Pololu Trail to a Black Sand Beach in Hawaii
The black sand was the lure. The surprise was finding so much spontaneous natural art! The determined and the strong who made their way from the slippery cliff descent to sea level expressed themselves with a creativity most likely unparalleled in their daily lives. The fine black sand interspersed with an artistic and amazing display of volcanic rock and driftwood proved irresistible to many. How I wish I could have carried just a little bit back to Adytum as it transcended any display the well paid merchandising departments of the catalog shops ever brought to market….this is my favorite table-scape right here on the beach….and I have carry on….Grrrr…..
|This Beach Releases the Inner Artist In Us All|
Altars, stacked stones imbued with tiny holes and dips, figures drawn from driftwood, more stacked stones and volcanic stones marching in file along bleached driftwood… a large stacked stone fire pit, hammocks fashioned out of fishing nets and heavy rope washed ashore long ago…this beach has a Robinson Crusoe feel to it. It invites languorous play to be sure….it most assuredly brings out the inner Child. Met that Child lately?
|Why Does This Beach Inspires Creativity and Art?….|
We tried finding it yesterday and ended up at a Catholic cemetery instead. Don’t despair. It was fascinating! I am a self confessed cemetery junkie…One of the head stones from the 1800’s was written by hand in wet concrete.Still, we were heading to the beach for that elusive black sand…. We hiked a mile or two on a deserted, overgrown road replete with orange butterflies, tiny blue butterflies that swarmed around my feet like a silent entourage and thankfully guavas! They looked a bit like lemons and because it was 3 p.m. and my blood sugar was low, I bit in…4 total. Mmmm! Nice! Strength to go forward!
|It Felt a Little Threatening Here…|
We came to an old Hawaiian sacred space and a sign asking us not to enter.Sorry, Hawaiian deceased. I never met a rule I could follow.. but still we respectfully skirted around the edges in case we inadvertently offended SomeOne coming to the cliff overlooking the sea…
‘Overlooking’ being the key word. Wrong turn way back there before the guavas. Should have gone right following some Hawaiian boys with boogie boards we saw earlier that flashed a knowing look at the honkies… No access here and no black sand. The dead evidently don’t need beach access but revel in great views…
It was ruggedly beautiful in a frightening sort of way- like you better trust the one you venture here with or you might end up on CSI. The sense of dread and foreboding literally haunted this exquisite space. It was palapable….
|Rule Breakers At the Off Limits Beach….|
Whether it was the sacred burial area of ancient Hawaiians or the sharp drop off the cliff, it was hauntingly beautiful but again, not peaceful. The constant wind fed a growing agitation and we left after a short while determined to find the elusive black beach another day.
The Pololu Trail is on the northernmost tip of the map before curving gently around this island in the sea. The cars along the road were the dead giveaway we’d found it. Few travelers were willing to venture down and were taking pictures from the safety of the look-out above.
Live your life while you can. There will come a day when you’ll slide down on your arse before you’ll make the trek with any sense of dignity. This turned out to be challenging. Mentally I was cutting about 90% of the ‘team’ up top as we began the descent.
|What a Welcome….|
It was slippery down and tedious and taxing coming back up Think ‘work out DVD’s… It reminded me a lot of walking across stones in a river, but there was no water. Just constantly picking and gauging the next steps. Dexterity. Agility. Great ass in the making…
Get too close to the edge and yes, you really could meet your Maker. All those signs were for a reason. My Keens worked out pretty well. I can’t imagine making it in anything less.
Whatever washes up on the shore is fair game for play…again creativity abounds here. The black sand beach is a vortex for pulling creativity out of those that venture down…
|You’re Never Too Young!|
There are no facilities so don’t overdo on the MaiTais or iced tea before heading down or you will be achingly miserable.
The ocean is rough and the undercurrent signage in full view. So what is the lure? It’s just a great, quintessential hike. It’s challenging, engaging, interesting and ends in yet another feeling….different from the one evoked by the ancient Hawaiian burial ground. it is Pure Unadulterated Beauty. We had seen a few signs that said ‘Pure Life’ (Pura Vida) Yes, that capsulizes the feeling this beach of fine black sand evokes. Nature in all her pure fineness. Rugged and pristine. Visually stimulating and even artsy. There is a heartbeat here…the pounding waves in their rhythmic cycle pounding out life – our life – on the black shores of this beach for centuries with a metronomic sense of duty.
|The Long Rocky Road Down…To Pure Life|
Off on the horizon, we see a whale blow and breach. Donn is a child again asking questions of me I have no answers for…”Why do whales breach? Do you know?”. “No, but I’m glad they do…” It breaks the sparkling beautiful monotony of the ocean.
Plus it makes me wonder what else is going on down there…it reminds me of a parallel universe, another dimension that is inhabited that remains largely outside our consciousness. It is indeed, suggestive of more, isn’t it?
On the way, we pass a man heading down with a lot of baggage. He will stay there alone tonight lulled to sleep by the incessant wind through the pines and the roar of the incoming tide. He’s brave…he looks simple enough but deep inside I know he quests, or he’s a rugged individualist that doesn’t let society confine or define him. I admire him, but were he in the supermarket I’d just pass him by unaware.
How can we see more deeply into people in the middle of our busy days? He is the one who should be writing this blog and I’m sure he would have much, much more to say. His finger is on the pulse of the Universe and I am simply an observer…
We are so hungry when we get back to the Jeep that we stop and have a pizza in Kohala- surprisingly cheap and surprisingly good but yes, the dreaded gluten crust that will make us tired and bloated later…In a perfect World all pizzas are GF, we think….
We sit outside next to 4 Hawaiian girls about 12 or 13 years old… long black hair cascading down each back like a shimmering black waterfall…We wait a long time for this pizza and so we overhear their lives, their memories of being in class together in second grade. We hear them talk about ‘white people’ and realize suddenly there is color. We’ve been in Nature where all is One…We are back up on top now where there is separation… We watch them flirt with the cute Hawaiian boys eating an after school snack here and who are old enough to drive off in a car. They dream of them at night… We wonder what it is like to be Hawaiian and to live on this lovely island earth in the confines of a very small Universe here.
|The Long and Winding Road Down…to Paradise|
Nature is the One that unites us all. Down below, on the black sand beach we are absorbed by the passion and energy of the Sea. The whales breaching and blowing engage every single One of Us. The lonely beach calls out to the inner artist in each and many succumb to the pleasurable temptation of playing like a child with the materials Nature has so freely provided in extravagant abundance as she is so prone to do.
A few brave souls venture into the wild waves, sure of their ability to swim against the strong under tow and emerge braced against the eternal agitating wind and chill in the supposedly tropical air. Here, on this black sand beach there are Two – but those two are One. There is Nature. There are Humans. There is no male. No female. No white. No Hawaiian. No separation. This is It. Get It.
Life is short. Get out there. Pura Vida!
|Stairway to Heaven….|