Category Archives: beaches

Maryhill State Park (Maryhill, Washington)

072413-069

Maryhill State Park
* http://www.parks.wa.gov/ * Maryhill, Washington *

Nestled right on the Columbia River, just down the hill from Maryhill’s infamous American Stonehenge is a wonderful state park with swimming, picnicking, camping, and boating recreational activities offered. Warm showers (pay per 3 minutes), nice restrooms, good camping facilities, and a stony beach welcome a restfulstop along the long stretch from the Oregon desert to the fertile valleys westward. It is a 99-acre camping park with 4,700 feet of waterfront on the Columbia River in Klickitat County.

Maryhill State Park: ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7637). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 28, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Maryhill State Park: ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=7637). Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 28, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Olympic National Park

Hoh Rainforerst (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26103) - Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Hoh Rainforerst (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26103)

Olympic National Park
Olympic National Forest, Olympic Peninsula, Washington

One of the most famous National Parks in the State of Washington, the Olympic National Park is nearly surrounded by the Olympic National Forest, on the Olympic Peninsula, in the state of Washington. It consists of four regions within it – the alpine areas, the west side temperate rainforest, the east side forests, and the Pacific coastline. The park hosts three distinct natural eco-systems: (1) temperate forest, (2) rugged Pacific Shoreline, and (3) sub-alpine forest and wildflower meadows. This section of the Olympic National Forest was created as the Mount Olympus National Monument by President Theodore Roosevelt on March 2, 1909; then designated as a National Park in 1938 by President Franklin Roosevelt. In 1976 it became an International Biosphere Reserve and a World Heritage Site in 1981. The Park hosts 60 miles of rugged sandy beach shores along the Pacific Ocean, and two main rivers – the Hoh River and the Quileute River. The first inhabitants were the Hoh people who lived along the Hoh river and thd the Quileute people along the Quileute River. The earlier inhabitants of the area primarily fished, hunted and gathered. Then came the influx of Euro-American settlers who decimated the indigenous populations with their European diseases and genocide. The Euro-Americans came in for lumber and timber harvest, trapping, hunting, and use of the natural resources. The Olympic National Park preserves numerous valuable flora and faunal resources that need protecting. The region is abundant with chipmunks, skunks, squirrels, six species of bats, weasels, muskrats, beavers, red foxes, coyotes, fishers, river otters, mountain goats, martens, black bears, bobcats, cougars, Canadian lynxes, moles, snowshoe hares, shrews, whales, seals, sea lions, dolphins, sea otters, raptors, winter wrens, gray jays, Hammond’s flycatchers, wilson’s warblers, blue grouses, pine siskins, ravens, spotted owls, red-breasted nuthatches, golden-crowned kinglets, chestnut-backed chickadees, swainson’s thruses, hermit thrushes, olive-sided flycatchers, bald eagles, western tanagers, northern pygmy owls, townsend’s warblers and solitaires, vaux’s swifts, band-tailed pigeons, and evening grosbeaks. The park is used for fishing, boating, hiking, camping, repelling, rock climbing, skiing, snowboarding, sledding, surfing, water sports, elk watching, and rafting. The foggy sea stacks are a popular attraction along the beaches. Mount Olympus and the Blue Glacier are other outstanding natural features.

Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26101). Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Sol Duc Hotsprings and Campground (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26101). Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Fort Worden, WA

Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula – Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

Fort Worden, Washington

Right in the heart of Port Townsend is a historic US Military fort turned into a State Park. It resides along the Admiralty Inlet that flows by Port Townsend. The fort property, now owned by the National Park Service consists of 433 acres, originally as a US Army base to protect Puget Sound from invading forces from 1902 to 1953, named after U.S. Navy Admiral John Lorimer Worden who commanded the USS Monitor during the American Civil War. After it was decommissioned in 1953 and purchased in 1957 converted to a juvenile detention facility, and then turned to a State Park in 1973. Because the Admiralty Inlet was a strategic defense location for Puget Sound, three forts were built along the shores – Fort Worden, Fort Casey, and Fort Flagler creating a “Triangle of Fire” with huge guns thwarting any invasive force coming from sea. The forts were never used for war and never fired a shot. During World War I the guns were removed and used in Europe. It was primarily a training base for military applications. During World War II it became the headquarters of the Harbor Defense Command and jointly operated by the Navy and Army in a team effort. The artillery units were disbanded after World War II and gun batteries dismantled. During the Korean war a 2nd Engineer Special brigade was stationed here before being ordered to Korea to reinforce the Far East Command. After this, in 1957 the fort was in the hands of the state of Washington for diagnosis and treatment of troubled youths. Remnants of various batteries litter the landscape, some of which are open to explore by park visitors. The park also houses the Puget Sound Coast Artillery Museum, a balloon hanger used by airships, three 3-inch anti-aircraft gun emplacements, several restored quarters on Officer’s Row, Point Wilson lighthouse, a campground, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, and lots of beaches for recreational use. In 1983 the movie “An Officer and a Gentleman” was filmed here. In 2002 the movie “The Ring” was also filmed here.

Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula - Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Fort Worden ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26407), Port Townsend, WA ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26403). Exploring Olympic Peninsula – Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 25, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Soap Lake, Washington

Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717), Washington. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 29, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717), Washington.

Soap Lake, Washington
~ 47°23′18″N 119°29′15″W (47.388341, -119.487611) ~

Both a small town and a natural phenomena of a magical healing lake, “Soap Lake” was called “Smokiam” by the Native Americans as “Healing Waters”. It is a soft mineral lake in between Ephrata and Coulee. It is located in Grant County Washington. The abundant mineral within the waters is what is referred to as “washing soda” giving it a suds-like, slippery film feel. The minerals are alkaline which kills most bacteria it comes in contact with without damaging the animal or human the bacteria is living on, and when the tissues repairs itself the massive layers and deposits of mineralization will occur. The lake is very popular as a healing cure for Burgeger and Reynaud’s disease because it opens the capillary and extremity circulation of those affected by it. There are over 20 alkaline mineral salts found in Soap Lake, and is why many gather mud from the bottom of the lake to spread across their bodies for its natural healing effect. The mud sucks out toxins, moisture, and oils from the skin, giving it ability to heal. Combined with sunshine from the desert, it has been known to control psoriasis. The minerals found in Soap Lake are Sodium, Bicarbonate, Sulfate, Carbonate, Chloride, Potassium, Organic Nitrogen, Fluoride, Ortho-Phosphate, Nitrate, Calcium, Magnesium, and less than .01 percent of Iron, Aluminum, Copper, Rubidium, Lithium, Strontium, Barium, Chromium, Lead, Manganese, Titanium, Vanadium, and Boron. The waters have been rumored to cause relief with rheumatoid arthritis, beurgers disease, eczema, psoriasis, raynaud’s syndrom, and paralysis.

This lake is one of its only kinds in the world, and no other lake has been found as such in the world. It drew large crowds of visitors back in the 1920’s. The U.S. military sent young men to Soap Lake to help arrest symptoms of the debilitating disease known as Buergers Disease. Some bathe in hot baths using the water at 104 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-30 minutes, once a day. For capillary dilation, others take 108 degree fahrenheit hot baths for 20 minutes a day. Others just swim in the lake for their skin. Others use the mud combined with the sun for sun tanning while others take mud baths. There are some that even believe in drinking it, but never taking more than 2 ounces four times daily. This however is not recommended. The first layer of the lake has approximately 81 feet of mineral water, the second level is mud-like and consists of a stronger mineral composition with concentrations of unusual substances and microbes. It has been stated that these layers have not mixed for thousands of years, creating the rare condition called meromictic. There are only 11 meromictic lakes in the U.S.

The town has just over 1,500 residents (2010 census). Through the years it has become a busy resort and health spa, had grown to four hotels and various rooming houses making the waters known. It also became a touristy social center with celebrations, festivals, socials, and gatherings held often. This ended around the Depression as a drought hit the lake, dwindling the tourist trade and visitors. When the Grand Coulee Dam was built, new irrigation canals were built, and brought life back into the area. From the 1900’s to the 1940’s, numerous sanitariums were built on the shores to help attract and cure visitors.

Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
Soap Lake ( http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=25717); Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 22, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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First Beach, La Push, Washington

First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) - La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) - Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) – La Push – Forks, Washington

First Beach, La Push, Washington

Tribal lands outside of Olympic National Forest not far from Forks, and part setting / inspiration from Stephanie Meyers series “Twilight” it is a location off the path from the Twilight Tour in Forks. Only 14 miles towards the coast from Forks, this is the home of the Quileute Tribe who originally habitated these lands for their sea-faring quests and fishing trips. It was here they traditionally built their cedar canoes for oceanic journeys, whaling, and seal hunting. La Push is their current headquarters. They signed their first treaty with the Euro-American settlers here that eventually relocated them to a reservation in Taholah, but because of their remoteness, wasn’t enforced, and many stayed in this area. In 1889 President Grover Cleveland established a one mile square reservation here for them, with about 252 inhabitants. That same year, the town was destroyed by arson. Today it is a popular tourist destination and is home to oceanfront resorts, a fish hatchery, a seafoo company and a marina. They host an annual festival called Quileute Days every July 17-19th celebrating their cultural heritage, with fireworks, salmon bake, dancing, songs, softball and other tournaments, vending, and food. They are featured as characters in Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series as the wolf people.

First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) - La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) - Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 - Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian.  Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016.  To read the adventures, visit  http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007.   To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews.  All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com - by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.
First Beach (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26123) – La Push (http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26119) – Forks, Washington: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26115. Olympic National Forest and Park: http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/?p=26099. Northern Exposure: Chronicle 24 – Chronicles of Sir Thomas Leaf, Lady Etain, and Prince Cian. Adventures in Washington. Photos taken March 26, 2016. To read the adventures, visit http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/?p=20007. To read reviews, visit: www.technogypsie.com/reviews. All photos and articles (c) 2015/2016 Technogypsie.com – by Leaf McGowan, Eadaoin Bineid and Thomas Baurley. All rights reserved.

