A very dark and rainy sail into Hilo this morning. Ellie, Ann, Cathy and I rented a car and headed north of Hilo towards Hawi. Today’s journey was a polar opposite to my previous visits to the Big Island from volcanos and lava fields to lush mountains, ranches and plantations. We made an unexpected stop at Umauma Falls which turned out to be a beautiful triple tiered falls with lush gardens...great find! Travelling the scenic coastal Mamalahoa Hwy, we stopped at a number of lookout points with ocean flanked by snowcapped Mauna Kea. Leaving Waimea, we drove through the Kohala Mountains with its gorgeous scenery and strong hurricane force cross winds. In route to Pololu Valley Lookout Point we stopped briefly at Hawi, a quaint historic Hawaiian town. The Pololu Valley Lookout Point lies along the coast to the Kohala Mountains summit and has spectacular views of volcanic cliffs and beaches. I started down the hiking trail to get a better angle for photos…it was a slippery slope. It was a great day covering some new territory for me and the ladies. This is a two part blog, this is part 1!