Monday, October 13, 2014

Green Sand Beach, Hawaii

We spent our recent stay at Leilani Bed and Breakfast planning our next adventure: getting to PapakĊlea Green Sand Beach.

The literature provided by our B&B hosts mentioned the locals who offer rides in their trucks and SUVs. Why would you need a ride? Well, the road is rough. And it's not so much one road but a web of dirt trails. The locals know how to get there with the least amount of damage to their vehicles. Our B&B hostess suggested we follow the locals when they take someone on a ride. That was the plan originally, but when we arrived we immediately were stopped by a local. He told us our Escape wouldn't make it and that it would be $15 a person round trip for a ride. (I should mention that the other option is to hike the 2 miles to the beach.) A group of men waited and watched as tourists like us made their decision. I wasn't comfortable leaving the rental with all of our belongings on the side of a dirt road for either option. Would they be offended if we didn't take their offer of a ride and not look after our car? I didn't want to risk it, so we played the part of tourists that day. 

Our transportation was an SUV with air-conditioning, thank goodness. We shared the ride with a couple from Colorado. (Along the way we saw other tourists riding in the back of pickup trucks. They inhaled dust and held on for dear life.)

Our driver explained to us that a family controlled the business of arranging rides for tourists to the green sand beach. He was not part of the family but was allowed to join recently; it was only his third week offering rides. It took him about 20 minutes to get us there, and the four passengers agreed to stay for about half an hour to 45 minutes before heading back. This ended up being enough time because the winds were so strong that the waves were too intense for my taste. I just soaked in the sun and scenery.

It was worth it to us to pay the money for a ride to such a rare beach. A couple we met at our B&B followed our SUV back to the parking area after managing to find the beach on their own. They were generous enough to tip our driver $10 for helping them get back safely. It wouldn't hurt to tip the locals if you are going to follow them there or back.