Kalani Honua Blog - Kehena Beach

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Cameron McCool

Kehena Beach - One of the World's Top 10 Secluded Beaches (Islands Magazine)

Local beach 'Kehena' has been voted as one of the world's "Top 10 Secluded Beaches" alongside beaches in Curacao, Puerto Rico, and Jamaica in the July/August issue of Islands Magazine.

Kehena beach is known for its picturesque location, black sand, and sunday drumming circle. Dolphins and whales are also frequently spotted close to shore.

Many of Kalani's guests, who come to attend a wellness or yoga retreat in Hawaii, soon discover the magic of Kehena. The beach is a short walk from Kalani grounds and is a favorite of residents within the local Puna community.

Have you visited Kehena Beach? What are your fondest memories of this special place? Tell us on the Kalani Facebook page or in the comments section below.

Here's what Jon Whittle, a photographer for Islands Magazine, had to say about his first visit to Kehena... 


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THE BIG ISLAND'S KEHENA BEACH
- Jon Whittle, Photographer, Islands Magazine


My No. 1 tip from 10 years of travel photography? Follow rumors. There are no billboards for secret beaches. Having heard of a special spot below the cliffs of Puna, I drove through a tunnel of monkeypod trees on the Red Road, asking myself 'What do you wear to a nude beach?'

Passing a row of parked cars adorned with peace symbols, I stomped on the brakes. This must e the place. I strapped on my camera bag, pushed through the foliage and followed rough black "steps" made of a'a lava toward the sound of a big Pacific break.

I rounded a bend to see a sheer cliff rising from a sheltered cove. The sound of drums echoed intermittently above he crashing waves, and I caught a whiff of the distinctive aroma of 1967. Scattered pines grew from the soft ebony sand, providing shade for the unclothed bodies lying underneath.

Resisting the urge to stare, I found an opening under a nearby pine and unrolled a towel onto a perfect spot to spend the afternoon. The longhaired man beside me etended a hand in greeting. He looked like Iggy Pop, at least from the neck down.

"Welcome to Kehena," he said. This place is like a community. Stay a while and you'll meet painters, musicians, BI fugitives and people who just couldn't take the mainland anymore." He chuckled loudly, pointed down at the oversize camera sitting beside me and said, "You might want to put that away though."


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This content is re-printed courtesy of Islands Magazine from the article "Top 10 Secluded Beaches" in the July/August 2011 issue. Islands magazine offers readers stunning photos and compelling stories that inspire island travel. Visit the official website to order a free trial issue of this exquisite pubilcation and like Islands Magazine on Facebook to receive daily updates on Island life in your news feed.

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Beverly Mendoza

Beverly MendozaAhh Betsey. Betsey is one of the sexiest ever to blow through Kalani. The first time we hung out was at Kehena Beach. It was my first time ever going to this black sand clothing optional beach. And it was as if the set was taken from some Hollywood movie. After climbing down this short cliff and turning the bend a man named Congo from Trinidad sat perched on a gigantic black rock. Two hippie kids from New York played their guitars while Congo carved a wooden stick with his knife and sang a sort of reggae that could have been categorized as the blues for it was that soulful. I couldn’t believe the scene. That a world like this actually does exist outside the movies.

Across the beach were circles of people picnicking, laying around, talking story, laughing and throwing themselves backwards into the waves. Betsey took her clothes off immediately. She laid on the sand where the surf just barely reached her. And ever so often, a gigantic wave would come and crash over her, sending black sand everywhere. We did this forever. Just talking, laying on our stomachs, letting the sand just naturally exfoliate our bodies and letting the Ocean decide when to toss us about. It was a thrill not knowing when the big wave was coming and mid-story, we’d have a mouthful of sand. It was somehow the most hilarious thing ever. Betsey talked about experiencing bliss in the interview below. And so many moments just reeled through my head when I think about my own bliss. This day at the beach was definitely one of them. And Betsey’s happy-go-lucky blissful spirit was surely the catalyst for happiness that day. She emanates this bright joyful glow always and that is oh so sexy, don’t you think?

Betsey CarneyQ&A: Betsey Carney


What brought you to Kalani?

I was on a sabbatical and looking for a place to get away from the mainstream to do some yoga and some spiritual work.

What was your first impression of Kalani? Of the Big Island? Of the people?

My first impression of Kalani was Mary Lou who picked me up at the airport. I felt comfortable with her immediately and knew right away that if she loved the place (she talked about how she loved Kalani on our ride from the airport) so would I. The smell of Hawaii is such a welcoming and comforting smell to me. Every time I land, I feel warm and happy inside. As we drove down Route 130 and I saw the Ocean, I knew I was home. All of the people I met were welcoming, easy-going and happy… my kind of folk.

What was your favorite activity out here? What will you miss most about this place?

My favorite organized activity was yoga. I attended as many classes as I could; sometimes twice a day. In addition to that I loved the road trips with my co-volunteers to visit other places on the island. We always had so much fun. Meeting and getting to know people from such varied places while exploring and enjoying Hawai’i was simply terrific. I can honestly say that some of the happiest times in my life took place during those trips. I miss that immensely.


What advice would you give first-timers?

Just be and allow. And, take advantage of every opportunity you can.

Top three items you couldn’t have lived without on this island?

1) Other volunteers 2) my job at Kalani 3) my open mind.


What was your most memorable moment here?

In the car on the way to hike to see the new lava flow (the cops wouldn’t let us in). Mike, Jill, Jamie and I were “so happy, we couldn’t stand it!”

How have you changed? What imprint has this experience made on you?

I now accept everyone and everything as is. I experienced what it feels like to be “blissed-out”. I know now that it is my choice to be happy doing whatever I’m doing, wherever I am.

I’ve taken that back to the mainland with me and refuse to lose my “Bliss”.

Since you’ve jumped ship, how is life out there? How has the transition been back to mainland life? What next?

See above. It took me about a week to become grounded and I realized that I love where I live on the mainland (Annapolis, Maryland) and I also love Kalani and the Big Island. I want to incorporate both places in to my life from this point forward.


Most memorable lesson from Pele?

It wasn’t a lesson but a realization. She’s a gracefully violent creator, and a sensual, dangerous, wise and beautiful sage. The realization she brought to me was to love and revere everything she has created. If not, I’d be disrespecting her, and since we all are one, that would be disrespecting not only every personality but more importantly what we all agree upon as our universe.

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