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Dn Laoghaire, Ireland

Dn Laoghaire
* Ireland *

A suburban sea-side town in Country Dublin that is properly known as Dublin’s Port for it is a central gateway for ferries travelling to Dublin especially since it is only 12 kilometers south of the city centre. Historically it was a major port of entry from Great Britain and therefore from 1821-1921 was called “Kingstown”. The town was named after the 5th century High King of Ireland Legaire mac Nill combined with the Irish word for “fort” (Dn) after the fortifications that lined up this coast in the past. The current town dates from 1820 atop an earlier village located around where the Purty Kitchen pub is currently located originally boasting of a coffee shop, a salt mine, and a small cove atop a craggy, rocky pasture overlooking the sea. After the 1807 tragedy of the catastrophic loss of troopships, Prince of Wales, and the Rochdale being driven upon the rocks between here and Blackrock estimating a loss of over 400 lives – a re-vitalization of the area was set into effect making it a new harbour with safer constructs put into place creating the West Pier when it took on the name of Kingstown until Ireland became a free state. By 1844 a “Atmospheric Train” was constructed to connect Kingstown to the Dalkey. A railway later replaced the train connecting Dublin and transforming the area to a seaside resort. After the British 59th Division marched up the road to Dublin to crush the Easter Rising, road changes took place connecting the village to its surrounding area. During World War II, stray German bombs struck the area. Its a popular little village and seaside shopping center frequented by many from Dublin. It is also the main ferry transportation hub from the UK to Dublin directly. Dn Laoghaire was its own borough and was the only town in Ireland to have its own Vocational Educational Committee even though its part of the Greater Dublin region.

Its East Pier is aligned along one of Ireland’s largest harbours and is where the ferry route to the UK is based. The piers are made of granite and is a popular location for people to visit, walk, and contemplate the universe. This was also the setting for the movie “Michael Collins” (1996). This harbour took over 42 years to build. The obelisk at the old ferry port terminal is the monument commemorating this feat.

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Santeetlah Lake, NC

photos 12/24/12 042-052

Santeetlah Lake
Santeetlah Lake

Near the historic Smokey Mountains, in Graham County, North Carolina, is a small town built along the shores of Lake Santeetlah. The town and lake share the name. Boasting a population of approximately 67 (census 2000), the town has approximately 200 residences. Santeetlah is located approximately 6 miles north of Robbinsville and only 15 miles from the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The lake is surrounded by the Nantahala National Forest. The area is a resort community. Established in 1989 as “Santeetlah”, it was changed to “Lake Santeetlah” in 1999. Originally hunting grounds by various Native American tribes, the area was settled very late by westerners. The area was one of the last sections of the eastern United States to be settled by Europeans. A Detroit native named Kenneth S. Keyes, Sr. found the area and exchanged with the Forest service some land he had held for the area and this was then built into the town of Lake Santeetlah. The originally called the property “Thunderbird Estates” with a dream of building a large hotel complex in the area. He never built, and in 1958 he sold the property to another Florida land developer, and from there it went through a couple of exchanges. By the early 1960’s – Smoky Mountain Resorts built a lodge and some cabins here offering much recreation for those seeking a vacation escape. Always short on funding, the resort fell through various ups and downs, until 1971 when it was sold to W. Bennett Collette. Battles, disputes, and law suits flooded the area over a variety of grievances by owners and residents, becoming resolved by the late 1990’s. The lake is popular by outdoor recreationists who fish bass, walleye, crappie, lake trout, and bream in its waters. The Marina on the lake is the only full-serviced marina on a lake that has 76 miles of shoreline. Around the lake is home to over 200 miles of hiking trails, and area known for swimming, camping, hiking, boating, and picnicking.

Smokey Mountains, North Carolina, USA

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Bottomless Lakes State Park (Roswell, NM)

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Bottomless Lakes State Park
* Roswell, New Mexico, USA *

Our swimming hole playground while living in Roswell, New Mexico – Bottomless Lakes provided much cooling off during the hot and dry summers of the desert. Only Fifteen miles from Roswell, the Lakes are Located along the Pecos River, and are a series of natural caves and sinkholes forming lakes used for recreation. The parks were established in 1933 and was the first State Park composed in New Mexico. There are nine small deep lakes along the escarpment of the Pecos River Valley that represents the remains of an ancient limestone reef. Caves formed within this limestone and eventually collapsed via erosion creating sinkholes or “cenotes” as round circular lakes or swimming holes. One of the largest lakes is Lea Lake and Lazy Lagoon, providing a large sandy shoreline that outdoor recreational visitors can use for picnicking, camping, outdoor sports, and swimming. Lazy Lagoon is the largest of the lakes and spans over 26 acres as a single lake but is made up of three interconnected sink holes. The lagoon is level with the salt flats which gives it an appearance of being very shallow, where in contrast, it is actually quite deep – over 90 feet deep. As opposed to the old days, Lea Lake is the only lake in which swimming is allowed, due to accidents that occurred in the others, especially Devil’s Inkwell.

