Chasing Waterfalls: Unreal Helicopter Ride Over Na Pali Coast, Hawaii (+Video!)

Flying high over the Na Pali Coast in Hawaii! +Videos || #travel #wanderlust #hawaii #napali #traveltips

Hawaii is more than coconuts and pineapples, surfers and hula girls. Although these are aspects are all pretty lovely,  and tasty, these luscious islands have so much more to show and preserve. The area has a longstanding tradition of living off of the land through fishing and hunting wild hogs. People respect mother nature and rejoice in her gifts nearly every day. The ocean is a perfect example, filled with little heads bobbing up and down, getting smaller and smaller out to the endless sea.

I had been to Hawaii in 2012 and absolutely fell in love. The speed limits were 35, macadamia nut pancakes were everywhere, and the people were lovely. Heaven on earth is Kauai, and more specifically, the Na Pali Coast. Maybe you’ve seen, and lusted over, scenery in Lilo and Stitch? Oh yeah, that’s what the movie was designed after.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The headphones are multipurpose- first and foremost, for aesthetic pleasure. We look pretty badass decked out in our ‘copter gear, yeah? Realistically, we had them on because the helicopter gets QUITE loud. Notice the little headset as well? Press a button and the rest of the crew can hear your, “Ooos” and “Aaahs.”

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The rain started to trickle, then proceeded to come down in rapid ping-ping-pings. Generally, weather issues tend to rattle my senses in flight, but it was so gorgeous I didn’t even care.Okay, maybe I was a little nervous. The massive waterfalls between ethereal clouds was a prime distraction though.

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Any guesses on how large that waterfall is?

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The canyon was a magnificent pumpkin orange with flecks of brass, that went on for miles. Allegedly, Mark Twain called it the “Grand Canyon of the Pacific,” but it truly is stunning enough in it’s own terms. Could you imagine having a little home tucked away in these crevices? With all the canyons and waterfalls I almost forgot what we had came for- the Na Pali Coast.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

Y’all remember the Care Bears? Every time I fly through clouds, my heart is filled with mixed feelings. On one hand, I feel bad for cutting through the homes of such lovely little imaginary creatures. The other part of me can’t believe how fun it is! There’s something thrilling about not really being able to see where you’re going.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The ridges in the cliffs were so striking!

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Emerald green leading into turquoise blue. We could see thousands of trees scattered throughout the island, but the best part was the moment we saw the big ole blue ocean.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

There was one thought that kept rolling through my mind. Our planet is so beautiful and we (okay, fine, I) have to take better care of it. Hate to admit that out of all the consciously proactive behaviors to have, environmentalism is not my strong point. The state I live in now, California, makes very easy while out in about, but honestly my home life is lacking.

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

The flight continued further down the Na Pali coast, and we could see people on boats and cars driving below. Crazy to think how isolated of a place Hawaii is. The flight was over 6 hours from San Diego. The closest country to the west is Japan and even that’s at least a nine hour flight. The helicopter wouldn’t even be able to transport us that far!

Chasing Waterfalls: Helicopter Ride Canyon in Na Pali Coast #travel #explore #hawaii

Even crazier to me, Hawaii has only been a state of the U.S. since 1959. Even visiting briefly, you can see that Hawaii doesn’t really adhere to the culture of the mainland. People pluck fruit on the side of the road for breakfast, fish for lunch, and hunt pesky hogs for dinner. Unfortunately, there has been an influx of recent transplants to the area who attempt to illegally block off public beach access. In plenty of countries, it is illegal to block beach/ocean access for food and navigation reasons. Our cab driver, who we spent quite some time with, was stressing how difficult it was becoming to continue their traditional lifestyle of living off the land. To them, it’s disrespectful to mother nature to ignore her gifts.

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After the helicopter ride, my brothers and I went met up our buddy/taxi driver who had invited us out earlier and given us a bomb breakfast spot, called Tip Top. Definitely make a stop and order their macadamia nut pancakes- the tastiest I’ve had thus far!

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Hawaii is one of those places where almost everyone is named XYZ, and our buddy Jon, was not there when we arrived. My family is great, but they go pretty hard. By day 8, I had sworn off hard liquor. But, y’all know I’m weak so long story short, after a dozen or so shots, losing a pool game, and some tears, my night got turned around.

The bar began to close down, kicking the ten or so patrons out into the pouring rain. Plot twist- I like rain when it’s warm outside. It’s like a spa treatment from mother nature. Additionally, we picked up a friend along the way. The best kind of friend. The friend that has a…

PUPPY!

Needless to say, I was a happy girl.

But back to the Na Pali Coast…

Traveling to beautiful places, natural or man-made, always makes me appreciate what I never noticed prior to leaving. Na Pali Coast is a must visit for ANYONE. You know what they say, you only conserve what you love, and you only love what you know.

