Monday, August 13, 2012

Black Sand, Turtles and Happy Hour

Day 4 (Monday): After a long night of plopping rain on the metal roof of our jungle garden room, we packed up the car and headed off the mountain. First stop: Punalu'u black sand beach. The sand was black. There was a sea turtle. The ocean was pounding against the lava. It was warm and muggy. It was great.

Next stop: Pu'uhonua o Honaunau, the place of refuge where Hawaiians who had broken kapu (taboos with deadly penalties) or warriors on the losing side of a battle could run and hide until the priests gave them tasks to perform (probably lava rock stacking - there's a lot of neatly stacked lava) and call it even.

More cute turtles in this bay, and awesome thick, thick lava walls. As interesting as all this was, the heat and humidity really pooped me out here. So tired, hot and weak. Maybe my overdoing it at Kilauea-Iki cost me today. Time to head for the hotel.

The hotel is as advertised. Our room juts out over the shallow lava-protected bay where sea turtles swim about. The sea sounds awesome. The sun sets outside our window.

The bar staff is friendly and helpful. I don't know if we can beat this place. I take a nap. I'm feeling the effects of the volcano hiking I've been doing. I resolve to act more like a post-surgery patient tomorrow. For now, it's happy hour downstairs. The bar is directly below our room, which means the little protected bay is yards away, and we can identify tropical fish as if we were snorkeling. Except we are drinking. I dub this drinky-snorkeling. The best of all possible worlds.

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