Tag Archives: hiking

Kona, Hawaii – Day 4 and Day 5

Day 4 – 21st January, Thursday

Cultural/Beach day

We had the luxury to snooze in today. Ahhhhhhh! Finally!

DCIM102GOPRO

But we still had a program. My mom’s company organised a Hawaiian Cultural day by the beach. Just for the fun of it. They had a few different stations set up – flute making, Hawaiian dancing, banana throwing and canoeing. It started at 9:30am but we only went down at 11am.

DCIM102GOPROSun in your eyes, sand between your toes. Bliss.

Canoeing was the only activity I did that morning.

DCIM102GOPROWe were in teams of 6.

DCIM102GOPRO

The guides behind us.DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROThe rest were paddling hard while I was busy taking photos.

DCIM102GOPROWe did a few rounds of practice before getting our game on! We were preparing to compete with the other team.

DCIM102GOPROLovely day out!

DCIM102GOPRO

Heading to the open waters.

DCIM102GOPRO

Crystal clear!

DCIM102GOPROOur competitors.

DCIM102GOPRODDI founder was on my team. Good sign. I was definitely on the winning team.

DCIM102GOPRO

Lining up.

DCIM102GOPROGetting ready… sorta.

DCIM102GOPRODCIM102GOPROIn position.

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROWe WON! 3 out of 3 times.

DCIM102GOPROWe were paddling so hard, we cruised the last 30m. 😀

DCIM102GOPROStrong team behind me.

After building some upper body muscles, it was time for lunch!

IMG_3113Fresh scallops were fresh.

After lunch, it was free and easy for the rest of the day.

DCIM102GOPROI decided to rent a bike to cycle around the resort. Bike rentals were free!

IMG_3114Cycled to The Shops for ICE CREAM! It was a hot day out. I went for the LARGE! Salted Caramel Espresso, Tahitian Vanilla and Kona Coffee.

IMG_3118So creamy and so good! Perfect for a hot day!

Came back to the hotel and took a nap before smashing out a “track session”. It was great! One of my best workouts so far! WOOHOO! Hawai’i has been good to me. 😀 *Will talk about that in more detail in another post*

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetFor dinner, we decided to walk to The Shops to pack something light – salad and fruits. We were still feeling stuffed from lunch and all the other foods consumed throughout the trip.


Day 5 – 22nd January, Friday

Waterfall Hike Adventure, Kohala

Early start – 5:45am – Wake up. Get ready. Coffee. GO!

We left the hotel in a shuttle bus at 7am with 8 other DDI associates. It was a small but super sweet group with a wild sense of humour. Our tour guide, Peter, helped with the ice breaking by getting us to talk a bit about ourselves, our passion and expectation for that day.

Peter, born and raised in Hawai’i, was very knowledgeable. You could tell that he was very passionate about what he was doing. He shared a lot about the land/sugar plantation, the Hawaiian legends, island traditions, kings and the Hawaiian heritage.

We were headed up North, through Kapa‘au and Hāwī and finally, Kohala. As mentioned in my previous post, Hawai’i is an interesting place with microclimates. Our adventure began in the dry and hot lava fields of Waikoloa (where Mauna Lani Bay is at) and as we went further up North, everything turned from barren and brown to lush and green (just 45 mins away). It was also wet and rainy!

IMG_3166Our 4-wheeler!

45 mins later, we were in Hāwī town where we switched to a rugged four-wheel drive.

IMG_3167Wefie. The whole group + our guide.

IMG_3169

Bumpy ride.IMG_3173

Wet roads.

It was another 20 minutes to Kohala park and then an additional 10 minutes of rough riding through the field to the trail head.

IMG_3176It was steep and ROUGH!

IMG_3187 IMG_3184We stopped at a scenic point for a panoramic view.

IMG_3180It was beautiful!

IMG_3188

IMG_3178Back to the trails!

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPRO

At the trail head.

And then, we were ready for our short hike to the waterfall! DCIM102GOPROA mini one.

DCIM102GOPROCrossing over the bridge that was built over the flumes.

