Tag Archives: beautiful

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

The Grand Canyon: Part III: Of Running in the Cold and the Sunset

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After our breakfast at Bright Angel Lodge, we took a drive to the much talked about El Tovar Hotel, located right at the rim. Known for having its own unique charm, it is considered the crown jewel of Historic National Park Lodges. This world class hotel calls for premium prices. I took a tour around the lobby and helped myself to their washroom (Haaaaa!).

Outside, one part of an area overlooking the rim was cordoned off by police and park rangers. There were a few patrol cars and an ambulance. My dad, being as Asian as ever, went over to find out what the commotion was all about. Apparently, a man fell off the side of the rim and he didn’t survive the fall. Tragic. Note to self: no more jump shots at the edge of the canyon.

As if I wasn’t exhausted from the mini sunrise workout (to stay warm), I was pumped to put in my canyon run! I had planned this before coming to the US and even though I was a little bit tired, I wasn’t going to miss RUNNING IN THE GRAND CANYON!

Before this, I didn’t have any experience running under freezing temps (below 5 degrees C). I was too busy mapping out my canyon rim trail along Mather point that it didn’t cross my mind to look up on anything about running in the cold.

Well, I guess some of the greatest lessons we learn in life are from our mistakes (if we bother learning from them).

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My dad drove out in his car and met me at several points along the trail that I had mapped out just to make sure that I was safe and of course… to take pictures. Best Dad in the WORLD!

Since I made these mistakes, you can benefit by not making them!

Here are some pointers when you’re out running in the cold (my personal experience):

Go Light:

I hate the cold. Okay, maybe hate is a strong word but let’s just say I’m meant to be living in the tropics, definitely not acclimatised to the cold.

Naturally, I piled on layers of clothing because I didn’t want to return looking like a popsicle. I had 3 layers on top including my jacket and 2 layers down.

When I stepped out of the room, I gave myself a pat on the back for putting on so many layers. It was FREEZING! 15 minutes into my run and I changed my mind. My body temperature was rising and well, it was getting a little bit hot in there. Also, the weight from layering wore me down quite a bit.

Conclusion: Think minimalist!

Warm Up Before Heading Out:

The mistake I made was not warming up before heading out. I was feeling chilly which led me to pile on layers of clothes.

What I should have done was: warm up inside the room to get my muscles moving and blood flowing to distribute the heat before jumping out into the cold. 100 jumping jacks should do the trick.

Don’t Rush:

If you’ve just started running in the cold (like me), speed is not your friend, mileage is.

Focus on maintaining your weekly mileage rather than challenging yourself with speed work. If you insist on increasing your speed, make sure your muscles are warmed up before doing so as it is easier to tear a muscle when it’s tight and cold.

Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate:

There is virtually no moisture in the air when it is cold. I felt the pinch and dryness even just after 5 minutes of running. It was so dry, I could barely breathe.

Bring a small bottle of water along and take mini sips every 10 minutes. You certainly do not want to dry your lungs and throat out. They could crack and bleed.

Shine Bright Like A Diamond:

Well, not really but you know the drill. When it is cold, daylight is usually limited. This point is highlighted when running in the Grand Canyon as there are no street lamps along the roads (to preserve the canyon in its Au Naturel state).

Wear reflective gear, bring a torchlight or put on a headlamp. Other runners/joggers and also drivers should be able to spot you from miles away.

Know your limits:

Above all, always pay extra attention to your body and know your limits, especially if you’re running under unpredictable weather conditions and on unfamiliar ground. Make sure you have eaten enough as more energy is needed to maintain your core temperate when it is freezing cold outside.

After your run, make sure you enter a well heated place or change out of your clothes as soon as possible. You wouldn’t want to catch a chill when your body temperature starts to drop.

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Done and dusted.

At about 6-ish pm, we headed to Mather point to catch the sunset.

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The Parents.

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Sunset faces. Haaaaaaaaa!

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The moon!

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When the light fades…

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The sun is down, time to run!

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I guess this marks the end of my Grand Canyon experience! Too awesome. Wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. It was… PERFECT!

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
consider all the works thy hand hath made,
I see the stars, I hear the mighty thunder,
thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God; to thee,
How great thou art, how great thou art!