21 September 2007

HS3: Papakolea - the beach with green sand

One of the many reasons why we chose to go to Big Island for our vacation was that Lisbeth (well Tue too, but particularly Lisbeth) wanted to visit the beach with green sand - a nice geological consequence of the volcanic activity on the island.

The beach is located a little bit to the left of the southernmost point of the USA - quite aptly named 'South Point' - and it requires a solid hour of hiking across a desolate flat lava field with the trade wind head on.

We actually did try to start our day early in order to avoid hiking during the worst heat of the day, but due to various interesting experiences along the way it ended up being right around noon before we got started... tsk, tsk.

That Lisbeth stepped unfortunately and got a bleeding foot shortly after the beginning didn't exactly help towards enjoying the hike there, but it was definitely worth it. And fortunately we had tail wind on the way back.

Before we got all the way to the famous beach itself we passed by this spot (see photo) where green sand blends nicely with a stripe of red sand.

The sand on the beach was not quite as green as that in the picture since the olivine (the green mineral) is mixed with black sand, but it was distinctly different from the black sand beaches that we saw later on and when we looked more closely we could see the olivine sparkle like specs of gold in the black sand.

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