Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Bitter Sweet Departure – Bitter Bit

Hello

FROM THE OTHER SIDE!


Reporting from Sydney!

The past few weeks before my departure were TOUGH. The term BITTER SWEET applies, literally. Up till the NIGHT before I left, my heart was a tangled mess of feeling settled AND unsettled.

Let’s start with the BITTER bits and top it off with a SWEET ending in the next post!


 BITTER

1. Dengue Round 2

After 2 wonderful weeks in Hawai’i, there was a ‘sweet’ surprise at the end.

It was a Monday (4 days after we came back from Hawai’i). After an awesome training session with my client, my head was heavy and I was running a fever that night. I did 2 sessions in the blazing hot sun (one on Saturday and one on Monday), so I thought I was suffering from heat exhaustion! I took 2 Panadols and went to bed.

The next morning, I woke up feeling quite the same. Took another 2 Panadols to survive the morning. I managed to go to the dentist and then to Apple physio for my treatment. By noon, I was complete dead. My bones were aching, my fever persisted and my head was about to explode! I slept for the rest of the afternoon.

By evening, my dad said that my mom was suffering from the exact same symptoms. Immediately, I knew it was dengue. There was a dengue outbreak when we were in Hawai’i so the chances were high.

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After all the hoo-haa, we were both diagnosed with dengue.

Seriously, dengue?! Again?! I felt like the ‘luckiest’ person on the planet. I just recovered in July 2015 (6 months ago!) and my hair fall cycle had just stopped.

But it was quite funny. Round 1 was with my dad and round 2 was with my mom! (I’m being the good daughter. You know, accompanying my parents through and through) Also, when we were in Hawai’i, we joked about how it would be funny if we had brought the Hawaiian strain back to Malaysia after seeing the “Dengue Outbreak” sign. I guess it was NOT THAT FUNNY AFTERALL!

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FEAR

My main fears were the PAIN and the post-dengue recovery period that I had to go through. I couldn’t imagine going through the process of jabbing head spasms, vomitting and getting admitted to the hospital. I didn’t have time to be in the hospital! I was SO STRESSED OUT! I had planned my client schedule to the T so that I was able to finish my work before I left. I also scheduled many meet ups and runs that had to be cancelled!
I wanted to tick stuff off my list, not cancel them!

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And of course, the horrible recovery period which could take a long time! I was feeling very fit and strong up till that day. I couldn’t imagine starting from ground zero……AGAIN! It was SO hard. 🙁

IMG_4524Mentally, I failed.

I prayed SO HARD that I would be okay and that my platelets would not drop too low. Thankfully, it didn’t! The lowest was at 116 and I only felt pain/weakness for the first 3 days! After that, I felt really okay! PHEW!

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Processed with VSCOcam with t1 presetI was up and running (literally) after 5 days!

IMG_4455My mom was admitted for a few days because she was not drinking enough water. Also, she had terrible head spasms and needed strong pain killers.

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Thank you Tom, Dick and Harry (Colin and Bruce) for the crab soup!

I want to thank GOD and all my family/friends who have prayed for us and for those who have showed love, care and support! We feel so blessed to have you guys in our lives.

We’re both okay now. My mom’s recovery is still slow but she is getting there! She’s a fighter! 🙂IMG_3046


2. My Uncle (mom’s younger brother) Passed Away (6th Feb)

It was sudden. TOO SUDDEN.

To make things worse, we received this news DURING our dengue period and just 2 days before Chinese New year! My mom had to receive it when she was at the hospital! Double stab to the heart. 🙁

He had no known medical condition. He collapsed in the bathroom and that was it.

It was such bad timing. It was CNY, I was preparing to leave for Australia and we were down with dengue.

