Lanikai Pillbox Hike, Oahu

First Hawaiian Hike! For once we got out fairly earlyish but still late as we’d been travelling the day before and spent the afternoon exploring Honolulu’s main shopping street. Although we had more fun finding Farmland Farm in Ala Moana Mall, one of Oahu’s supermarket chains in the evening, getting back late and eating late which was the theme of the whole Oahu and Northern Californian trip earlier this year.

Farmland Farm was also the best recuerdos or souvenirs. All gifts are local to Oahu or the islands, supporting small businesses. I got some great flour sack print towels I’ll never use as they’re too nice! I want to frame them instead. Sadly researching the printer they’re no longer printing. Farmland Farm also has a great organic section mixed in with non organic foods (which I like, as you get more options) and sold many Hawaiian brands. It was a little expensive factoring in most other items are shipped in however we found everything we needed. During the whole trip we only ate out 3 times, none of which were in Oahu. 2 times were great, the other a disappointment. We prefer to stay apartment hotels or airbnb to keep costs lower by making own meals. We get back late when most places have closed the kitchens so it makes more sense. Being vegans, it makes everything easier to make own meals too.

2nd Pillbox. Chinaman’s hat in the distance

Anyways, The Lanikai Pill Box hike is in Lanikai, Kailua along Kaiwa mountain range I think the posher part of the Island. All the houses looked kinda immaculate driving through the neighbourhood and looking down from the hike the lawns looked manicured. We parked near the golf course, so it’s in a posher area for sure. 

We found out about the hike from watching a few YouTube videos before and online I think Trip Advisor. The start of the hike is a blink and you’ll miss it. It’s just a road construction sign with directions. Some comments said it can be muddy and thankfully it was dry. We only took our workout trainers as who needs hiking boots in Oahu?! Maybe shoulda took them. I felt for girls in sandals, cute IG outfits for the pictures awaiting ahead struggling on the path. The trail is ranked intermediate as it gets rocky and steep in places with parts of the trial nothing to grab hold onto. Being British we find the term hiking a little weird. Even saying the word hike is weird. For us it’s a walk. Hiking is what takes you all day or a few days in remoteness in the mountains and even then we probably wouldn’t use the word hike. Anything less is a walk regardless of the terrain with trails being paths. The hike takes about an hour’s loop to the first pillbox.

As usual I’m a shit editor with photos. I cut out a lot. A lot!

Path to 2nd Pillbox
Chinaman’s Hat in the distance

The views at the top are 100% worth hiking up for. If you want no humans, Instagrammers taking all day to get the shot go early. It’s a popular trail, everybody wants a photo of them there. I did too but I gave up waiting my turn or any vista with few humans. We hiked onto the 2nd pillbox with less people and then onto the 3rd which is now just it’s base. So much quieter and got to walk through shaded wooded bit. We didn’t see anybody past the 2nd pillbox. The hike went on over the range top however as it was getting late in the afternoon, there was a beach to hit and more importantly the water. 

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Sunset At Sausalito

After hiking around Muir Woods and visiting my first Californian beach, Muir Beach, Sausalito was next before it got dark.

We got there just after everywhere had closed and perhaps had this was a good thing. We got the bay lit up pink in a reverse sunset. We stopped for photos before heading to Mission Cliffs Climbing (I did want to go to Dogpatch Boulders however they were closed on a Sunday. The following day we were heading to Oahu! Mission Cliff was the only place open) for some indoor bouldering. I wanted to keep my training up while away and try out different route setting. The grades got me as I’m used to French and Fontainebleau grades as opposed to V grades. It took me a while to get used to their style and had to drop a few grades, but that’s okay. It’s good not to get used to the setting where I go gym climbing. Makes my brain think. 

Famous for its old wooden fishing houses, ceramics, boat houses (Ottis Reading wrote Sitting in the Dock of Bay in one) and ship building history Sausalito overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Sausalito’s name comes from the Spanish settlers sauzalito for small willow grove (plot twist, an English sailor and Mexican citizen, William Richardson submitted a claim for area to be called Rancho Sausalito and also set up the village street plan of Yerba Buena now modern Day San Fransisco. Wikipedia’s great!). It’s such a cool name to say. Any name with ito/a: really small, young or to show affection in Spanish added to a word is fun to say. Sausalito!

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Parc de la Ciutadella #2

Back in June I shared photos from my morning phasing out of lockdown time slotted freedom bike rides to Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s most famous city park and my favourite park.

