Your book was super helpful and made our trip great! Restaurant reviews were dead-on and really helped us to find good places to eat.
We stayed at the Mauna Lani for our first 4 nights. Using your map on page 53, I saw the foot trails and decided that hiking from beach to beach would be a good idea. We didn’t realize until too late that these trails are lava rocks and I didn’t have the right footwear. Or that the trails go up and down hills with cliffs on one side and private property on the other. We went to the beach on Makaiwa Bay and then Honoka’ope Beach. We walked back on the Ala Loa (King’s Trail). Later, I looked at the book again and realized that you hadn’t mentioned the trails. So my bad. That said, I feel that if you are going to put them on the map, it would help the reader to know the nature of the trails.
The Puako/Malama Petroglyph Trail was great! Later in the week, while in the national park, we visited the Pu’u Loa Petroglyph Trail on the Chain of Craters road. It was pretty disappointing after the trail up north and, frankly, unnecessary. I wish you had mentioned that.
We did a manta ray snorkel with Wahine Charters. It was set up by the resort. They seemed a bit smaller than the other boats we saw on the water, but did a great job. I feel they deserve a look-see by your reviewers.
We also did an ocean/snorkel tour to Kealakekua Bay and Place of Refuge with Sea Quest, on your recommendation. It was everything you said it would be. Thank you!
Thanks for the tip about the Paleaku Peace Garden. A real gem that we never would have found without your guide.
In Volcano, we stayed at the Volcano Rainforest Retreat on a friend’s recommendation. It isn’t in your book, but it should be. Great place that deserves a review. Everything you write about the national park (other than the Pu’u Loa Petroglyph Trail) was helpful and dead on.
The sights in Hilo was helpful, as were your reviews on the beach parks, so we knew which ones to avoid.
In Puna, we found Champagne Ponds thanks to you. What a fun adventure! Later, we discovered shops, galleries and hippies in Kalapana, which you hadn’t mentioned in the book and was a nice surprise.
Thank you for dissuading me from driving to Waipi’o Valley on my own. We took the Shuttle and so appreciated having a native guide lead the tour. We actually learned about the valley and life in the valley in what felt like a respectful way.
We really liked the Umauma Falls zipline. My only criticism is that it was a zipline that happens to be over beautiful waterfalls rather than the other way around. I expected more of a waterfall experience.
All in all, your guide was amazingly helpful. I hope that my insights can help you make it even better.