On Wednesday we planned a zip lining trip in the rainforest –which is the other side of the island (Hilo side). The drive was quite spectacular as we started on the sunny, warm Kohala coast, drove over Mauna Kea –which is 4,200m above sea level – and it got freezing cold all of a sudden (we had our top down in the Jeep) and then went back down to the town of Hilo where it was warm and rainy. All of this within 2 hours of driving! We also spotted several rainbows – no wonder with all this change of weather.
We met with the tour operator of the zip line in Hilo and took their bus in a private area in the rain forest. Unfortunately, it was raining the entire trip – but the weather was still warm so I didn’t mind. I’ve done zip lining before and I’m not (too) afraid of heights, so I had a great time going through the lush green forest and enjoying the view different waterfalls. My favorite part of the tour was when we stopped for lunch/fruit snacks in this little hut. There was a pig that welcomed us and loved our fruit. Ulli and I named the pig Ziggy – it also had little piglets. They’re so smart – I could see having a pig as a pet 🙂
After the zip line tour we went to the farmers market in Hilo. We were lucky as it’s only on Wednesdays! We tried a lot of new local food and fruit. My favorite was this turmeric, coconut milk drink – I’m not sure what else was in it but I could drink it every day! We also had a delicious green papaya salad – a few ingredients but so fresh. Ulli said “thai spicy” and it was “too spicy” – lesson learnt.
I was super excited when I found out that the Mauna Loa macadamia nut factory is close to Hilo. My absolute favorite candy (and one of the few ones I indulge on once in a while) are the chocolate covered macadamia nuts. OHHHH SO YUMMY! I always ask my Hawaiian friends to send me some – as they are creamy and crunchy….mhhh! Ok – back to the story – so we did a farm visit and also a self-guided factory tour. Now I know how they are made and how long the process takes! We also bought some different macadamia nut varieties like garlic/onion and sea salt (most of them were gone on the drive back). We still had energy for more sightseeing of this part of the island, but it was a rainy day. We still had our Jeep uncovered on the sides, only the top was keeping us half dry. It was a fun ride back to the hotel! As soon as we got to the Kohala coast it stopped raining and it was sunny and dry. Really crazy how different the weather is on each side of the island!