a sucker...took this picture …
Pineapple
Pineapple
Taro
Taro
coffee Beans
coffee Beans
lava
lava
pink flower
pink flower
flower bud
flower bud
flower
flower
David in botanical garden
David in botanical garden
Bakery
Bakery
gift shop in bakery
gift shop in bakery
covered garden  area
covered garden area
Coconut Turnovers!!
Coconut Turnovers!!
garden area outside bakery
garden area outside bakery
area with table and chairs
area with table and chairs
flowers
flowers
flowers
flowers
dock in inlet....
dock in inlet....
view of ocean inlet
view of ocean inlet
flowers by road
flowers by road
flowers by road
flowers by road
flowers
flowers
some kind of fruit ...
some kind of fruit ...
Aloha!!! black sand beach!
Aloha!!! black sand beach!
Punaluu Beach
Punalu'u Beach
Punaluu Beach
Punalu'u Beach
Punaluu Beach.... clear across on…
Punalu'u Beach.... clear across o…
Punaluu Beach ... I wrote Aloha
Punalu'u Beach ... I wrote Aloha
lava rippling at the edges
lava rippling at the edges
hard lava
hard lava
lava
lava
small tide pool
small tide pool
pounding surf
pounding surf
surf
surf
valerie taking pictures
valerie taking pictures
Valerie catching a wave.. or vic…
Valerie "catching a wave".. or vi…
the Black beach surf....
the Black beach surf....
lava flow at the waters edge
lava flow at the water's edge
Sign no one seemed to understand
Sign no one seemed to understand
resting turtle
resting turtle
kids in the surf...
kids in the surf...
surfing kids...
surfing kids...
kids...
kids...
waking up enough to look around...
waking up enough to look around...
catching some zzzzzs on the warm …
catching some zzzzz's on the warm…
sign at the gift stand...
sign at the gift stand...
the incredible straight road... wi…
the incredible straight road... w…
Lava area road
Lava area road
Hawaii volcanos national park
Hawaii volcanos national park
Sign for the park
Sign for the park
driving in the park
driving in the park
A sign that theres a bird Valerie…
A sign that there's a bird Valeri…
crater,,,
crater,,,
steaming caldera
steaming caldera
from the side... the ground is too…
from the side... the ground is to…
A volcanic depression is commonly …
A volcanic depression is commonly…
explaination of volcano workers
explaination of volcano workers
self portrait in a filter called …
self portrait in a filter called …
Sylvia and David...
Sylvia and David...
Us again...
Us again...
Sylvia and Valerie
Sylvia and Valerie
caldera
caldera
sharp lava is called Aa (ah ah) an…
sharp lava is called Aa (ah ah) a…
shirt in the gift shop
shirt in the gift shop
flower
flower
visitors center
visitors center
Museum sign
Museum sign
Steam vents that are next to the r…
Steam vents that are next to the …
driving the volcano road
driving the volcano road
artsy shot ... lots of vog
artsy shot ... lots of vog
volcano drive
volcano drive
start of the rim drive....
start of the rim drive....
unusual plants
unusual plants
plants.... (seuss like...)
plants.... (seuss like...)
seed pods hanging from trees that …
seed pods hanging from trees that…
seed pods
seed pods
plants
plants
plants
plants
looking into the caldera
looking into the caldera
looking into the caldera
looking into the caldera
wayyyy down...
wayyyy down...
vog blocking view
vog blocking view
view almost gone...
view almost gone...
Plants in the turnout
Plants in the turnout
looking into the caldera
looking into the caldera
quite a few people down there...
quite a few people down there...
clouds as we were driving home
clouds as we were driving home
clouds and trees
clouds and trees
clouds over the lava fields
clouds over the lava fields
clouds that look like stairs and a…
clouds that look like stairs and …
clouds
clouds
clouds
clouds
Uh oh... looks like a thumbs down
Uh oh... looks like a thumbs down
Oh Yeah.... Kona Brewery for dinne…
Oh Yeah.... Kona Brewery for dinn…
Volcano
photo by: anupa_rk