Hike to the secret beach


Hawaii guidebook writers seem to have a penchant for enticing the reader to a spot so pristine, so secluded, that no one else could possibly know about it. “Imagine yourself slipping into your own private, secluded swimming hole,” or “here’s a beach so secret, so hard to find, that even native Hawaiians don’t know about it.” Or, at least they didn’t, until they read this book along with thousands of others. Best Husband and I are not so naïve that we’d fall for this hyperbole, yet, wanting a little adventure, we allowed ourselves to be seduced down the path to the so-called Secret Beach.

The first rule in following the path to anything labeled “secret” is that the journey must be somewhat difficult. If any ordinary traveler could just fall out of their car and stroll to said secret location, there would be nothing special about it, and said location would remain unworthy of the title “secret.” The guidebook’s directions to the secret beach almost seemed too simple for something so obscure, so special. “…turn right off the first Kalihiwai Road, then right on the first dirt road you encounter.” We had already had enough experience with Hawaii’s carefree signage to have just a bit of trouble with this part. Then, we had to interpret the Hawaiian definition of “road.” We’d already discovered that what we might call a path or two-track at home, might actually be considered a road here. Finally after managing this part, we had to tackle the issue of parking. Seems that everyone else who read our guidebook had also showed up that day, and parking was limited on the dirt track.

Next, the directions said: “…take the 10 minute path to the bottom. It’s slippery when wet.” It had rained a bit earlier that day, so we were forewarned.

And so we began. We spent the next 20 minutes or so on a steep vertical wall of red mud, slipping and grabbing on to branches and each other to stop our untimely slide all the way to the bottom. Fortunately, there were plenty of roots and large rocks embedded into the mud to stop us from sliding to our deaths.

At the end of Mudslide Trail, which we later dubbed it, the view was worth it. A long beautiful, sandy beach and surf surging up onto huge black rocks along the shore. Unfortunately, with the surf so rough we were unable to take the second trail along the rocks to the Secret Lava Pools – a trip we’ll save for next time.

© Huffygirl 2014

Weekly Photo Challenge: Hidden


When we traveled to Ireland a few years ago, my favorite stops were gardens and ruins. I was always looking for the secret part – the out of the way doorway, the back parts of the ruined castles, the secret garden that somehow all the other tourists missed. I guess I’m always hoping to discover something that no one else has seen – the mystery seeker in me. Unfortunately, when I do discover that secret door or gate, it’s almost always locked. Here’s a few of my favorite hidden spots from my Ireland photo diary.

The very back corner of Bunratty Garden (© Huffygirl 2011)

Notice the padlock on the door – foiled! 

Dungeon steps at The Black Abbey? ( © Huffygirl 2011)

See the authentic ancient plastic bottle on the steps? Must have been left from one of the sieges.  I wanted to make this shot look like steps leading down to a dungeon. Unfortunately, there was no dungeon at the Black Abbey. This was a set of steps leading up from the cloisters to one of the side buildings.  Not wanting to be undone, I stood at the top of the steps and shot the picture looking down into the dark cloister, giving the effect of steps going down to a dungeon.

Hidden gate at the Dower House Garden of Kilkenny Castle (© Huffygirl 2011)

This gate was pretty well-hidden, in the far back corner of  the Dower House garden at Kilkenny Castle.  I framed the photo with the foliage, trying to make it look like a gate to a secret garden, rather than the garden maintenance shed that it really was.

© Huffygirl 2011