This was a special day as it was my birthday and Ulli surprised me with a decorated room and a beautiful breakfast. My first highlight of the day was a 2 hour helicopter tour over the entire island. I’ve done several helicopter tours in Orlando, Kauai, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon – and each one is amazing, but this one was special as we were flying over an active volcano! When we got close to the volcano we saw a lot of smoke and how far inland the lava has come – which is kind of scary for the people that live closeby. In the last couple of weeks I saw some amazing images from how the lava now flows back in the ocean – which looks spectacular. When we were there it was flowing the other way and we could get really close to the crater. We could see fires in the rainforest, from where the lava got close to the forest. The pilot told us that it only takes a couple of seconds until the lava cools, so some locals hike close to the volcano, but it is very dangerous as you don’t know where the lava is still hot and where it’s cold (as it flows under the ground, and just comes up at random spots). After this part of the tour, we stopped in Hilo to refuel and then went over the west side of the island and saw amazing waterfalls along the coastline. You could truly see the different climate zones – with the rainforest, dry sunny kahala coast and cooler side by the volcano. I highly recommend this tour to anyone visiting the island!
For lunch we went to a vegan – Indian inspired- restaurant called Under the Bodhi Tree, which became our favorite during our stay. It was delicious food and reasonable priced. They also brew Kombucha freshly daily in three different flavors (blueberry was my favorite). You can’t buy it anywhere else on the main island (I just have to go back for it!). Back at the hotel I had an appointment for a coconut oil scalp and full body massage in a tree house. Just what I needed after this stressful day so far….;-)The end to this perfect day was a dinner at Browns Beach house (restaurant at the hotel) which was so romantic : outside by the ocean, with a Hawaiian guitarist and award winning cuisine. I’m such a blessed girl to deserve such a wonderful birthday!!