Today we set off North for the beaches of the Kohala coast. The drive up is through hardened lava fields that are sometimes chunky rocks and other times swooping, swirling sculptures that reveal the path of the lava so long ago. Apparently it’s a thing to commemorate a lost (or non-lost) loved one by spelling out his or her name in white stones on top of the black lava stone. So, we passed our trip reading these tributes.

Our first stop was Hapuna Beach, a long strip of white sand surrounded by crystal clear water in darkening bands of turquoise. On the horizon, we could see whales breeching and raising their tail fins high in the air. The kids rushed the waves for a good two hours, and Penn and I built sand castles.

After lunch, we decided to try Spencer Beach, which is surrounded by a low reek near the shore that means few waves and great snorkeling. This is a real family beach, where parents doze in the sun while their kids play in the surf; it’s surrounded by big shady trees and covered in pebbly brown sand. Great for castle-making–which Penn put to good use!

After dinner, we drove home through the ranch lands–mountainous, green and lush. Yet another mini-land within the Big Island!

We’re now water-soft, nicely toasted and ready for a very good night’s sleep!

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