Hawaii Adventures 2015

    I love coming to Kekaha Kai State Park. My favourite beach.

    http://deborah.oybsite.com/album/2443 (photos)

    If you checked out my last blog you'll know I was in Hawaii this summer.  It was a fabulous summer vacation with family and friends.  I have visited Hawaii before and never tire of coming back.  After staying in Honolulu, my family and I flew onto the Big Island.  The Big Island is my favourite of all the Hawaiian Islands.  I love all the black volcanic rock that is everywhere.  It presents such a pretty and unique landscape especially when you're driving.  We always rent a four wheel drive because getting to some of the best beaches you really need a vehicle with a good suspension to drive over the lava rocks.  While on the Big Island we did many outdoor related activities.  Snorkelling is one of my favourite things to do.  I love being in the water and when I'm snorkelling I can be in the ocean for hours.  It's actually not really a good idea as I found out the hard way because I got very sunburnt.  Summer in Hawaii is very hot and the sun in Hawaii is much stronger than in Vancouver.  For the most part, I chose to wear a rash guard to protect myself.  It's very useful and seems very trendy as I saw many beach goers wearing rash guards too.  They are available in short or long sleeved and are also available with a hoodie.  However, even though I was wearing a rash guard I still managed to burn the parts of me which wasn't covered.  So, I learnt the hard way to put sun block on my ears and as close to my scalp and the backs of my neck and hands.  My family got a great laugh when I slathered myself with suntan lotion. It was a bit of an overkill.  Fortunately, I didn't peel like some other family members.  Anyway, I love snorkelling and it helps if you're at a great snorkel beach with clear water and plenty of fish and turtles.  I did see many turtles on this trip.  It's illegal in Hawaii to approach or touch turtles.  There everywhere and I'm just happy to swim along and try to follow one.  Trust me, turtles aren't slow in the water.  It's very amusing to watch.  They seem oblivious to all the humans in the water.  Probably used to it by now.  Not sure if that's a good thing.  

    I love snorkelling!
    Photo caption
    Kahaluu Beach Park is considered one of the best snorkel beaches on the Big Island.

    This time on on the Big Island my family and I decided to try ziplining.  I have tried it once before on a trip to Mexico, but, it was a much shorter zip.  The one I signed up for this time had 7 ziplines which included going across two waterfalls, one of which was 250 feet tall.  We first got a trial run on a baby slope with our guides.  After that, each zip line became longer and higher.  I can now confirm that  I don't have vertigo.  It's not scary at all.  In fact, it's quite exhilarating.  You really get a birds eye view of the scenery and the waterfall below.  Yes, I did look down.  This is something I would definitely do again.  There was a short walk to each zip line and our guides told us all about the flora and fauna along the way.  We saw many beautiful plants and flowers including fields of red ginger.  A tip from our guides, white pineapple taste much sweeter than regular yellow pineapple.  Ziplining takes place in Hilo area which is one of the wettest States in all of America.  It's often raining. The zip line company had everything prepared and you can chose to wear a jacket that they provide to you as you go zipping.  It was raining when it was my turn to go across, as you will see in my zip line photos.

    Photo caption
    Getting ready to zipline over two waterfalls!
    I made it!  So exhilarating! I'm completely wet because of the rain.

    Another fun activity was ATVing through the forests in Hilo.  Riders can chose between driving their own ATV or riding two together in a 4x4.  I have tried ATVing before and truthfully find it a bit tiring.  You have to use your thumb to operate the throttle.  So, I opted for the Jeep and let someone else do the driving.  Still had the same experience but less tiring.  It's a bumpy ride on a path through the forest heading towards a secret rock pool and mini waterfall.  We were told that this pool was visited by King Kamehameha and his family when they wanted to cool down.  Very pretty, but the water unlike the ocean water was very cold.  We then drove to a lookout where we were treated to a breathtaking view of Waipio Valley or "Valley of the Kings" as it's known locally.  Hawaiian Royals and their family used to live there and were also buried there.  It was fascinating to hear our guides tell us how the valley was wiped out by a devastating tsunami many years ago.  Now very few, but mostly, Hawaiians live and farm on the valley floor growing taro.  Once again, ATVing takes place in the Hilo area. During our ride it stated to rain so our guides provided us with cover ups and the journey continued.  I can tell you that guys will like this adventure.  

    A day of ATVing through the forest to look for secret waterfalls and rock pools.
    Photo caption
    Rocky beaches are the best for snorkelling and spotting turtles.

    Adventures aside, swimming was a big part of my summer vacation.  I'm neither a good or strong swimmer, but, I do like to be in the water.  Snorkelling is fun and relatively easy.  Once I have my snorkel, mask and fins on I can be in the water for a long time.  For snorkelling it's best to go to a rocky beach or cove to see colourful fish and turtles.  As for white sandy beaches, those are good for boogie boarding which I also like to do.  It's a matter of waiting for a decent sized wave to push you back to shore.  Super fun!  I really appreciate my water shoes to make it easier to scramble over the rocks to get to the water or just to stand in the water to watch the turtles.  They love swimming close to the rocks to nibble on whatever's growing on the rocks.   Actually, it's not only turtles and fish.  You can also see many colourful birds like red headed cardinals and quite a few geckos in the brush close to the beach.   It was swimming one day, outdoor activity the next and that was how the cycle went.  It's hurricane season in Hawaii between August and November.  We experienced a few would-be hurricanes that eventually became tropical storms.  No biggie, just lots of wind and rain.  We were told to move our patio or as it's called 'Lanai' furniture indoors to prevent the hurricane from taking it away.

    I saw many turtles on this trip - almost at every beach I went to - big ones, small ones - turtles everywhere.

    In the next blog, I will share with you scenic Hawaii and also my visit to a live volcano.  You can check out my photos with the link below.

    http://deborah.oybsite.com/album/2443    And here, http://deborah.oybsite.com/album/2441