There are some things that you can only find in one corner of the world. Things that can’t or won’t take elsewhere for whatever reason. A black sand beach populated by sunning sea turtles is one of those things:
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Black sand is something you only find around volcanic eruptions. When the right kind of lava enters the oceans, the reaction shatters it into little pieces that sometimes collect in certain areas. Usually these beaches are transient and only last for a short while before the currents wash them away. The black sand beach in Punalu’u is the exception.
Likewise, there are plenty of places in the world to see sea turtles, but the Hawaiian islands are the only place in the world where the green sea turtles pull themselves out of the water and hang around on the beaches and rocks. Both times I’ve visited this beach there have been at least a couple. You can see a second one in this shot just crawling back into the water.
Hawaii isn’t that far away but it can feel like a different world. When your cell phone still works and Starbucks is an option, it’s easy to forget how far away you are. Crouched down watching the turtles makes it easy to remember.