Have you ever visit Kauai? Did you love Lilo & Stitch?

Coconut Glen’s: The One Stop You Must Make On the Road to Hana

The one stop you must make on the road to Hana in #Maui #Hawaii || a tipsy gypsy life

If you visit Maui, there is no way you can get around doing the drive on the road to Hana. It’s a perfect opportunity to get a little glimpse into the sheer beauty that is Hawaii.

I’m a huge fan of go big or go home, and so are my brothers, which is why they picked me up in a convertible.

First things first, we stopped at a beach to enjoy the views and chat with some locals. After getting Wowied by some local Maui delight, we got back on the road.

ARGH! When you see the small patch of rainbow eucalyptus, get out and take a look! I wrongfully assumed we’d stumble upon more, but I twas mistaken. And now we all suffer, because I didn’t get any pictures to share. Guess you’ll have to visit yourself 😉.


One of the craziest things was how easy it was to decipher the tourists from the locals. All of us were in either Jeeps or convertibles, going quite slow, and enjoying the view. WHOOSH! A little flat-bed truck with the smallest wheels it could possibly manage driving on comes flying past and weaves around the gawking tourists.


Having the top down was great, until I had to detangle my hair that night.


After a few hours of ‘oo’ing and ‘ah’ing, we stumbled upon a lovely little shack with a few cars parked outside.


And a throne of nature…

It was Coconut Glen’s!

And boy, were we happy… Fresh coconut juice and coconut icecream! I was in heaven.


Could it honestly get any fresher?

Most importantly, a puppy!

Have to give this warning! I’ve done double decker busses, fishing boats, and a million road trips with no problem. Riding in the backseat during the winding drive gave me massive motion sickness for the first time in my life. If you are prone to motion sickness, be sure to take the wheel. If that’s not possible, be sure to get a decent meal prior to the drive. It’s supposed to help reduce the nausea.

Flying Doors Off Over an Active Volcano in Hawaii

As an American who loves to travel, I sometimes forget that plenty of the most gorgeous places on earth are located in my home country. Perfect example? Hawaii. If there was a heaven on earth, I would argue until death that it is located in Hawaii. You can walk down the street, pluck a mango for lunch, swim around all afternoon, and walk home for nap as the early evening rain rolls in.


 And have you seen the clouds straight chillin’ on the mountains?

 

But the best way to see Hawaii? By helicopter!

 

We take off, the frigid wind whipping my hair all over my poor cousin. We managed to get it in a bun of sorts, just in time to hear our captain go, “Oh my god.” Now, normally this isn’t something I’d enjoy hearing from someone who in charge of my life a couple hundred feet above ground. But when it’s followed by “you’re in for a treat today” I knew we had made the right decision. A field of throbbing black, smoldering lava surrounded the volcano, giving us the chance to see the destructive power. A few desperate trees clung to life, with a steady water supply keeping them alive. Most of the trees, however, were sizzled to a crisp.

Doors Off Helicopter Ride over #Hawaii || #wanderlust

 

After circling around the damage, we went to the source of the lava. A mesmerizing, glittery substance trickled for miles. Without the doors, we could lean out a feel the heat. Not sure if Stephen (I believe that was the pilot’s name) approves of that, but at the time he didn’t seem to notice.

 

Flying doors off over an active volcano in #hawaii #explore

 

But the craziest part was definitely the ring of fire. I could best describe it as the opening to the center of earth, with an ocean of glowing orange lava. To see the earth bubbling up like that was pretty insane. Not only were the colors mesmerizing, but the lava was slowly running like a tired stream.

Flying over an active volcano in #hawaii #explore

When they warn you about it getting a little chilly up there, believe them. I may look like I’m enjoying myself, but I was downright shaking when I was out of the sun’s warmth. Luckily, they had a black windbreaker for me to attract as much warmth as physically possible. Highly suggest jeans, boots, and at least two sweaters.


No loose objects allowed. This includes phones, cameras, bags, scarfs, and anything else that could pose a threat. Better safe than sorry, right? Get a camera strap or create a makeshift one with a hair tie, like I had to do.

 The last thing my brother said to me before we went our separate ways was something about the GoPro. I am slightly notorious for taking the minimal amount of pictures necessary to prove I was in a place. In many cases, no photos are taken at all. So I was slightly determined to do society a favor and get some badass pics. Unfortunately, fate wanted to see me panic a little bit. Within fifteen minutes of our ride, right after we clear the clouds and are at the mercy of a million winds, my GoPro malfunctions. I try to click camera. No go. Try the video. Nothing. It wouldn’t even just turn off and back on. So, with an overstretched hair tie for a wrist band, I took the camera out of it’s skeleton, popped the battery out, and prayed it would turn back on.


Which it did.