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It was a really difficult time for my family. My mom especially. I was riding on an emotional roller coaster. From feeling sick from dengue to feeling better again to feeling excited about Australia to feeling deeply saddened about my uncle’s sudden death to feeling happy about CNY to feeling disappointed/depressed over not having enough time to finish up whatever I had planned before leaving……

These were the main things that ROBBED me of my time to finish up my work, run errands, spend time with family/friends. I really apologise to everyone whom I promised but didn’t deliver. I feel terrible and I am sorry.FullSizeRender_1

I guess this is LIFE.

Unpredictable.

Everything is truly in God’s hands. He gives life and He also takes it away. It is also a reminder that He owes us NOTHING! You plan things and sometimes, God just says NO! But I know, He knows best.


3. My Brother Got into an Accident

This happened THE NIGHT BEFORE I LEFT TO AUSTRALIA! And my flight was at 9:10am the next day.

He was on his bicycle going down a hill and somehow, he flew off his bike and crashed in the middle of the road. He lost 3 teeth, had to have stiches on his brow and wounded all his limbs. THANKFULLY, he was riding in front of a car that was going relatively slow. If not……it could have been a lot worse.

IMG_5152This was how I said goodbye to my brother…… at the hospital!

He was admitted to the hospital for a full observation. My mom was in distress. She was supposed to follow me to Australia. She was already stressing over work and her recovery with dengue……and now this?! She was THIS close to cancelling her trip and losing her mind. I had no problem with that but it was all too sudden. I cannot imagine what my mom went through. 🙁

Mommy, you’re so strong! 🙂IMG_4462You cannot control what happens. You can control how you react. 🙂

STRESS!

You know how the night before you’re supposed to be busy with last minute packing, feeling excited/sad/happy and doing some planning?FullSizeRender_2

I was THIS close to a mental breakdown.

I had to add this to my plate of STRESS! I was feeling SO overwhelmed. It had been a productive day of meet ups, massage sesh, food, hair cut, physio, a run AND this just had to happen! I broke down several times in the car on the way to places. I just couldn’t handle the stress. I had quite a few things to do before my departure the next day.

Truly, by God’s grace that everything went smoothly. My brother was okay and he is now en route to recovery.

I was just disappointed that I didn’t get to spend much time with my dad and brother as they were both at the hospital and it was a rather pathetic departure.


Timely Reminder

This was what I went through the last 3 weeks leading up to my departure to Sydney.

SO DRAMA! MUCH WOW!

Not exactly what I had planned or how I wanted it to be. It was not easy emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. There were SO many questions in my head.

WHY? WHY ME? WHY NOW?

Like I said, whatever it is, TRUST that GOD knows best. 🙂 I feel assured and at peace that everything will be okay.IMG_5410

This is part and parcel of life.FullSizeRender

If you fall, GET BACK UP! NO MATTER HOW HARD or HOW IMPOSSIBLE it seems.

What doesn’t kill you, makes you STRONGER! Really.

🙂

Physio Treatment – What Happens in a Session

Once upon a time, I had minor knee problems. I went to see a Sports Doctor who ordered a CT scan, prescribed some pills and sent me home with some exercises and rm1000++ poorer.

That was the end of my “Physio” experience and the pain eventually went away. But not because of what he prescribed. I stopped running shortly after (during my uni days).


Around August last year, another problem cropped up. I was training for SCKLM and I developed a nagging pain that ran down my right hamstring and pulled on my knee whenever I ran.IMG_2029

*Photo credits: Vincent

Consistent foam rolling and stretching helped a bit but it was always lingering. I went for a few sessions of acupuncture but felt little to no relief. *I am not saying that acupuncture is NOT good. It just didn’t work out for ME.*

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Soon after, Apple Physiotherapy Center dropped a friendly email offering some help. It was SO TIMELY. I was willing to try anything that would bring relief. I hadn’t explored physiotherapy, so it was perfect.

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Over lunch, Vincent and Jess (partners of the company) shared and explained (the misconceptions/confusions etc) everything about physiotherapy.

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They have been a HUGE SUPPORT for the past 5 months or so. I’ve been going there once either every week or every 2 weeks and I’ve never felt better!

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What happens in a session?

1. TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation)

The session starts off with Jess placing pads of electrodes on the affected area that is connected to a device that would send impulses to the muscle.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

EMS is generally used for:

-Rehab

-Increase blood circulation

-Relaxation of tense muscles

-Stimulates the muscles to prevent disuse

-As a strength training toolProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

She also places a hot pack over it which feels AMAZING!

2. Soft Tissue Manipulation (Massage)Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter about 10-15 minutes of EMS, a massage is given. This is the best part.

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3. Dry Needling

I know this sounds a bit scary BUT THIS is what’s going to help you!

Dry needling involves the use of acupuncture needles on the affected area. They are the thinnest needles and are able to penetrate deep into muscle tissue to target shortened and injured muscles that remain tense. Shortened muscles tend to irritate and press on the nerve.

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This form of diagnosis and treatment of myofascial pain is known as Intramuscular Stimulation (IMS). As chronic pain is usually neurological (and not structural), it takes a skilled practitioner to recognise the physical signs and symptoms of neuropathic pain.

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As opposed to traditional acupuncture which goes according to predefined meridian lines, dry needling is used on tender muscle bands, at the center of tightness or near the spine where there is an irritated nerve root. No pain is felt if the needle penetrates a normal muscle. You WILL feel it if you have a supersensitive and shortened muscle.

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I can tell you that whenever Jess puts the needle on my butt, the muscles go crazy! They be rumblin’.

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What does dry needling do?

-Stimulates stretch receptors in the muscle which produces a relax reflex (causes the muscles to lengthen)

-causes minor injury to increase blood circulation to the area which stimulates the healing process

-help the nerve to function normally by creating an electrical potential in the muscleProcessed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

 

Sometimes after the session, Jess tapes me up!


Although my pain was along the back of my hamstring and pulling on my knee, the root of the problem was my lower back! Specifically the right side. There’s a chunk of muscle that becomes ROCK HARD whenever I lack rest, run too hard or race. And that’s when it pulls on my nerve that runs down the back of my legs.

The treatments have helped to release that tight muscle. THANK YOU JESS! SO BLESSED to have met them and have them as part of my running journey. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetMy last session before I left. Already missing them! 😉


I have to work on strengthening my lower back and my core (basically the WHOLE of me). I also need to work on using/activating the right muscles when I’m running. If you have a weak core/legs or if you are not using the right muscles, other non-dominating muscles will help to compensate which will lead to injury and pain.FullSizeRender 3

All these can be done and improved with strength training, running drills, stretching and foam rolling. Cross train and recover well! They are essential to running! And of course, having a good physiotherapist helps too. 😉

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Info on Apple Physiotherapy Centre

Look for: Jess LimFullSizeRender 2

Address:

PJ Palms Sport
No.1 Lorong Sultan, Sect 52, 46200 PJ.
GPS: PJ Palms Sport (Same row with PJ A&W)

Contact: 016 – 3210 662

Website: www.applephysiorehab.com

Email: applephysiorehab@hotmail.com

Kona Town, Hawaii – Last Day

Day 9 – 26th January 2016, Tuesday

Journey back to Kona Town

Wake up time: 7:30am

Some shots of our accommodation at Volcano Hale:IMG_4008

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Living area with fireplace.

IMG_4007The kitchen area.

 

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Up the stairs!IMG_4005
The entrance to our room.

It was another early start! I wanted to put in a run at Volvano park just before we left but when I woke up at 6am, it was below 10degrees and it was PITCH BLACK! No street lights, nothing! I didn’t bother moving from my comfy bed.

IMG_4014We packed up, checked out and had coffee and cup noodles before driving back to Kona Town.IMG_4018

Our first stop: Papakolea Green Sand Beach (one of the two green sand beaches in the US)

We heard a lot about the Green Sand Beach and apparently, it is one of the MUST-SEES in Hawai’i.