IMG_3191Peter talking about the Strawberry Guava!

This part of the island was more tropical with familiar greens. There were also many unique indigenous and endemic plant species. Most of them have been brought in either intentionally or by accident. Some of them have managed to out compete the indigenous species.

IMG_3195Water feeding the taros. They have a lot of taros here and the Hawaiians seem to eat a lot of them.

IMG_3196Indigenous species – the ʻōhiʻa lehua plant. It can grow in lava and are able to find deep waters. If the volcanoes erupt, they can close up and not breath for 2 weeks!

 

IMG_3199The Ohana Waterfall!

IMG_3201*Interesting info: Hawai’i State Fish – Humuhumunukunukuapua’a*

DCIM102GOPROWe were finally at THE waterfall!

DCIM102GOPROI was eager to dive right in but the waters were SO COLD!

DCIM102GOPROI. JUST. HAD. TO. DO. IT.

The more you think about it, the worse it gets. Plus, I didn’t come all the way only to leave without immersing myself in the goodness of the Hawaiian falls.

DCIM102GOPRO DCIM102GOPROWaiting to swim under the waterfall!

DCIM102GOPRO

Dropped my sunnies and he found them. haha!

DCIM102GOPROALOHA! That’s me on the left! 😀

DCIM102GOPROI wasn’t wearing goggles and I NEARLY lost my contact lenses there.

DCIM102GOPROAfter the quick dip, we got out and changed before heading back to our 4-wheeler.

We were just 300m away! I turned on my Garmin FR235 during the hike and it clocked a total of 1.3km. I know, that doesn’t sound like much of a hike. I didn’t think so either.

I like how the Garmin tracks and records your walks/runs/hike/bike on the map and you can SEE where you’ve been! I love looking it up on the map! It is a great way to remember where you’ve been.

IMG_3208Speedy ride back!

IMG_3209We headed back to Hawi town for coffee and ice cream!

IMG_3215  Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetEnjoying my hot cuppa. I was still a little soaked and it was COLD!

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetCAUTION: HOT!

The rest of the day was spent chilling by the beach, long naps and an evening run.

It was the last night for the VIP trip and DDI prepared a special dinner and program (Hawaiian dance performance).

IMG_3258Tofu and Ahi Tuna. HEAVEN!

IMG_3259Second plate of food. I guess I had a LOT of protein. I was really hungry from the hike and run. 😀

IMG_3262They performed MANY different types of dances. Very entertaining.

It was a long day! My mom and I had to stay up to pack, check out (the next morning) and get ready for our ROAD TRIP around Big Island!

Next post – Heading to Hilo and the WATERFALLS!

xoxo

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

IMG_4015

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).

IMG_3902

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.

IMG_3922

Done and dusted.

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

IMG_3944

The Parents.

IMG_3958

IMG_3962

Sunset faces. Haaaaaaaaa!

IMG_3964

IMG_3967

IMG_3971

The moon!

IMG_4012

When the light fades…

IMG_4013

IMG_4004

The sun is down, time to run!

IMG_3982

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!

 

Trail Running to welcome 2014!

Happy New Year! 2013 came, left its mark and left. Time to welcome 2014 with open arms!

How did ya’ll spend your New Years Eve?

It was a little different for me this year. I mean last year. I was partying with my family and brothers and sisters in Christ. My church decided to bring back the “watch-night” service tradition and this year it was held in MCKL.

We had a lovely Northern Indian meal before the service. It was so good. Naan bread and CURRY. Not too shabby for my last meal of the year.

The service was a good time of sharing, singing and a gentle reminder to always be grateful and thankful to God for his providence. After the final countdown and some fireworks, we headed home. The night ended with cake, junk food, chocolates and movies.

Somewhere in between cake and movies, I decided that I wanted to kick-start the new year with some sort of adventure. Kevin suggested trail running. He was partially joking but I was dead serious. I packed and went to bed.

5 hours later, we found ourselves heading towards Perting Valley, located somewhere off Bukit Tinggi Kampung. Kevin had been there several times so we had no trouble in finding the place.

