Big Island of Hawaii
Secrets of Puna
I have to really thank my Dad. Originally we had another ship excursion to go on, but when I mentioned to Dad that I wanted to see the black beach and walk on lava rocks, he changed the excursion to the “Secrets of Puna.” I loved, loved, loved it!
Puna is on the big island of Hawaii and the landscape is formed from volcanic rock and soils from Mauna Loa and Kilauea eruptions. The island has an extensive network of subterranean lava tubes and the VOG from the lava flow was visible from when we walked on the lava rocks. SO COOL!
But before our tour guide brought us to the lava field, we stopped at the Painted Church. This church had to be moved 3 times, because it was in the pathway of the lava flow. Inside the church, it is hand painted and stained glass.
This next picture is Greg with our tour guide, Ema. She is native Hawaiian and called everyone “Cuz” because we’re all family. She said Cuz a LOT.. “You know, Cuz….” “Cuz… you are right about that.” Cuz, cuz, cuz… Lol.
Across the street they made Noni Juice – which is basically supposed to be the cure all of any type of disease. They gave samples. Greg smelled it, but didn’t try it, because he said it smelled like old blue cheese. He got Roda to try it. I think you can see from her expression what she thought of the taste.
Greg said, “The Noni fruit is ugly!”
Then, Roda tried to get Rob to try it, but he was wise to it… Mom, though, was the next one to brave it out. She held her nose so that she didn't smell it.
Me? I preferred smelling the lovely plumeria blooms. These blooms are supposed to represent love and they are found throughout the islands of Hawaii.
When we arrived at the lava rocks, our tour guide, Ema, said, “Keep in mind that this used to be beach front property with white sand. Now it’s a large lava rock field and then the black sand beach.”
I’m about to overload you with pictures, because this was so freaking awesome!
Below is a picture of a fossilized fish caught in the lava flow.
I loved walking off of the path and on the actual lava rocks. I would have gone further, but I wanted to get to the black sand beach. I can't explain why I liked it so much... it wasn't like hiking the Diamond Head crater, etc... it was new land, raw and beautiful.
Enter black sand beach… it’s created from the lava rocks – worn down by people walking on them and by wind and surf. You can’t see it in the picture, but the sand sparkled like black diamonds – wicked!
Greg told me to pick up the sand and let it fall from my hands. It was softer than any white sand beach that I’ve even been to – so incredibly finely ground and sparkly!
Standing on the cliffs before the beach…
Walking back to the bus, I’m off the path and on the lava rocks again. Do you see that plume of smoke off in the distance to the left? That is live lava flowing into the ocean!
This volcano is known as a “shield volcano” and the lava is ah’a. The lava doesn’t spew from the top, it comes from the side of the volcano (shield) and it’s slow moving lava – ah’a.
We did more on this day, but I’ll save that for tomorrow’s post. Right now, I’m just enjoying looking at these pictures. We had so many “highlights” of the trip, this definitely ranks up there!