What do you do on your final day in Hawaii?! One last hike of course! Fourth of July was our final day in Hawaii and we had one last place we wanted to visit before flying back to the mainland. Cameron and I planned to hike to the Golden Ponds at Ke-awa-iki early so that we could get back to spend the rest of the day with the family. Since we intended on swimming in the Golden Ponds neither Cameron or I brought our actual cameras for this adventure so anything you see is from my iPhone. The layout of the hike was simple. Park...hike down some crazy jagged lava...hike the black sand beach....stray off course and find the ponds! In case you have any doubt like I did...the Golden Ponds are in fact quite golden. Hidden among all the lava rock is a gorgeous gold pond of freshwater that you can swim in.
After our intense green sand beach hike Cameron promised me that the black sand beach hike would be a lot more relaxed and whole lot less windy. We set off Saturday morning to hike the black sand beach and hopefully be able to see some sea turtles. The sea turtles hang out in a quiet little lagoon type area where they float happily all day and bask in the sun. Cameron and I didn't quite experience that on the hike to get to them. You start off walking along the black sand beach and make your way past all the trees along the edge of the beach. Cameron had remembered hidden water ponds being in the woods so we tried finding them. When we found them they were the coolest little natural pools I've ever seen. They are smack in the middle of the trees, if it was dark and you were walking you probably would fall right into them. Rocks form in a circle as a border and people climb in and cool off in the shade right alongside the beach. It was really cool...just make sure you don't use it as a bathroom. Neither Cameron or I ventured into them but they were neat to stop and see.
Since the goats didn't want to be our friends we decided to try our luck with the sea turtles. The lagoon area was fairly shallow and there was a little island a few feet out that we saw some big turtles hanging out on. Cameron and I perched ourselves on the rocks and watched the big turtles across the way and then we realized all of the ginormous creatures right in the water in front of us. It turned into a game for Cameron and I as we tried to take their picture when they came up to breathe. They are such large animals yet swim so smooth and quick in the water. They hardly ever come up to breathe and when they do its quick and back under they go! We spotted so many and had fun seeing what they were up to. Some were just baking their shells in the sun on the island...others were water bugs and kept swimming around enjoying the blue water.
Hawaiians like to use a lot of stops and skips in their words which usually make them fun to say. Today Keith convinced us that we should hike up a Pu'u. For those of you not fluent in Hawaiian like we are, a Pu'u is a volcanic cone. Not really the primary crater of a volcano but a little opening on the side that spews out molten hot rock all over everything. Fun right!?
He likes pizza.