Green Sand Beach is not Green Sand Beach without GREEN SAND! Yes, the sand IS GREEN. It is green because of the glassy crystal Olivine. Olivine comes from olivine-rich lava that spewed out of cinder cones years ago.

Olivine is locally known as “Hawaiian Diamond” and it is denser than the other rocks/lava flows. The ocean current separates these heavier particles and concentrates them to form this beach!

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My first “outdoor” toilet experience. It was HORRIBLE! T_T

Like all things in life, good things don’t come easy! And that includes getting to this beach! It was quite remote and not easy to reach!

We drove to a harbor where they had parking lots.

2 ways to get to Green Sand Beach:

-Take a 4WD car

-HikeIMG_4759Loving the Garmin FR235! 😀

Distance to beach: 4.5km one way

We thought we’d hike/walk/jog there and take the 4WD back (to save time). On the way there, the guide in the 4WD told us that it was easier to take the 4WD THERE and HIKE back because heading there was mainly uphill! HE WAS RIGHT! It was not easy! IMG_4054The hike was hot with the sun blazing and shining directly in your face with no cover from trees/clouds. The terrain was also not easy to navigate with lots of rolling hills, sand, rocks and dried out grass. IMG_4024BUT, the view made it ALL worth it.IMG_4020 IMG_4050 IMG_4056 IMG_4059

IMG_4053I thought it was a really tough hike but my mom made it all the way! SO PROUD OF MY MOMMY BEAR!

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Enjoying the view!

IMG_4068The cliffs above Green Sand Beach.Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

You can see the GREEN sand.IMG_4069I climbed down the lava cliff to get to the bay. I made a mistake of NOT wearing my shoes! IT WAS BURNING HOT! I had to rush to the sea to cool off!

IMG_4070 IMG_4077It was a steep hike down!

IMG_4078 IMG_4071 IMG_4072 IMG_4074 IMG_4079 Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset IMG_4080After enjoying the beach and the view, we took the 4WD back which cost $15 each! It was worth it because by then, the heat had gotten to us. We were exhausted and hungry.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGarmin Panda says it is Kona Coffee Latte O’clock!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe settled for a cafe along the way to Kona Town. I cannot remember the name of this place but they had decent food!

We were so tired, we drove straight to our AirBnb accommodation in Kona town. IMG_4128Kona town Oasis!

IMG_4127It was a really nice place that was super central! It was just 300m walk to Ali’i Drive (tourist area). It was also just 10mins away from the airport, shopping malls, food etc. The couple who runs this place actually started it to accommodate athletes that were competing in the Kona Ironman!

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Perfect day out!

After resting for a bit, I went for a run! It was one of the best running experiences along the Kona Ironman route! I didn’t know that that was THE Ironman route! Our Airbnb host, Marc, said that you can see 100s of swimmers training every morning! I ran to the pier to check out the place where they do their bike transitions. It is a big event and there were many permanent signs everywhere.

It was a pleasant run along the killer tough route! It was hilly and windy. I ran right along the coast and occasionally, sea water would splash and burn your eyes and skin. Too salty! There were SO many people out there training, running, swimming, biking, surfing etc. I followed a guy who was doing his brick training! It was fun to pace with someone else. Great way to connect with people too! I loved every bit of running in this town. Kinda miss it now.


Day 10 – 27th January 2016, Wednesday

We didn’t do much at night, mainly packing. Our flight was at 7:50am the next day and we had to be up by 4am! IMG_4172The al fresco style airport at Big Island! Yes, that’s the waiting area.

IMG_4186Coffee and breakfast at Honolulu airport.

IMG_4177Mahalo Hawai’i!

I am very grateful to be able to visit such a beautiful place! This trip was fun (SO FREAKIN AWESOME OMG!) and it also made me appreciate the beauty of nature (even more!) and the wonderful hands of our CREATOR.

Just. Too. PERFECT.

W.O.W!

Volcano Park, Hawaii – Day 8

Day 8 – 25th January 2016, Monday

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my brother, Ethan!


