We settled into our seats at 5:30 and I was loving life because I ordered a cocktail that came in an actual coconut - the dream. I also got a pizza and the waiter brought me the flesh of the coconut from my drink to munch on. A few cocktails later we were feeling pretty merry and decided to go for a dip in the hotel's naturally heated hot tub, which was totally empty so we had it all to ourselves. We then went for a night time swim (one of the things I liked about the hotel was that the pool was open 24 hours which was great as I find lit up pools in the night time so inviting, but most hotels clos them at about 8pm) before drying off in a hammock. A pretty much perfect evening.
After breakfast, I started the day by joining one of the hotel's yoga classes which took place on a lawn in front of the sea. Bar one session I took part in in Dubai, I only ever do yoga on my own via Yoga with Adriene on the YouTubes, so I was quite curious to see if I'd been following it wrong and was waiting for the teacher to be like 'what the hell are you doing?' Luckily she didn't say anything of the sort so I felt quite pleased with myself. I don't know if it's just me but whenever I attend group fitness classes I feel like there's always a smarmy one who thinks they know it all and are desperate to show off their skills. On this occasion there was a lady who was constantly doing moves that were one step ahead of the teacher, doing a full backbend rather than just starting with the basics like everyone else - we get it, you've done yoga before. Give it a rest. ANYWAY, after yoga we went for a snorkel in the lagoon which was a fun experience, didn't see any turtles sadly but saw lots of colourful fish, spiky anemones and Rich saw an eel. After a bit more sunbathing, we decided to return to Hawi and sample the desserts from Sushi Rocks - I really wanted one the day before but we didn't have enough time. I opted for the lime cake with raspberry coulis and it was an absolute dream. Afterwards, on recommendation from the owner of the cafe, we headed down the road to Punalu'u Beach, a black sand beach which you can hike to (obviously), although this time to be fair to the Americans it was a bit of a trek - not so much there as it was downhill but back up I sweated a whole lot. It was a good workout though and the beach was nice, although the sea was a quite rough so I just tentatively paddled around the edge and spent the rest of time making the wonderful abstract sculpture you can see above. By the time we were back it was getting to evening so we went back to the hotel, stopping en route at Waimea for dinner.
Helicopter day - hooray! We had to be at the airport earlier than attempt one so we pretty much had breakfast then left, stopping along the way at another beaut of a waterfall (pretty much doing exactly what TLC said not to do this whole trip). We arrived at the airport, had another safety briefing and had our fingers crossed it wouldn't be cancelled, and grande success - weather was fine! We boarded the helicopter and I was chuffed as me and Rich were sat at the front right next to the pilot, who was called Coleen and was lovely - she told us a story about her being butted by a dolphin who wanted to play whilst snorkelling - I was so jel! As for the ride over the volcano, it felt really cool to be in a helicopter and Coleen was full of interesting facts. For example, the area around the volcano is in really high demand real estate wise because it's so cheap, but the reason for this is because the volcano is constantly erupting and pretty much at any given time boiling molten magma can start travelling towards your house and there's absolutely shit all you can do about it. Personally I would probs just live somewhere else! However, I was a tad disappointed that the volcano was basically a huge grey rock - judging by the brochure, and in my mind, I was expecting something like this or this or even lava crashing majestically into the sea like this causing us all to gasp and marvel at the power of nature, but hey ho it was still a pretty good experience. Also, don't you agree that the pic above of Rich walking away from the helicopter looks like a film still in which the helicopter is about to explode in a huge ball of flames whilst Rich remains as cool as a cucumber? He's so suave.
For dinner, we went to a place that I noticed earlier in the day called Ken's House of Pancakes - which I LOVE because it sounds so American, plus the sign said 'Jammin' since 1971' - lol. Inside it looked like a proper American diner, the waitresses were in super cute uniforms and everything. I liked it a lot. I had a massive plate of spaghetti with garlic bread and Rich had a burger and fries. Thanks Ken!
View part 4 here :)