Big Island

Punalu'u Black Sand Beach

Just about 10 miles up highway 11 from the southernmost everything in the U.S. you'll find this gorgeous and amazing beach. The grains of sand are like little black jewels and the setting is equally beautiful. Plus, we saw not one, but two, sea turtles during our stop. We couldn't help taking lots of pictures in such a beautiful spot. Here is our best shot of the sand itself, along with a couple of useful signs we saw in the park:

Black sands

In these photos you can see where the black sand comes from—lots of old lava flows:

Taking pictures on old lava Punalu'u
Punaluu Beach Park

The area was a very nice park, with enough amenities and beautiful beachfront to attract tourbuses, but we happened to hit it during a lull.

Kathy at Punalu'u Park Black sand and palms

Of course, as on any beach in Hawai'i there was also the endless fascination of the waves splashing on the rocks...

Splashing waves
Splashing waves
Henry on the black beach
Punalu'u panorama Splashing waves

... as well as the quieter pools sheltered by moss-covered lava, and the ever-lovely sunlight on the water...

Moss and pool Hawaiian sunlight

And now, those turtles!

We saw this one, resting on the warm black sand of a sheltered little cove, almost as soon as we got out of the car:

Turtle in black sand Turtle in sand Turtle in sand

Here Henry took a shot looking back at him as we moved over to the main beach....

Turtle in cove

Where we saw this fellow (?):

Turtle on sand Turtle on sand

But the real excitement happened when Henry went back to check on our first sighting. He (the turtle) was just starting to make it back into the water, allowing Henry to take this sequence of turtle locomotion:

This was our last stop before Hilo and our flight back to O'ahu, but it was one of the Big Island highlights!


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