This was a deserted isle accessible by foot. I really want to get back to this location and spend 2-3 days and just soak up the atmosphere of this beach. We bumped into two small groups of people, other than that, completely secluded. Incredibly remote and gorgeous.
Karel started off the morning by thrashing a coconut to death. I’ve never seen anyone with such a sense accomplishment after he tore that coconut apart and served up a coconut milk martini. Then we wielded some spoons and ate the coconut meat.
After our coconut breakfast, we found a small bay protected from the ocean waves and did a bit of swimming. Watch out for sea urchin, they are quite prevalent in Hawaii. After the ocean dip, we rinsed off in the brackish pool nearby. A few small, salt-water fish swam their way from the ocean, through the cracks in the lava, and made residence in the pool.
We really wished we had dedicated more time to Halape Beach. Another day or two would have been just right for me. But life trudges on and so must we. An 11-mile hike awaited us on the Puna Coast Trail. Unlike the Kalalau Trail, this pathway would be fairly level. However, the hard lava rock can take a toll on the feet.
Many times we could hear a hollow noise as we stepped on the lava rock. We knew certain areas were hollow, but couldn’t visibly see the cavity underneath. The lava bridge that Karel crossed gave us an idea of what lay below. At many points, we could see nothing but miles of lava fields. It was as if we had been dropped onto a distant planet with no sign of life. I found the random and indiscriminate formations of the cooled lava fascinating. It was like walking across an abstract painting.
Pāhoehoe (pronounced pa-hoy-hoy) is the smooth, liquid lava and ʻaʻā (pronounced aah) is the rough, angular variety. When the two varieties meet, it is quite obvious. At some points along the trail, we found the pāhoehoe lava tinted with a gold colored surface that shimmers in daylight. I found it riveting. Karel would have certainly strangled me if we stopped every time in order for me to examine it.
At the end of the trail, I was again walking as if stepping onto hot coals. Karel and I kicked off our boots and let our feet rest. At this point, we joined my mom and sister to see where the lava had flooded the Chain of Craters Road, cutting off access from the Volcanoes National Park to the city of Hilo.