When the lockdown down ended, my gym still wasn’t open. To make up the distance there and back and to get some greenery and wildlife I cycled to the park after the beach in the afternoons (afternoon in Spain ends around 8-9pm)/early evenings. When my gym, climbing gym and zoo reopened I tried to make the park a few times a week. While I miss the quietness of the mornings the park’s back to being less busy in the afternoons now everybody’s at the beach, work or still staying at home. The early evenings during lockdown freedom hours it was the bar and pub replacement local hangout. It has now a different kind of quietness to the mornings. Ducks and geese are getting ready to nap with the water less busy. I’ve only just learnt ducks can sleep on the water, head tucked under a wing and are diurnal being active at night. I’ve even seen some rats climb up and run along railings.

Last morning lockdown ride to the park

Sadly the nights are getting shorter and soon my rides to the park becoming less as gyms have reopened after the 2nd lockdown (recommended to stay at home) ended. I still try to get there once a week to cycle around now around dusk for greenery, hearing birds sing, watching the ducks and geese, cycling with the bats (yep, nerdy!). Beach is first if I can get there before the sun sinks behind buildings. I can’t go before 15.30 even at the weekends as the sun’s too strong. I’ve now started snorkelling (In the sea, not in this mini lake! I’d get arrested! I wouldn’t want to anyway. It gets so dirty they have to empty it every now and then and refill). I get to see what the ducks, seagulls, cormorants see when they dive.

Most of the photos were taken in June and July when the light was nice and bright and of the boating lake. I used to like watching out for the ducklings checking the Mamas didn’t loose any. I don’t think they did! As usual, I’m a sh*t editor posting way too many photos. Enjoy!

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Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend!

Covid-19 cases have risen in Catalunya and Barcelona with the regional government closing gyms, amusement parks, clubs, cinemas, leaving open bars and restaurants at 50% capacity, libraries and museums for 2 weeks to stem the spike. My gym and climbing gym rebelled as long as they could arguing that health and fitness are vital essentials that need to remain open. Even the city council was on their side. Sadly they lost and most gyms are now closed until further notice. The zoo held out for as long as possible too, closing on Monday and reopening this Saturday after petitioning to remain open. They say it’s for 15 days, but I think it’ll be longer. Thankfully it’s not a full lockdown, we’re allowed out and shops are open. The only change face masks are mandatory in all public spaces even when we can social distance. 

Anyway, this week’s Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week.

Dietes Bicolor

Dietes Bicolor Lyon Arboretum, Oahu

Scrolling back through photos to edit for Golden Gate Bridge a flower I took in Lyon Arboretum, Oahu Hawaii stood out. It was the same flower I took at the zoo a few days ealier! After a little research it’s a Dietes Bicolor, a tropical iris native to South Africa! 

Dietes Bicolor Barcelona Zoo

Aloha Collection

On holiday earlier this year in Oahu there’s a chain of shops Sandpeople which sell local art, craft and jewellery that I kept popping into. I kept being drawn to Aloha Collection, a Hawaiian and California brand that specialises in splash proof travel pouches, bags and hip/bum bags. I thought one would be be perfect for the summer stashing a wet bikini. Everything is waterproof bar the zipper and was created with stashing wet swimsuits, easy clean toiletry and make up pouches in mind when travelling that can be multipurpose and protect other items from spillages. The black with yellow hibiscus wasn’t the one I wanted, however I thought being dark coloured would be less likely to get ruined with suncream and from being thrown in a rucksack with everything else. When we got back I couldn’t stop thinking about the mini hibiscus With Love From Paradise X Aloha pouch for a purse and well, first order you get 20% off. They have designs for everyone and I’ve had to blinker myself from the new designs out (especially the new small Lei Lei Orchid prints. Like the blue and green below but in pink and purple and the mini in pink which has sold out 😦 ). None the less, if you want a pretty splash proof lightweight pouch to stashing wet bikinis, or a pouch you can wipe down easily I can’t recommend enough Aloha Collection. They are on the pricey side, but I can see them lasting a long time. The only con I have is print on the mini pouch is beginning to fade. I guess it adds to its character. 

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Golden Gate Bridge

All I knew about San Francisco before visiting earlier this year was that it’s hilly, Herbie caused mischief, the Golden Gate Bridge, Chinatown, it’s foggy and the fog horns mostly from movies and TV shows.

We wanted to get to Baker Beach which has the best photographic views of the bridge around sunset and got thick January fog instead. That didn’t stop people from still visiting the bridge, running or cycling. It perhaps was the best time to visit to hear infamous fog horns. Horns I recognised immediately thanks to countless movies and TV shows. It was oddly comforting to hear them. There’s even a number you can call up to listen to them! 

Path along top of Baker Beach

Old bunkers at Baker Beach

Please excuse the ISO noise. It was my first time shooting in thick fog.

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