Kalani retreat center was our base on Puna side of Hawaii island. Tod had been there before and loved it.
The painting in our room set our mood for another naturist adventure 🙂
As we arrived late in the evening, we were welcomed by a chorus of coquí frogs.
It’s an invasive species introduced from Puerto Rico, but I loved the ambient sound they provided (and to their defense, they haven’t really brought any harm to local ecology as far as I know). I managed to track down one of coquí frogs near the pool, which was impossible according to Tod – not if you’re a zoologist like me 😀
After that, we relaxed in the sauna, and then Tod did a Watsu session for me (“a form of aquatic bodywork used for deep relaxation and passive aquatic therapy… in which a practitioner gently cradles, moves, stretches, and massages a receiver in chest-deep warm water”). Needless to say, we were naked, and the setting – warm humid air, dark starry sky, accompanied by frogs chorus – was perfect for total relaxation!
In the morning we were greeted by another cute guest, a brightly colored but naked gecko.
So it felt only more appropriate to do our morning stretch in the buff, and there was even a statue for inspiration 😉
However, after we finished our stretch, a worker came to us and told that apparently we were only allowed to be naked by the pool and another remote area. We could only guess why within the same premises it was ok to take off your clothes at one spot but not at another just 50m away. Tod’s speculation is that as Kalani is becoming more mainstream, they have to adapt to mainstream public, which includes restrictions on your attire. Oh well, it wasn’t like we planned to spend too much time at the resort itself. We left to Kapoho tide pools after that.
On the trail to the tide pools we saw this tree with interesting fruit,
but the most interesting stuff awaited us under water.
Kapoho tide pools are popular among snorkelers thanks to crystal clear water, and we could see how clear it was from above.
The only thing that interfered with water’s transparency was… water, just of different temperature. There were a few geothermal springs coming out, and at everything looked blurred where their water was mixing with water from the ocean.
Although Kapoho tide pools is not an official naturist spot, to swim in au naturel I used a technique I developed at the Red Sea coral reefs in Israel, and then in Akumal in Mexico – just put your swimming trunks around your shoulder 😉
The corals there were not nearly as bright as at the Red Sea, but some rocks were covered with colorful moss animals.
Another invertebrate that was abundant there was sea cucumber.
But numerous vivid coral fishes were of course the main attraction.
Unicornfish was probably my favorite.
There was at least a couple of species of unicornfish, and besides the unicorn
they were decorated with adornments on the tail and stylish make-up.
It was a lot fun to navigate in the labyrinth of corals and rocks of Kapoho tide pools, and we got lost twice (lost in a sense that we didn’t know how to get to the main, deepest path). And then we also got lost in the fish.
An impressive shoal of striped wish surrounded us all of a sudden and didn’t seem to be bothered by us swimming next to them.
But not all are so conspicuous at the coral reef. Needlefish is hard to spot and they usually don’t come too close.
And this one we almost missed altogether. Can you actually spot what it is?
The first reader who sees and guesses what it is on the photo above, besides sand and rocks, will get a print of any photo from this blogpost! (Maybe you’ll choose this photo? It’d be a nice background picture.) I guess I’m starting a new tradition. Comment here!
On the way from Kapoho, we stopped at the pandan forest. Pandans looked quite peculiar with their adventitious roots, which in turn made me feel adventurous and want to climb them (no particular logic, just like I wanted to do push ups on the cypress roots in Mississippi swamp forest 😀 )
And I don’t know what it was about that forest, maybe the light, but I think I look particularly good on the photos from there. Another contender for your printout choice? 😉
The next stop was something that I’d been dreaming to visit for a long time – a beach with black sand! There are just a few black sand beaches in the world, and Kehena on the island of Hawaii is certainly among the most picturesque beaches.
The first thing you’d want to do on that sand is simply to lie down and enjoy its velvet softness, which I did too with great pleasure.
I got a new dog friend while his owner was body surfing.
That sand really feels (and looks) nice on the skin.
Well, if you read this blog, you’d know that I wouldn’t be lying for too long. The rocks at surrounding the beach with tree roots coming all the way down from the top seemed too tempting to climb.
And there I was, bouldering in the buff 🙂
It may not look that high on pictures, but it was quite scary to look down.
Then we discovered a horizontal bar hanging on the tree. I’m always up for some pull-ups!
Then we chatted with a local owner of a small coffee plantation, who claimed that his coffee is even better than famous one from Kona side of the island. Unfortunately, we didn’t have a chance to test that, but it was nice talking to him, as he also assured there were quite a few nudist groups in the area – something to keep in mind for the next time 😉
I thought yoga would be the best to finish the day at the beach.
With such a nice sand there was no need for mat,
and I followed the rhythm of ocean wave alternating between poses.
Fresh and at the same time very warm air was perfect for stretches –
“pigeon”, all the way to the front
and “camel” – all went well deep.
After some twisting,
it felt right to finish off with balancing in the tree pose on the coconut palm tree stump.
I so much look forward to coming back to this beach again!