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The shallowest is Pasture Lake with a depth of 18 feet and a surface of .76 acres. The deepest are Lea Lake (90 feet deep – only one that allows swimming) and Lazy Lagoon (90 feet/ 26 acres). The smallest of the lakes, is the darkest, known for its color, steep sides, and algae growth, called “the Devil’s Inkwell” and is approximately .36 of an acre. Figure 8 Lake is actually two lakes separated by a thin beach that seasonally gets covered making it look like one lake at times. The circular shapes connecting create the figure 8 symbol. Cottonwood Lake is 30 feet deep, and Mirror Lake at 50 feet. The Lakes are fed by underground streams and aquifers perculating through the rocks up into the catchment holes. The lakes are home to various endangered species and all of the park’s lakes are protected. The four known endangered species found at the park are the Cricket Frog, Eastern Barking Frog, Rainwater Killifish, and the Pecos Pupfish. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. ~ Thomas Baurley and Leaf McGowan.

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Batesman Bay

Batesman Bay, New South Wales, Australia

Just north of Narooma is the small resort town of Batemans Bay just north on the Sapphire Coast in the South Coast of New South Wales on the Princes Highway (Hwy 1), it is also one of the connecting coastal city routes to Canberra. With a population of just over 10,800 inhabitants, Batesman Bay is a well known seaside town known for tourism, beach holidays, retiree’s, young familes, and relaxation. It is also popular for its sawmill, oyster farming, foresty, eco-tourism, and retail services. Geologically it is where the Clyde River empties into the Tasman Sea.

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Bar Beach (Narooma, Australia)

Bar Beach * Narooma
New South Wales, Australia

Just to the north of Narooma is the infamous “Bar Beach” which is a popular area for snorkelling off the rocks and beaches. It is also one of the safest beaches in Australia as it is naturally enclosed and protected near the Wagonga Inlet mouth and further enhanced by a break-wall at its north end. The beach is also enclosed by netting. The waters are full of young fish, squid, seahorses, and jelly fish. Next to “Bar Beach” to the south is “Apex Park” which includes a playground, picnic tables, barbeque grills, and is a great place to watch seals and rays feed. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Glasshouse Rocks Beach

Glasshouse Rocks Beach, Cemetery Road, Narooma, New South Wales, Australia * 2546 *

Definitely one of my most favorite beaches on the planet, Glasshouse Rocks Beach is the integral attractant to the area for me. The beach hardly ever has anyone on it, its quiet, abandoned, and remote. Only way to it is a scramble down the path from the Narooma Graveyard. The rock formations are sensational and the panoramas are breathtaking. Anyone travelling through this area should not miss this beach. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Narooma

Narooma
New South Wales, Australia

By far, my most favorite place in Australia, Narooma is a panoramic sensation for the beach enthusiast. Think the historic Highway 101 Coastal Oregon route meets the Bahamas and you have “Narooma”. The Aborigine suitably called this area “Clear blue waters” and nothing more could be true. Crystal clear waters. A town of about 3,000 and a strip of geological wonders along the beach, this captures the contrast of earth and water perfectly. The rocks found near Narooma include the Narooma Chert that dates to Cambrian times. There are also underwater remains of a submarine volcano with pillow lava offshore. The Island known as “Montague Island”, now a National Park and Wildlife Refuge, is 8 kilometers offshore from Narooma and was one of the islands sighted by Captain Cook in 1770. The island has 8 known rainforests on it. The area brought white settlers for timber, gold, and fishing. It was declared a port in 1884, opened its first school in 1886, and its first post office in 1889, and originally was only accessed via the sea. By the 20th century, it became a major tourist destination and boomed in oyster farming. Then saw construction of the first major bridge to be constructed on the Princes Highway, improving access by road. In 1937, industry boomed again with a local cannery opening its doors to process tuna and salmon which eventually saw a drought of salmon causing the cannery to close its doors. Narooma was also home to the annual Great Southern Blues and Rockabilly Festival held in October until it moved to Batesman Bay in 2010. Rating 5 stars out of 5.

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Merimbula, NSW, Australia

Merimbula
New South Wales, Australia

A popular scenic hotspot of the Sapphire Coast in Australia, Merimbula is an area and small coastal town with just under 9,000 inhabitants. The name is aborigine in origin, meaning “two lakes”. The area has world paleontological significance for its occurence of Merimbulaspis and Pambulaspis fossils with many field camps taking place in the area especially by the School of Earth Sciences at the Australian National University. The town falls in the middle of the Princes Highway (1) and is technically in the middle of the route from Melbourne to Sydney and only three hours from Canberra. An annual Jazz fest in held in the area on June which draws much attention to the tourist resort aspect of the area.
Besides tourism, oyster farming, whaling, fishing, kitesurfing, and boating is popular in the area. Merimbula has 5 beaches : Main Beach, Mitchies Jetty, Bar Beach, Spencer Park Beach, and Short Point. The town even has its own theme park with a rollercoaster and one of the world’s best tobaggan slopes.