Journey down South to the Volcanoes National Park

Wake up time: 7:00am

Had breakfast of yoghurt and a mandarin orange.

Departed from Hilo Reeds Bay Hotel at 8:30am.

IMG_3610I was still a little hungry.

IMG_3613Stopped at Subway to pack a sandwich.

IMG_3617We arrived at Kilauea Chalet (where we would stay for the night) at 10am. It was still too early to check-in. They offered complimentary coffee at the reception area. We packed 2 cups to-go. It was one of the best and most fragrant Kona coffees that I had throughout my trip!


 

Volcanoes National Park

IMG_3618Since we couldn’t check-in, we decided to head to the Volcanoes National Park. It was just right around the corner from our chalet.

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We stopped at the Kilauea Visitor Center to get some information on what to do/see and also to pick up the park map. They had a suggestion list of what to cover which was super helpful! My mom and I hadn’t planned on what to do at the park.


 

Sulphur Banks (Ha’akulamanu)

IMG_3626We started off with the Sulphur Banks (Ha’akulamanu) walk from the Kilauea Visitor Center.

IMG_3632 It was 0.6km one-way. This trail connected to the Steam Vents (Wahinekapu).

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IMG_3638Active Halema’uma’u Crater (Check out the night glowing version of this below! At the end of this post that is)

From there, it was about 0.8km back to the visitor center. It was around 12pm. We took a short break (we had our packed food/snacks/drinks) before pushing off to Kilauea Iki.


 

Kilauea Iki Crater

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Distance: 6.4 km loop trailIMG_3645

Estimated time: 2-3 hours leisure hikeIMG_3649

Kilauea Iki descends 400ft through the native rain forest into the crater. The hike goes across a hardened lava lake that is currently steaming from the 1959 eruption. IMG_4451We walked around the rim of the Kilauea Iki Crater. It was a beautiful view from the top! We were advised to go for this trail but it was one of the longest (in terms of distance) trail routes in the whole park. We didn’t know if we had the time (we also couldn’t estimate how long it would take) to cover this trail. We only had one day in the park and we had no idea if this was worth our time.IMG_4452

As we were walking along the rim, I saw people walking across the crater! I knew that I HAD TO DO THIS TRAIL! And I am SO GLAD that I did! I didn’t know that the trail included a walk into the crater. It was THE HIGHLIGHT of my trip!

IMG_3650The trail started off with a 0.6 mile jungle hike down to the crater.

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I turned on my Garmin FR 235 just so that I could track my walk on the map. The crater was HUGE!IMG_4270

I did a light jog down to the crater as I didn’t want to waste much time. My mom knew that she would take too much time to do the full trail, so she only hiked down to the crater and then back up.IMG_4268

It was a nice gradual descend down to the crater. When I was down there, I took my time to truly be in the moment and to soak in my surroundings. IMG_4266Words cannot describe how it felt like being down there. You feel SO SMALL. As if I am not small enough! I was just speechless and in AWE.IMG_4267

IMG_4265IMG_3671I was not posing for this! I was simply not ready!

As I was alone, I had to take many self-timed shots and selfies. IMG_3651As the crater was so vast, they stacked hardened pieces of lava (as in the picture) to mark the route. I used them as my tripod. I was being very resourceful. 😉

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IMG_3656Came down through this path.

IMG_3659As the hike was pretty time consuming, there were not many people that attempted it. I was alone for most parts of the hike across the crater which was both peaceful and lonely.

IMG_3735Failed jump shot. The same goes for the rest of the shots!

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IMG_3811Failed shot turned artistic. Not too shabby!

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IMG_3818Steamy.

IMG_3832Chilling on what used to be molten lava!

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IMG_3855I got lost a few times! It was not easy to navigate your way through once you’re down there!

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IMG_3860I took some time to look for the trail head that led back up to the top. The other end was rocky unlike the opposite end which was flat and smooth. As such, I had some difficulty locating the trail.

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Hello from the other side… of the crater!