IMG_2751

When we arrived, we parked our car at a designated parking spot which was by a river. We could have opted to drive further in before the real trekking trail began but we decided that we would run in instead (partly for the exercise, and partly because the condition of the “road” would’ve wreaked havoc on the car’s undercarriage). We slipped on our Vibrams and off we went.

IMG_2745

IMG_2747

IMG_2749

IMG_2757

Before the ‘real’ trekking trail.

We started at half past 12. By then the sun was already shining, blazing in its full glory. Thankfully, we didn’t feel the heat. The thick forest canopy and river kept the air crisp and relatively cool.  When we finally hit the trail, we took it slow. The beginning of the trail was rocky and then muddy followed by a mixture of both. We stopped along the way to fiddle with the camera and to take a few photos.

IMG_2754

Paracord bracelet-CHECKED!

IMG_2765

And the trail running begins!

IMG_2769

Weird creature alert!

According to Kevin, the trail had been transformed by nature’s worst enemy, humans. The lush, thick ferns that lined part of the trail were no longer there. Everything had been flattened or chopped away. Once a single track barely wide enough in places for a single man to pass through, the trail was now wide enough for a truck to navigate. It was sad that I didn’t get a chance to run this trail before somebody decided to widen it for vehicles. Nonetheless, it was fun. Hopping and skipping around to avoid sinking into the mushy mud.

IMG_2774

Muddy Mud Mud.

IMG_2777

50 minutes later, we hit the turn-off point to Lata Hammer (Hammer Falls). It was a steep hike-climb down to our final destination – the waterfall. We had to cross the river to get to the sandy flat area where people could set up tents or picnic mats. It was pretty crowded – I guess it was because today was a public holiday.

IMG_2796

Jungle Selfie!

IMG_2798

Hmmmm!

IMG_2801

IMG_2804

IMG_2813

Weird creature on the rocks.

IMG_2806

IMG_2809

We found an empty spot and laid our mat. We quickly settled in and started digging into the snacks that we had brought along. We also started a fire on a home-made stove to boil some water.

IMG_2822

GRUB!

IMG_2824

IMG_2825

IMG_2826

IMG_2827

Boiling water with self-built stove.

IMG_2831

Just chillin’.

IMG_2834

Milo + Nescafe = Neslo!

IMG_2839

Bubblin’!

IMG_2841

IMG_2842

IMG_2844

IMG_2846

Feet up!

IMG_2856

Some of the things that you might need for a hike/climb/picnic or just junk you’d like to carry along. I’ll call them “The Essentials”.

So here’s a list:

-Backpacks (hopefully they’re waterproof!). If not, you could always get what’s next on the list…

– Dry packs
– Flash lights
– Knives, parangs, penknives, pocketknives, Swiss Army knives
– Rope, paracord bracelet (never know when you need some ROPE!)
– Food (bring food that is easy to carry and prepare ie: canned tuna, bread, sneakers, trail mix)
– Mini stove (Kevin made his own), SPORK (as the name suggest, its a spoon AND a fork)
– Fuel to start a fire, lighter
– A good pair of shoes (would be best if it’s waterproof)
– First Aid Kit
– A whistle (just in case you get lost)
– Camera
– WATER!

I guess that’s the end of the list! Hoohaa!

IMG_2859

IMG_2864

We chilled and relaxed for a good 2 hours. The sky was still bright and clear but we wanted to get an early start back. We packed up and hiked-ran back out to our car.

IMG_2871

Crossing the bridge back to reality.

IMG_2872

FUN TIMES!

IMG_2876

IMG_2878

WHOAAAA!

We took about 40 minutes with a few stops to take photos and to attend to the wound I sustained when I brushed my arm against some dangling branches.

IMG_2880

On the way home, we bought some durians for the family.

IMG_2869

Trail running, hiking, picnic, waterfall, spending time with Kevin, nature, peace and quiet, a time for reflection……

It was indeed the best way to kick-start the new year! Doing what we love to do.

Hello 2014!