A group of students recently had the opportunity to visit Papakolea Beach, also known as Mahana Beach or Green Sand Beach. This infamous beach is located in the district of Ka’u on the Big Island, not too far from Pacific Quest. Papakolea is one of only four green sand beaches in the world–the others being located in Guam, Norway and the Galapagos Islands. Students were excited as they prepared for the two mile hike to this secluded beach. Before starting on the trail head, they geared up with bandanas, extra water, sunhats and sunscreen. The trail runs parallel to the coastline and every once in while the group paused to look for humpback whales. This trail is known for gusty winds, so students wore bandanas to cover their faces from potential dust while they hiked.
While hiking, students shared with each other how much they were all enjoying themselves and anticipating the beach and swimming in the ocean. As the group approached the bluff, students were amazed at the bright blue water, and peridot sand down below. Everyone hiked down to the ocean and in unison ran and jumped into the water. It was an exceptionally calm day and the temperature of the water was perfect!
Everyone swam for several hours, body surfed in waves and frolicked about, laughing and continuing to sprint back and forth into the water. The group enjoyed a picnic lunch and then decided to hike back. This was the first outing for many of the students and was breathtaking and awe inspiring!