After we left our home stay in the mountains we headed South on the Big Island to Volcano National Park area where we would set up camp for 5 nights at the Turtle Hut Condo in the Sea Mountain Resort. These condos have a real Polynesian flare that I loved and they are only a few steps away from Black Sand Beach.
On route South we made a couple of quick stops. One stop was at the Beach With Many Doors, as I call it, but locally it is known as Hakalau Beach. This part of the Island was big in the export of sugar cane before the industry went bust and Hakalau Beach has the ruins of an old sugar cane processing plant.
The next stop we made was at Lava Tree State Park. Cool to see the lava made tree molds, but unfortunately, most of the trail system was closed due to a bad storm that hit the park and did quite a bit of damage to the area. Still, we were able to see a small section of the park and check out some of the tree molds.
After arriving at our condo, the first thing we did was run down to check out the beach. Turtles everywhere….super cool!
During our stay, we hung out at the little Art Deco town of Na’alehu.
Na’alehu has a farmers market on Wednesdays so we went to load up on some local fruits, veggies and beef. And of course, every time we went into or drove thru town we had to stop at the bakery.
We spent two full days exploring Volcano National Park. Everything is easily accessible in the park and there is lot’s to see. On Saturday, we made a special trip back to watch a Hula Dance performance.
Thurston Lava Tube
Holei Sea Arch
When we were not at the park, the Bakery, or sitting in the hot tub, we were out exploring the rugged beaches on the East side of the island.
Snorkeling in the tidal pools of Whittington Beach
While out on a stroll one evening we came across a special site.
Oh, and can you see? It could not, should not possibly be, but it is, a Dr. Seuss tree.
We left Turtle Hut yesterday to make our way back around to the West side of the Island. On route we stopped to check out Green Sand Beach by the most Southern tip of the USA. The hike into the beach was a 9 km round trip. Not so bad we thought, but high winds, blowing sand pelting your skin and an open landscape with no cover from the sun made us all a wee bit edgy. Lydia cried, Callum moped along behind and I cussed, a lot (bad day to wear my hair down). The views while we hiked were stunning, but the terrain is being destroyed by vehicles driving tourists to the beach. The beach itself, is not a place where you would hang out. At least on the day we visited. The waves (that’s what I call them. Paul calls them wind-driven swells) were so huge that I didn’t feel safe letting the kids play. However, the violent surf did remove the bikini of an unsuspecting bather. Unfortunately, Paul missed it. There was no shade or place to sit comfortably and on top of all that, Paul lost his favorite hat. The wind caught it and took it to its resting place on the cliffs. Paul did decide he would try to rescue his favorite hat and was climbing around about 80 feet above the beach. Again I cussed up a storm, Lydia’s stomach starting feel sick watching her dad up so high and Callum was trying to call him down. He never did get his hat back…Poor Paul.
After I tied a shirt around my unruly locks (only fellow curly-haired gals can really relate to this one) we made the hike back to the car. One thing in our favor on the return trip was the wind was at our backs. I think the locals could tell we were not having the time of our lives as we were asked a few times if we wanted a ride back for 5 bucks a head. I don’t know if it was principal, determination or dad’s cheapcation philosophy (that’s what Paul call’s it) that kept us from taking the ride, but we didn’t and are we better for it today?? Yup, I think so. Would I do the hike again under the same conditions? Nope! Still finding sand in unwanted places.
Have to say, the views were stunning.