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Green Cape Light House

Green Cape Light House * Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
New South Wales, Australia

Just to the side of Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
, about 7 km hike away, is the stunning “Green Cape” Lighthouse. Set within the tip of Green Cape, overseeing Disaster Bay in the southern most part of New South Wales in Australia. It is Australia’s first all-concrete lighthouse, and the second tallest as well as the furthest south lighthouse in New South Wales. It was built in 1880 by James Barnett as a all-concrete structure in response to a series of wrecks in the bay and started out as a stone structure. He ran into difficulties in moving materials to the site as the safest anchorage spot was Bittangabee Bay, about 7 kilometers away through forest and various land slopes. Originally, he built the Bittangee Bay Storage building where materials where dropped off from ships until they could be courriered over to the site. Eventually a 7 km long wooden tramway was constructed from the building to the lighthouse spot, and horses would pull cargo from destination A to B during 1881 through 1960’s. By the 1990’s, the lighthouse was converted over to a solar powered lens on a modern lattice steel tower next to the historic concrete lighthouse. Since 1992, it has been solar powered. Visitors can go to the lighthouse in the Ben Boyd National Park anytime, though guided tours are only available on select dates. Some accomodations are available in the two assistant keeper’s cottages on reservation. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Bittangabee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest

Bittangee Bay/Ben Boyd National Forest
New South Wales, Australia

A refreshing break from the metropolis of Melbourne, me and my travel mate Sir Bluey, headed off for some camping along the infamous “Bittangee Bay” in the Ben Boyd National Forest. A unpaved dirt road led us to this amazing campground overlooking Australia’s rugged South Coast. In fact, we had quite an adventure with it that you can read about here. This small picturesque bay is located on a remote rugged coastline just south of Eden in New South Wales of Australia and is one of the few safe harbours in the area between Twofold Bay, Mallacoota Inlet, and Eden making it a popular night stopover for boaters travelling inbetween for the night. The campground is rugged as well to match the Bay in its entirety. The campground is serviced by the National Parks and Wildlife Service. The Bay is also home to the “Bittangabee Bay Ruins” which the campground is above. The Bay and the camping area was once used by the Yuin Nation and the Thaua people as a important camping and teaching grounds for indigenous “secret business” and was seen as a “men’s area”. On the other side of Green Cape to Bittangabee Bay was believed to be the resting place of the Rainbow Serpent. They utilized the area for over 6,000 years until the Europeans started taking over the bay for construction of the lighthouse, fishing, and industry. At this time, the Bay was known as “Pertangerbee” and by European occupation with constructions of the the storehouse in 1844, was later called “Bittangee Bay”. The Campground also has a nice hiking trail to the Green Cape lighthouse as well as down along the beach of the Bay. Lots of wildlife in the area – our 24 hour visit blessed us with seeing kangaroo, wallabee, wombats, and oppossums. Highly recommended place to camp. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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Campbells Cove Beach

Campbell Cove Nude Beach
* Campbells Cove * Melbourne, Victoria, Australia * GPS: S:37 56 29.04″ – E:144 44 24.45″ *

One of Melbourne’s closest nude beaches, Campbell Cove is a quick drive from downtown Melbourne. However, it has mixed reviews. It is considered to be one of the worst beaches in the area many online reviews write. I couldn’t agree more. It is a small rocky strip of coastline with murky muddy waters and unsavory types hanging out in the parking lot. While we semi-peacefully got some sun, another beach-goer’s dog wouldn’t stop shaking its water all over us. Not recommended. Though if you’re set on a place to strip close to Melbourne, you get to it from Werribee by turning on to Duncans Road which turns into Aviation road. RIght onto Cunningham Road and left into Campbell’s Cove Beach Road. Go past the fishermen’s huts to the end of the road. Rating: 1 star out of 5. Reviewed by Leaf McGowan.

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Lake Jindabyne

Lake Jindabyne
New South Wales, Australia

During my trek across the Snowy Mountains of New South Wales, we pitstopped at this beautiful man-made lake conveniently located on the eastern slopes to fish and spend the night at the local backpackers. The lake was formed by the dams constructed in the Snowy Mountains Scheme and thereby receives the flow from the Snowy River, Eucumbene River, and the Thredbo. These hydro-works re-distribute water into the Murray River and the Murrumbidgee River for irrigation concerns. The lake’s capacity is 689,790 mega-liters. The original town of “Jindabyne” was where the dam is and was relocated to its current location in the 1960’s to the shores of the lake. A suburb called “East Jindabyne” is located just above the Old Jindabyne and one can occasionally see parts of the old town when the lake is low. This like is highly reputed for one of the best places to catch trout in Australia. It is home to the Lake Light Sculpture Festival, used for fishing, boating, waterskiing, sailing, and other water sports.

