Tag Archives: Benches

Pu’u Wa’awa’a bench

One of the nice things about the hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a is the selection of benches available for rest and contemplation, on the way up and at the top. This bench sits halfway up the steep slope that accesses the top of the hill. It gives a good view of Mauna Loa and the pastures on and around Pu’u Wa’awa’a. If you’re lucky, you might even see a dung beetle or three doing what they do.

Bench near Green Sands Beach

Most people going to Green Sands Beach, near South Point, hike in or pay for a local to transport them in one of a variety of dubious-looking trucks. Once there, people head down to the beach to swim or broil on the green sand.

Beyond the place where the trucks stop is a pu’u and a hike over this hill and down the other side takes one to this bench, which overlooks the bay, though not the beach itself. It’s a quiet spot unless the wind is howling, which it often is, but the view is lovely and it makes a great resting spot before either carrying on along the coast, or returning whence one came.

Pana’ewa benches

Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo Alligator bench

Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo Flower benchHere are a couple of colorful benches that can be found at Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens in Hilo. Designed more for appearance than comfort, there are several similar benches at the zoo (here). If you do visit and choose to sit on the alligator bench, make sure it is a bench and not one of the real alligators.

For more information about Pana‘ewa Rainforest Zoo & Gardens, go to hilozoo.org.

Bench overlooking Honokane Nui Valley

Bench overlooking Honokane Nui Valley

I’ve posted a photo of this bench and view before, but when I took this walk beyond Pololu a few months ago the bench was in bad shape. One of the legs had rotted out and if I wanted to sit, it had to be on one end and with care.

So last time I hiked up that way I took a tape measure, planning to assess the damage and work out what was needed to fix the bench. However, when I got there I found someone had beaten me to it. And unlike my repair idea, they had wisely decided to discard the previous bench frame and replace it with a plastic one.

While it might be somewhat less aesthetically pleasing, the plastic frame should last a lot longer than its predecessor. It’s also securely anchored with metal rods so the bench should be around for a good long time. Something to look forward to next time I make the hike.

Clouds from Pu’u Wa’awa’a

A few days ago I did another hike up Pu’u Wa’awa’a, a large cinder cone north of Kona. I planned the hike to coincide with one of the days of latest sunrise here, just after 7 a.m.. My idea was to arrive at the trailhead at 6 a.m., when the gate opens, and head up as quickly as I could in order to get the best shot at early morning light from the summit. This meant getting up by 4 a.m. and setting out by 5 a.m.

Defying all historical precedents, I was there five minutes early. The new automated gates opened before me and in no time I was hotfooting up the trail, flashlight in hand, in order to avoid breaking an ankle in the one of the many potholes in the old road that makes up the first part of the trail.

One advantage of hiking in the dark is that I didn’t stop every five minutes to take a photo of a goat or bug. Still, an hour into the hike, as the light improved, I couldn’t help but pause when I spotted a large wild pig excavating – no other word for it – a large hole in the hillside in the search for worms and the like (alas the photos weren’t great – not enough light).

By 7:30 a.m. I reached the top of the climb. I already knew I wasn’t going to get the hoped-for blaze of early morning sun – too many clouds from the get-go – but this photo shows the moody light that greeted me. I considered this a worthy consolation prize. And then there was the fact that I had the summit to myself for 90 minutes, and the mamane trees on the west side were in bloom and attracting Hawaii ‘amakihi and hordes of bees (look for several dozen photos of these in the near future!).

For more information about Pu’u Wa’awa’a and its trails, go to puuwaawaa.org.

Alakaha Ramp bench

At the top of the Alakaha Ramp, on the 1871 Trail from Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park to Ho’okena, is this little weathered bench. It offers shade and a lovely view to the north, the point of land being the park.

For more information about the 1871 Trail, and other hikes on the Big Island, go to bigislandhikes.com.

For more information about Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park, visit https://www.nps.gov/puho/index.htm.

The view from a bench of the hike up Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a.

The view north from Pu’u Wa’awa’a

The view from a bench of the hike up Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a.

Another post on the WordPress photo challenge theme of ‘serene.’

The hike up Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a is a steady climb, but there are several benches along the way for a quiet break. This bench looks north, toward the South Kohala coastline and North Kohala hills.

The trail isn’t crowded at any time of day, but in the early morning, it’s positively serene.

For more information about Pu’u Wa’a Wa’a and its trails, go to puuwaawaa.org.