It was another 0.7 mile jungle hike back up. Again, I jogged my way up! Going up this end was much steeper with more stairs. I would have preferred to go down this way and back up the way I came down.

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Tip: If you ever attempt the Kilauea Iki Crater trail, go down the right side (look out for the 0.7 mile hike marker) instead of the left side (0.6 mile hike).

Total active + photo time: About 1 hr 15 mins (please take into account that I jogged down and up the trails)

I took the same amount of time as my mom which was perfect as she didn’t have to wait for me!


Thurston Lava Tube (Nahuku)

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Time: 2:15pm

Distance: 0.6 km loop trail

It was a very short walk through the lush rain forest and through the 500 year old lava tube!

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Check-In: Kilauea Hospitality Group @ Volcano Hale

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The latest check-in time was 5pm. After the Thurston Lava Tube trail, we still had much to see. Since we were still near our chalet, we decided to back track to check in first before continuing the rest of the tour. GOOD CALL! We would not have made it if we had continued.

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Kilauea Hospitality Group has 3 properties. We were at Volcano Hale. It is a little house with 5 rooms, 3 bathrooms, dining area, kitchen area and a living room with a fireplace.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetVery cozy! I would definitely recommend staying here!


Crater Rim Drive and the Chain of Craters Road

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After checking in, we did the drive all the way down to the end of the Chain of Craters Road.

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Distance: 61km round-trip drive

Total driving times (one-way): 45 minutes down winding narrow roads

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThis road descends 3700ft to the coast and it ends where the lava has covered 10 miles of road since 1986. There were many trails/hikes along the way (Pu’u Huluhulu Cinder Cone, Pu’u Loa Petroglyphs, Mauna Ulu Lava Shield, Devastation trail) but we didn’t have time to do them.

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At the end of the road, we went down to see the Holei Sea Arch which was formed by wave erosion.

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IMG_4450Walked down another 800m on the emergency access route.

IMG_3911We had our packed late lunch/tea in our car before driving back up at sunset. It was close to 6pm.


 

Thomas A. Jaggar Museum

Museum operating hours: 10am-8pm daily

Viewing point: 24 hours

The active vent of the Kilauea volcano is located within the Halema’uma’u Crater in the caldera of Kilauea. We were there to watch the glowing fume cloud, a sign that there is hot molten magma churning in the lava lake below.

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Robust plume of volcanic gas.

We were at 4000ft elevation and the temperature dropped to 10 degrees. We went back to our hotel for a hot shower and to put our feet up after a long day of walking and hiking!

Honestly, if you are ever in Hawai’i, the volcanoes are a MUST! I LOVE this place so much! Don’t forget to bring some warm clothing and to look UP at the sky at night. 😉 You WILL BE AMAZED!

Day 9 – Back to Kona town the next morning which would mark the end of our trip! Till next time!

xoxo

Hilo, Hawaii – Day 6 and Day 7

Day 6 – 23rd January, Saturday

Checking out of Mauna Lani Bay

Packed and bid goodbye to the 5-star luxury life.

Next stop: Road trip around Big Island!IMG_3289First stop: Renting a car!

Everything went smoothly and we were on our way to Hilo at 11:15am. There were 2 ways to Hilo town – through Wimea or the Daniel K. Inouye Highway.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe decided to take the Daniel K. Inouye Highway (because it was shorter in terms of distance), through Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea.

IMG_3297The drive was also quite scenic as the highway is in between Mauna Loa and Mauna Kea (there is a viewing point where you can see yourself in between!). These are 2 of the 5 volcanoes that make up the island of Hawai’i.

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*Did you know: Hawaii is pronounced and written as Hawai’i*

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As we could not check-in to our hotel yet, we drove straight to Rainbow Falls.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe Wailuku River plunges 80ft in front of a natural lava cave to create the falls.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetToo pretty.

IMG_3318Jump shot on the trails along the waterfall.

