Swimming waterfall pools in Hawaii

There was no path. We’d trekked through the Boiling Pots, roiling pools of waterfall water to get to Pe’epe’e Falls. Jumping and slipping over giant river worn blocks of old lava, swimming in places to get to land – Tyler with his wrist cast held above the waters. Eventually we reached the falls which are pronounced peh-eh-peh-eh, not peepee just so you know.

I’ve been to a lot of waterfalls, but these were magical. I swam alone to the centre of the pool, cliffs encasing nearly all of it. Pe’epe’e leapt down to meet flat rock at the base two falls on one cliff and round the corner another. Ferns and vines wetly, greenly lined the rock walls and palm trees peered over from above. The choppy water flicked in my eyes, but I just looked up at the sun, perfectly timed, showing it’s face for the first time that day.

Earlier that morning we’d visited Rainbow Falls, wandered around the riverbank to the most enormous Banyan tree I’d ever seen and then to the pool above the falls. Which I enjoyed a nice jump and a dip in. Feast your eyes on these:

Rainbow Falls

This Banyan tree spreads its branches everywhere, they then plug into the ground and grow more versions of the same tree next to it making a forest of one tree.

Tiny jump but you got to start with small steps right? I’ll get do bigger ones yet.

Jus chilling

A couple of days before we visited Akaka Falls on the way to Hilo, which is a lovely tall waterfall, but it falls on rock and you can’t swim there. Lots of giant leaves.

And then we went home over the Saddle Road. My new favourite road in Hawaii, it travels in between the two huge volcanoes on The Big Island – Moana Loa and Moana Kea. Click here for a song we listened to while travelling it. Vast, barren land stretches out either side of the tarmac strip with cupcake mounds – remnants of old lava spurts – punctuating the calm landscape. At its height you reach above the lower cloud height so the view is of sweeping, rolling hills poking out of a layer of cloud. Nene live here. Nene are very stupid relations of Canadian geese. Since there are no predators, they lost their ability to fly. And their brains when they were cross-bred in a desperate attempt to stem their population decline.

They don’t even move when you go near them, no wonder they’re almost extinct. Stupid birds.

Lumpy landscape.

Up at 6,000ft, the sky is sharp blue, the sun white and bright and the air is crystal cool. See the clouds on the horizon?

Tyler, my chauffeur.

There’s a military base on the top of the Saddle in the clouds. Volcano as backdrop of course.

Looks like a 70s roadtrip, love it.

When the sun goes down. (tune!) See we’ve mounted the Saddle and are on our way down to the ocean.

Epic journey listening to Fischerspooner and Slightly Stoopid. And back to Kona for a beer.