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Canberra’s Pine Island Reserve

Pine Island Reserve
* Canberra/Tuggeranong, Australian Capital Territory, Australia *

Along Australia’s Murrumbidgee River that travels through Canberra and the Tuggeranong is a Nature Reserve called “Pine Island Reserve”. It isn’t really an Island persay, but a seasonal “island” during flooding and is named after the Black Cypress Pines that grow within this particular natural area of the Australian Capital Territory. Originally occupied by the Aboriginee, it was taken over by the British Man named Charles Throsby who in 1820 while exploring Canberra and searching for the Murrumbidgee River decided to settle here at Pine Island as this was where he came across the river in April 1821. Pine Island is a popular swimming location for locals. Activities include hiking, kangaroo and bird watching, and picnicking. The “Murrumbidgee River Corridor” running from Pine Island to Kambah Pool is one of the more popular bushwalking paths in the park. Rating: 4 stars out of 5.

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Dockweiler Beach State Park

Dockweiler Beach State Park
Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, California

Right alongside LAX: Los Angeles International Airport is a popular beach known as “Dockweiler State Beach”. Part of this beach is directly under the flight path of the airport and therefore has become a popular spot to watch planes land and take off. It is also a popular location for training people to hang-glide.It is also one of the very few beaches in Los Angeles were beach bonfires are permitted. Adjacent to El Segundo and connected to Playa del Rey, this can become a very popular beach for picnics, summer outings, etc. In between the beach and the airport is the ghost town of Palisades del Rey.

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Ghost Stories on Wreck Beach …

Saturday, November 6th, 2004

Wreck Beach Ghost Story, Wreck Beach, Vancouver, British Columbia


Wreck Beach Ghost Stories

Wreck Beach- Vancouver, B.C.

Some say, that if you visit Wreck Beach at night, and are away from the camp fires or the crowds, you can hear a woman screaming as if she’s being brutally murdered. Some say, you can see a apparition of a bloodied naked young girl stumbling around on the sand or walking the trails. Others claim to have seen a mist that floats with a shape of a young woman. Some have said to hear screams coming from the bushes. Others have reported seeing a ghost of a male wailing in agony.

Evidence of these tales have not been proven. Some say the ghost tales are hearsay. In 1990, Kevin Ladouceur was brutally murdered on the beach. He was the first reported murder at Wreck Beach. The horrid death of Christina (Tina) Joy Thompson who was murdered at the top of Trail Six in August 1993, inspired a local play called “Wreck Beach” that tells the tale, and could be the source of the tale. Apparently this was the 2nd murder committed at Wreck Beach by 1993. Not aware of any other murders since that date.

In 1995, after two years of angst in the community as rumours circulated over who murdered the popular girl, Joseph Daniel Hammond arrived with a priest at the Richmond RCMP detachment and admitted killing Thompson. He was jailed for life and is eligible for parole in 2004. Hammond said he had watched the woman argue with her boyfriend. He then offered to carry a bag for her up a trail. He began to touch her and a struggle ensued. The woman was quickly strangled. The Crown lawyer said that Hammond had intercourse with the deceased woman “a couple of times” in the bushes after killing her.

Links:
http://www.vancourier.com/issues01/08301/news/083101nn1.html
http://www.nsnews.com/issues98/w120798/12049801.html
http://www.nsnews.com/issues98/w102698/10239802.html
http://www.cms.uhi.ac.uk/publications/re/arp05.pdf

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English Bay (Vancouver, BC)


English Bay
Vancouver, British Columbia

English Bay brings sweet memories for me during the
World Expo 1986. It was the romantic setting for a marriage proposal to my
first wife. English Bay has a bit of San Francisco charm. With
bicycle/rollerblade paths along the beach and sea wall, palm trees and
ornate architecture, beach activities, roller bladers, and summer fun –
kayaking, rain forests, and great seafood restaurants – great views of
Vancouver, the harbour, Stanley Park, and the great aspects of Vancouver –
English Bay should be on your activity list for a place to relax and
visit.

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Sandymount Strand

Sandymount Strand Beach
* Sandymount D4, Ireland * 01 6617297 * County Dublin, Dublin, Ireland *

Sandymount Strand a.k.a. “Dumhach Thr” is just a short 3 km walk from downtown Dublin. It is a large strand on the east coast of Ireland adjacent to the village and suburb of Sandymount in Dublin. This is a premiere location of the south side of Dublin Bay and is great for walking but not good for swimming. It’s gradual slopes make the water too shallow to swim near the shoreline. In fact the tide is so tricky that cars and people sometimes get trapped by the incoming tide as it sneaks up on you and has gotten the nickname of “Cockle Lake”. In 1883 swimming baths were built measuring 40×40 meters with a 75 meter pier added in 1884 hosting a bandstand halfway along it and was a commonplace for summer concerts. Unfortunately by 1920 the pier had deteriorated and had to be demolished and now lay in ruins. An old defense structure called Martello tower remains that was built to warn of an invasion by Napoleon. This was once converted to a popular cafe in the 60’s, then attempted into a restaurant that never opened and leaving a modified window in its seaward side. This strand is also the location for James Joyce in Ulysses referring to Cock lake making it one of the most famous beaches in Irish fiction where young Gertie lifts her skirt as Bloom pleasures himself and was the section that caused the book to be banned in the USA for alleged obscenity. The Strand stretches from Irishtown through Sandymount and Merrion and on to Booterstown. It is a shallow tidal mudflat that attracts thousands of birds especially during winter and becomes a prime location for birdwatching. Rating: 3 stars out of 5.

