Tuesday, September 17, 2013
The Exclusive Punalu'u Club
One evening on the Big Island of Hawaii, we decided to explore the landscape to the right of Punalu'u Beach. This is an area most visitors will never see, fixated as they are on the turtles basking in the sun along the famous black sand beach. Cars packed the parking lot, and visitors rambled along the beach, but after we walked past the restrooms, the gazebos, and the picnic tables, we left most of civilization behind.
Walking through the first area of inlets and tide pools, we passed locals enjoying an evening at the beach with their families and friends. A couple people followed us, but after we left behind the first few secluded sandy inlets (where we found a few more turtles), they lost interest and drifted away. Now the only signs of civilization were the narrow off-road trails, and the locals camping out along the shore.
Lava rock breaks down into sand, but this takes a long time, decades if not centuries. So much of what we walked across looked like the alien surface of a dead world designed by Swiss artist H. R. Giger. And yet the plant life here was so varied. Aside from the dried exoskeletons of dead crabs, and the bits of washed up coral, some of the rocks were also strewn with a strange white webbing.
Hmm. I didn't know Spider-Man had moved here. Did you?
There are also low areas where water has collected to form ponds. Life clusters around these as well, painting them with vibrant colors.
Everyone loves turtles and black sand beaches. Enthusiastic reviewers on Yelp have earned Punalu'u an enviable 4.5 star rating. Yet beauty and serenity can be found just right of the beach. The locals know this, and perhaps Spider-Man does as well. Thus, reading this entry grants you membership in a very exclusive (and powerful) club.
Related Internet Links
Punalu'u Beach reviews
H. R. Giger