Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument

You can’t go to Northern California and not take time out to checkout Redwoods and Sequoias some of Earth’s oldest and tallest trees! On holiday vaccay easier this year to San Francisco, Hawaii and the Big Sur, we wanted to see for ourselves these amazing trees. 

Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks were under snow and when P looked to see how far Hawaii was from California, Hawaii won. Luckily just north of San Francisco is Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument, a National Park filled with Coast Redwoods and Giant Sequoias. 

Most of the photos are noisy with ISO as it was my first time shooting in such light. I wasn’t sure of the levels shutter speed or aperture so please excuse the noise and look of some photos.  As usual I’m a bad editor cutting down photos.

If driving there you have to book up in advance the parking ticket. No advance ticket, no entry. About 1-2km from the park are signs reminding you last chance to book up before as there’s no mobile or wifi coverage once in the park. Parking is $8.50, entrance $15 per person. Under 15’s free. A shuttle bus is available from near by towns.

The main show is the monument, a mostly boarded loop trail in the thickest darkest part of the forest. Redwoods are the stars here. I wanted to do the Panoramic Trail (once the ocean view walk before the trees grew blocking the vista) however time was an issue before the park closed. A ranger recommend the Canopy trail, a 4.8km/3mi approx 2 hours hike that connects with Lost Trail and and part of Fern Creek trail looping back to the entrance. He mentioned it’s great for lefties. Being mixed handed I loved the trial until it looped back in favour of righties. The path flowed. We got there around midday on a Sunday with the trial already getting busy. If you want peace and quiet, no human voices go early. It was so obvious we were the tourists in our winter coats while the locals were in t-shirts and tank tops. No way was it warm enough! It was the same temps as back in Barcelona and everybody there was in winter coats.

Continue reading “Muir Woods and Muir Woods National Monument”

San Francisco Botanical Gardens 

9,000 different plants from all over the world at San Francisco Botanical Gardens take you on a journey across the globe. You can’t just look in one direction ahead! Looking up magnolias, redwoods, looking down camellias, herbs, moss. Each twist and turn of the paths takes you almost if there’s no one around a secret garden on the other side of the world. Or down the road in the California garden!

We had enough of the city, wanting some fresh air when we visited San Francisco earlier this year. The botanical gardens and Japanese Tea Garden were a few places on our list of places to go thinking they’re in the same garden. The Japanese Tea Garden is in the same park, Golden Gate Park but not in the same garden if that makes sense. Golden Gate Park while it looks close to the centre or downtown San Francisco isn’t. For some reason looking at the map of San Fransisco bay area I thought it was like a European town with everything more of less in walking or a metro distance. Err, no! You need a car to get around, unless you want to do multiple buses, taxis or Uber. A car worked out cheaper than Uber. We stayed just outside San Francisco in Belmont, Redwood Shores and I think the garden was a 40 minute drive away. We’d thought we’d have enough time to do both however the botanical gardens were bigger than we’d expected. By the time we’d left (after a who’s right which way back to the entrance! I think we both compromised and worked it out) it was 16.30 winter closing hours.

Bamboo gardenDSCF0072Puffer fish!

We could have easily have spent more time in the gardens. It’s split into Californian indigenous plants within their own geographic location and into South America, Asia Africa and Europe. The Mediterranean Garden features native Californian plants along side plants from South-western Australia, Chile and South Africa all grouped within their own geographical location. The Mild Temperate Climate features plants from Eastern Australia, New Zealand and a Japanese Moon Continue reading “San Francisco Botanical Gardens “

February 2020 Snow Moon

February’s Snow Moon was a little special for the same reason Januarys’ Wolf Moon. I got to see it from the other side of the world! Oahu, Hawaii and the Big Sur, California!

Famed with trees like a two stag beetle stand off. Or spider. Pfeiffer Beach California

I’m not sure why I or us humans like the moon. Maybe like the sun it’s its constant yet ever changing predictable presence. Maybe it’s connection to nature. Maybe as its inspired thousands of stories. Maybe it’s its mystery. Maybe it’s because the night isn’t so dark, there’s light and light always triumphs the dark.

Anyways don’t forget to look up into the sky! Both the night and day sky and dream big!

Oahu Moon. In traffic the power lines caught my eye. Only later I noticed the moon! Okay, I know this is a bad shot, however as you’ll see in the next photoIt was only two days between the two shots. Five hours apart by plane. Two locations on Earth, difference perspective. Here a Big Sur Continue reading “February 2020 Snow Moon”

Las Salinas de Torrevieja. The Pink Lagoon Torrevieja

I can’t believe I haven’t shared photos of Las Salinas de Torrevieja or the pink salt lagoon located in Parque Natural de Las Lagunas de la Mata e Torrevieja from our Calpe 2018 holiday!

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We stopped off at probably one of the nicest beaches first near Alicante, Playa de San Juan. Warm, shallow, beautiful blue and green turquoise waters. I didn’t want to leave however with the sun getting hotter, the beach busier and the afternoon shortening we debated over going to Alicante or Las Salinas de Torrevieja. P won as it’s meant to look amazing at sunset and we didn’t have long to make it for sunset (FIY I still want to go to Alicante for the old town). Inspired and amazed by the colours I went a little photosnappy…

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We arrived I think an hour to 45 minutes before sunset which was plenty of time to see the water lit pink as the sunset. Located nearby is Torrevieja’s salt mine which causes one lagoon to be pink and the other lagoon green! The lagoon’s pink colour’s due Continue reading “Las Salinas de Torrevieja. The Pink Lagoon Torrevieja”

January 2020 Wolf Moon

January’s Wolf Moon or to be precise February’s waxing Snow Moon was a little extra Special. I got to see the moon from the other side of the world! A Northern California and a Hawaiian Oahu moon. A moon so bright and clear in the lesser polluted skies of Hawaii. Even the stars seemed bigger and brighter. I won’t lie I didn’t want to leave Oahu (or California. Big slap in the face when back). As much as I love the mountains there’s something about the sea and ocean that draws me. If I’ve been inland a while seeing the sea and ocean I feel complete as much as I can if that makes sense.

Spanish Moon Continue reading “January 2020 Wolf Moon”