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White Park Bay, Northern Ireland

White Park Bay
* Balintoy, Northern Ireland *
Right off the Coastal Causeway route most infamous for the Giant’s Causeway, is a beautiful white sandy beach nestled between two headlands on the North Antrim coast forming a white arc in a very secluded location. My first visit was obsessed with ideas of coming back to this spot and settling into the youth hostel that overlooks this bay, and finding solitude to write and write. Even on busy days, this beach is quoted to be spacious and quiet. Backed by ancien dunes providing rich habitats for animal and bird life, it is a piece of hidden paradise. It is managed by the National Trust and donated by the Youth Hostel Association of Northern Ireland in 1938. It is one of North Ireland’s most painted and photographed beaches. Can be reached by train service from Belfast or Londonderry to Coleraine. By bus – Ulsterbus #218 from Belfast to Portstewart. By cycle or car via the NCN route 93 that runs past the strand. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

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The Giant’s Causeway

The Giant’s Causeway:

near Bushmills, Northern Ireland
Tied into the legendary faerie lore with being created by Finn Mac Cool as a causeway to walk between Ireland and Scotland, the area is rich in myths and legends. A World Heritage site (UNESCO 1986), operated by the National Trust, the Giant’s Causeway consists of over 40,000 interlocking basalt columns that were caused by the result of a ancient volcanic eruption 50-60 million years ago. Intense volcanic activity caused highly fluid molten basalt to intrude through the chalk beds forming an extensive lava plateau. As the lava cooled quickly, contraction began with some in vertical directions that reduced the flow thickness, and horizontal contraction that was accommodated by cracking through the flow varying by lava speed forming the columns. In the heart of County Antrim on the northeast coast of Northern Ireland, the site is not very far from the infamous village of Bushmills. The site was discovered in 1693. It is considered to be the fourth natural wonder in the United Kingdom. Each of the hexagonal columns form stepping stones that lead from the cliff foot onward into the sea where they surface again into Scotland. Some of the columns reach heights upwards of 36 feet high. Most of the columns are hexagonal, though some have four, five, seven, and eight sides. Areas of solidified lava in the cliffs are up to 28 meters thick in some places. The area is infamous for the columns, stepping stones, myths, legends, the Giant’s Boot, and the Organ, the Giant’s Eyes, the Shepherd’s Steps, the Honeycomb, the Giant’s Harp, the Chimney Stacks, the Giant’s Gate, the Camel’s Hump, as well as a panoramic seaside view and beaches. Rating 5 stars out of 5.



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 


 


 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Giant’s blood pool:

 

 

Giant’s Boot:

 

 

 


 




 

 


 


The Organ:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 




 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 



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Northern Ireland’s Causeway Coast


Coastal Highway – Giants Causeway

Causeway Coast, Northern Ireland
Just north of Belfast, along Northern Ireland’s scenic and magnificent coastline is what has come to be known as the “Causeway Coast and Antrim Glens”. It is absolutely not to miss during any trip to Ireland. Focused alot around the geological phenomena known as “The Giant’s causeway”, this breathtaking and rugged coastline auto route is a voyage that should no be rushed as one follows the coastline, through small villages, towns, by castles, rocky shores, silent glens, and lush forest parks. An area full of mythology as well.


Northern Ireland Coast

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Colliford Lake

Colliford Lake
Bodmin Moor, Bodmin, Cornwall, United Kingdom

I had the pleasure of visiting legendary Colliford Lake this summer as it was the mystical location of the Three Wishes Faerie Festival. Colliford Lake is a popular reservoir on the Bodmin Moor in mystical Cornwall. It covers over 900 acres of land and is the second largest lake in Cornwall. Right off the A30 trunk by Bolventor it is also close to Bodmin. A 50 acre adventure and nature park called “Colliford Lake Park” is along its shores featuring hiking and themed trails, footpaths, play areas, mazes, miniature golf course, wetlands, picnic and camping areas. THere is also lodging, a restaurant, bar, and a cafe. Colliford Lake is home to the mythological headwaters of “Dozmary Pool” where the Lady of the Lake is believed to have bestowed King Arthur with Excalibur. The pool is located south the A30 a mile or so down a twisty lane that begins across from the infamous Jamaica Inn at Bolventor winding its way into the Bodmin Moor where the legendary Beast is believed to roam. The legend states that King Arthur’s sword “Excalibur” was hurled into the pool only to reappear held up by a ghostly arm of the “Lady of the Lake” before disappearing beneath the dark surface. While the pool has dried completely up during very hot summers, the locals claim it is bottomless.

