May 30, 2016.
Before taking off for our Hawaii vacation, I did a little research. Well, I did a lot of research. And that included a trip to the local library.
There, I found an old Hawaii hiking guidebook (randomly), so I eagerly leafed through the pages. One of the hikes mentioned an exploration of the shoreline near Shipwreck Beach. I poked around in other books and websites looking to corroborate this information. I also checked out the satellite view in Google maps to get a better sense of the lay of the land. It looked like there was a lot of potential here, so we drove into Po’ipu to check it out.
After driving down some gravel roads and finding a place to park, we headed coast-ward and surveyed the land. There was a lot of rock immediately in front of us, but a pretty inviting beach to our left. We made a beeline for the beach and took our shoes off.
The beach was also popular with the locals. Of the monk seal variety. We gave them plenty of space as we sauntered by. Otherwise it was mostly quiet along our walk. There were fishermen and other beach-goers in certain areas, but we also enjoyed long stretches in solitude. The teal-green ocean crashed into the rocky points along the shore, demonstrating the incredible power of the sea.
After crossing the beach we reached a green meadow with a lightly trampled path heading towards the headland in front of us. We followed the path and found another, smaller beach, with waves pounding the surrounding rocks. We scrambled around on the rocks, called it our turnaround point, and had a snack.
On our return walk I couldn’t believe the colors, as they looked like they’d come right out of a brand new crayon box. So bright and crisp!
We made it all the way back to where we started and just kept walking. The trail crossed between the sea cliffs and a golf course, so we watched the air for flying golf balls and watched our feet so we wouldn’t slip into the ocean. Beyond the golf course we crossed a lichen-encrusted rock field and then found a packed trail leading through the trees. At the end of the trail, a beach! Shipwreck Beach!
There’s no ship wreck here today but there’s a resort and a boat load of people. Kind of a disappointing place to end up. After another snack break we retreated along the coast, back to where the car was parked. It was a fun adventure, mostly far from the busy trails, and we got fairly good weather to boot. It took us a little over 5 hours to complete our journey, a solid way to spend a good chunk of a vacation day.