This is the second part of a three-part description of a hike along the Puna Coast Trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (See part 1 here).
As the trail reaches the coast, it passes over an older flow that has a fair amount of vegetation on it. The third photo shows the trail cutting through a swathe of naupaka, sourbush, and assorted grasses.
This area was, despite the threat of volcanic activity, well occupied by early Hawaiian people. Along the trail are several reminders of that including the structures below. The photo, below middle, shows the amazing abilities of plants to grow in even the most daunting locations. The roots are somewhere deep in the lava, from which the trunk of this noni snakes upward. The large, nobbly fruit can be seen on this plant. This fruit, when ripe, has a pungent aroma which supposedly smells like vomit!
The bottom photo shows an area of rocks and black sand on the coast, backed by an extensive field of naupaka. Beyond that, the trail passes close to a pair of sea arches seen in the top photo and the one at top right. This is a rugged coastline and, when the weather is rough, huge waves can crash up and over the lava. It’s also an unstable coast with rocks and sections of cliff liable to tumble into the ocean.
In the background of the top and bottom photos are the palm trees of ʻĀpua Point, which will be the focus of the third and final post about this trail, tomorrow.