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Outrigger Hotel – Kona, Big Island, Hawaii


Outrigger Hotel, Kona

Outrigger Hotel
* 78-261 Manukai Street, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, 96740 * Toll-free U.S., Canada, Guam: 800-959-5662 or local: 808-322-9625
* http://www.outrigger.com/hotels-resorts/hawaiian-islands/hawaii-big-island/outrigger-kanaloa-at-kona *

A beautiful, elegant, and spacious resort located on 18 acres of ocean-front lava rock beach that overlooks stunning Keauhou Bay. The hotel and resort is encircled by well groomed gardens that create a nice private space with tall coconut palms, tropical blossoms, soft grasses, and lush lauae ferns. Inside the hotel are roomy condo units with open-beamed ceilings and spacious covered balconies with breath-taking views of the sea. Condos are available in 1 and 2 bedrooms, or a 2-bedroom with loft units. Each room is breeze cooled with ceiling fans, though some units have air conditioning upon request. Free wireless internet is available in the lobby, swimming pool area, and other areas of the resort. The hotel is home to three swimming pools, five barbeque grills, two tennis courts, connection to the Kona Country Club which has a 36-hole golf course, and is connected to a public beach which is well-known as a spectacular snorkeling site on Kealakekua Bay as well as the Puuhonua o Honaunau National Histori Park. Resort requires a two-night minimum to book a room and a three-night minimum on U.S. holiday weekends. While I did not stay at the hotel and only visited the resort during the day – I was impressed, even though I thought it was rather expensive. Cannot comment on staying in the condo-rooms, but the resort was A+. Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5.


Outrigger Hotel, Kona

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Kealakekua Bay Historical Park and Beach


Kealakekua Bay Historical Park across from Captain Cook, Kona

Kealakekua Bay Historical Park and Beach
Kona, Big Island, Hawaii
A great little cove across from the ever-so-famous Captain Cook Cove and diving hotspot on the Kona coast, Big Island, Hawaii. It is located roughly 12 miles south of Kailua-Kona. The area was settled over a thousand years ago so is dotted with ancient temples, archaeological and historical sites serving as a historical district and marine life conservation district. This little park is a great set-in for doing kayaking, scuba diving, and some deeper water reef snorkeling as well as swimming with dolphins. While the dolphins weren’t out when we were snorkeling on this 8th of August in 2009, I’ve heard that it is a popular place to chance the encounters. The parking lot is small and parking is not so easily obtained, but its secluded. There is a small park with picnic tables, restrooms, and a place to relax, with a decent beach and the reefs to explore. Spinner Dolphins are the most common swimmers in the area as they come to the area to rest, feed, and nurse. About 180 acres around the bay is designated as a State Historic Park (1967) and is part of the National Register. The area has a very intriguing history, focusing on the Hikiau Heiau Luakini Temple at the south end of the bay with its burial grounds, the Pali Kapu O Keoua (forbidden cliffs of Keoua) and its associated burials, the village of Ka’awaloa (north end of the bay) where Puhina O Lono Heiau was built with royal residences, and the Kava plant. The name of the Bay comes from “Ke ala ke kua” meaning “The God’s Pathway”. The first European visitors in the area was in 1779 via Captain James Cook and his ships the Resolution and Discovery in January. Later that month he performed the first Christian service on the islands for a crew member that had passed. He was welcomed during January, but his return in February saw conflict. A skirmish took place where Cook was struck in the head and stabbed – leading to his death. Many battles ensued in the area through the years. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.


Coral reef pictures
Kealakekua Bay Historical Park across from Captain Cook, Kona

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Punalu’u Black Sand Beach


Punalu’u Beach

Punalu’u Black Sand Beach
Punalu’u, Big Island, Hawaii
One of the most famous beaches on Big Island is the Punalu’u Black Sand Beach. It is the most expansive and accessible stretch of black sand beach on the island. Tourists from all over come here to see the sand, the sea turtles, and to snorkel/dive. Located right off Hwy 11, Ninole loop road off the entrance to Sea Mountain Resort, in the Puna district south of Hilo, between Pahala and na’alehu. Most famous for the Hawaiian Green Sea turtles that frequent the beach as much as the tourists. Endangered species – they are protected as much as the sand that is made of basalt and created by lava flowing into the ocean that explodes when it reaches the ocean and cools. Don’t touch or disturb the turtles and take no sand. The waters are protected by the small cove embracing the beach. There is a large paved parking lot with full facilities. Swimming area is very rocky, best to be careful as it is dangerous grounds. Beach has alot of underground fresh water flowing into it which is very cold. Legends have it that the early inhabitants would dive underwater with a jug to get fresh water. Other local legends warn of taking the sand or the rocks from the beach – for if one does, they will be cursed by the Goddess Pele until it is returned. (Myth may have been generated by 30 year Park Service veteran Russ Apple who was restoring Hawaiian cultural resources in the parks) Evidence of shifts of the use of the beach area by indigenous peoples vary through time. Monumental architecture in forms of large heiau complexes (ritual centers) speak to the powers of na ali’i (chiefs) and the social stratification of the ancient Ka’u district. Camping is permitted at the Beach Park.


Punalu’u Beach

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