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IMG_3328Just a really nice looking tree. 😀

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetIce Cream at Rainbow Falls on a rainbow table.

IMG_3338Hey there.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWe stopped for lunch in Hilo town at this place called Bear’s Cafe. Highly recommended! Good homemade FRESH food at VERY reasonable prices! The tuna wrap was SO GOOD!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAngus beef burger at $6.95?! Trust me, you cannot get this price anywhere else!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetTahitian Vanilla and Green Tea.

Around 3pm, we checked into our hotel – Hilo Reeds Bay. We spent the rest of the day exploring Hilo town.

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetPINEAPPLES!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGiant avocados.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetTropical fruits!

Bought some fresh fruits at the market, snacks and drinks for our trip the next day!

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Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’m such a sucker for animal biscuits!

In the evening, I went for a nice cool walk along Banyan Drive (the road just outside our hotel).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetSaw this little shop that had ICE CREAM! When it comes to ice cream, you can never have too many. Quick blueberry muffin and ice cream stop before strolling back to the hotel.


Day 7 – 24th January, Sunday

I woke up before the sun was up to put in a semi-long run along the Hamakua coast. Will blog about it in detail in another post!

I was feeling very sleep deprived before my run but I knew that I would feel so much better after! And I did!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetRoad trippin’, Maui style (although we were on Big Island)!

Came back to the hotel and it was time to get ready for our journey up North! We wanted to get an early start to cover whatever we had planned.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetGreen apples wherever I’m at!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetBear’s cafe was so good, we had to go back! Had the Salmon wrap this time. We also packed coffee from Shark’s cafe for the road.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetStopped for this view!

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First stop: Akaka Falls

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Akaka Falls was named after chief ‘Akaka-o-ka-ni’au-pi’o-i-ka-wao. There are many ancient stories (like all the other places) associated with this waterfall.

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It was a 700m loop trail to see Kahuna Falls and Akaka Falls.IMG_4407

Recorded it with the FR 235. 😀 You can see the waterfall!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAkaka Falls is the highest free-falling waterfall in Hawai’i. Kolekole stream drops 442ft from the gulch.

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Kahuna Falls is a cascading waterfall and plunges 300ft into Kolekole stream. Kolekole stream cuts a deep and narrow gorge into the ash and basalt of Mauna Kea.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetAfter Akaka Falls, we drove 45mins up North to Waipi’o Valley – the valley of the Kings. It is actually privately owned and they plant a lot of taro, rice and sugar!

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IMG_3502 We might have joked about it.

We were not allowed into the valley due to a dengue outbreak! The valley was huge but we could only see part of it. You can Google to see the full valley. Pretty spectacular!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetOn the way back, we stopped at Honokaa for coffee and ice cream. It was a Sunday, so majority of the shops were closed!

IMG_3548Spotted a painted church on the way back!

IMG_3550Just a quaint little Catholic church with colourful murals and stained glass windows.

We drove straight back to our hotel – Hilo Reeds Bay. We pumped petrol and bought some snacks along the way. We still had daylight and time to kill so we took a drive ALL THE WAY down South (highway 130) to check out the black sand beach.

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetWell, it WAS black but definitely not a sand beach anymore. It was just hardened lava forming a cliff. Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThe island’s landscape is ever changing.

IMG_3557We were told that we could see the lava flow through the highway but it no longer exists (it was just months ago).

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetThere was nothing much to see there. If you ever come to Big Island, you can give this one a miss.

It was around 5-ish. On the way back, we stopped at Walmart to pick up some food and drinks for our journey to the Volcano Park the next day.

We were cracking our heads on what to eat for dinner and then we came across Ken’s House of Pancakes that was opened 24 hours!

IMG_3564The place was packed! It was a typical American Diner with HUGE hamburgers, sandwiches and PANCAKES! There was something called the Sumo and trust me, the pancakes were bigger than my face.

That’s the end of Day 6 and 7.

Next up, VOLCANO PARK! The highlight of my trip!

Stay tuned!

xoxo