The Black Sand Beach (Pa`iloa Beach) can be found at Wai`anapanapa State Park in Hana. In my opinion, it is another Maui must see if you are spending time in Hana. According to the Maui Revealed guidebook, "the black sand was formed when lava fountained into the sea, shattering on contact with the ocean". All I know is that it is incredibly beautiful and I love to soak in the majesty of God's creation here.
One morning, while staying in a cabin at the park this summer, the boys woke me up early and wanted to go for a walk. There is a nice trail, parts of it paved, on the top of the cliff that surrounds this beach with steps down to the beach. Here was our journey that morning.
We thought about going for a swim, but soon discovered these little critters scattered over the beach and rocks; Portuguese Man-of-War or Blue Bottles, as I've heard them called. Without doubt, these leave a painful sting if you get tangled up with one. My youngest DS did get stung by a jellyfish or Blue Bottle one year, and all I could hear him say as he rushed out of the ocean was, "It burns! It burns!" The wicked red welts appeared instantaneously across his chest. Thankfully, he was not allergic and recovered quickly, according to the clock, but you mamas out there know how much longer it seems when one of your little ones are in agony! The good news is that Portuguese Man-of-War don't show up very often.
On the beach, there is a short lava tube that you can walk through. The tube ends where the ocean begins, and if you look up, while inside, you can see rays of light beaming through a couple of small openings. The way the light shone through the tube, from the ocean, was stunning that morning. Anybody struggling to get a sewing project complete? Like me, with my Burda jacket? There is light at the end of the tunnel, and here is proof!
Leaving the beach, we headed back up to the paved trail to have a glimpse down. Ahhh, everything all to ourselves, except for the curious mongoose darting in out through the lava rock wall. He wouldn't sit still for a picture though :)
Continuing on down the trail we soon came to this sign, which marks the entrance to a trail, which leads to secluded fresh water caves. You can swim in one of them. The water is frigid and crystal clear. My family enjoys swimming in this pool, but my blood has grown too thin to enjoy the cold water.
We have yet to see the tiny red shrimp, but we did pick up a traveling companion. The yellow dog must have belonged to the caretaker of the park. This is the entrance to the cave you can swim in.
Here is a closer look at the water. It was still a little too early for the boys to be considering a dip, but it sure was a treat to see the undisturbed beauty and smell the sweet ginger in the air that morning.
Finally, it was time to hike back to our cabin and make some breakfast. Just one last set of steps...don't give up on me now...maybe you will catch a glimpse of a Menehune ;)
"Okay, break over, back to sewing!"