February already – this year seems to be tick-tocking away so quickly! Hubby and I have just come back from a trip to Hawaii, which was one of the most spectacular places I’ve ever been.
The main island of Hawaii, known as The Big Island, was just stunning, a mix of barren desert, beautiful beaches, rainforest and mountains. Kilauea is one of the world’s most active volcanos and has been erupting constantly since 1983 – we went on an incredible trip with a former U.S. Marine helicopter pilot, who flew us through beautiful valleys, around the coastline and then right over the volcano. It was extraordinary to see the red-hot lava flowing out, setting trees on fire as it went.
I love to learn about the places I visit – I’m not really a beach sitter, and there was so much about Hawaii I didn’t know. We flew past a huge dome on the slopes of another volcano, Mauna Loa, and discovered that NASA uses this inhospitable landscape to simulate Mars! At the moment six scientists are spending a year living in this dome, to see how people can maintain morale and continue to perform effectively under such conditions – they eat only freeze-dried “space” food and if they come outside, they must wear spacesuits, so they are basically spending a year living like astronauts.
Hawaii is also one of the best places in the world to study the stars, and has one of the world’s largest observatories. To keep the skies dark, no neon lights are allowed anywhere, street lighting is all low level, and many streets, even in Honolulu, are lit by flaming tiki torches. Could you imagine British cities being lit by flaming torches…I think it would be carnage!
One of my favourite parts of the trip was a day spent whale watching. Humpback whales come to Hawaii from Alaska in winter to breed, and we saw dozens of these remarkable creatures, up to 50 feet long, leaping from the water and swimming around our boat. Pictures were hard to get, as they moved so quickly, but when our guide dropped a hydrophone into the water we were able to hear the extraordinary sound of whale song. It was utterly magical and haunting, and I recorded a little of it… take a listen:
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We also spent a few days on the island of Oahu. The famous Waikiki beach was not for me – too busy and noisy – but I had always wanted to visit Pearl Harbour, where over 3,000 people were killed or injured when the Japanese attacked the U.S. Naval base there in December 1941. The memorial is beautifully done and very moving.
I could talk about Hawaii for hours but I won’t bore you with any more holiday talk! On a beauty note, the weather was very hot and sunny so I relied heavily on my Ultrasun 50-plus and came back with a light tan and no burnt bits! And, very unusually for me, I came home with my hair in better condition than when I left. I struggle with dryness, especially in the sun, but I discovered a magic formula – Nexxus replenishing masque (it’s supposed to be used a few times a week but I used a little bit every day) and a fabulous new styling product from Taya, called Inner Core which left my hair unbelievably soft and shiny. If you suffer with dry, frizzy hair, I really recommend these two products.
Do you have any holiday plans for 2016 yet? Please do get in touch, either by leaving a comment under this blog or by saying hello on Twitter (I’m @jackiekabler).
Love Jackie x