Gaztelugatxe. Castle Rock

Last October P, D the cat and I took a weekend road trip to Bilbao. D was his usual drama queen self in the car. We figured out to put the litter box available for easy access and remind him passing police, he had to get back into his transport box, which wasn’t happening as it’s D. He was at trooper all weekend enjoying pre cooked roast chicken we thankfully found in Hypercor otherwise who knows what would have happened if he had to eat normal cat food. The shits. Sadly it was his last road trip before he said his last see you later in December. I still can’t believe he’s no longer here. He missed his brother AJ and I think he just wanted to be with his brother. 

The Saturday we explored Bilbao, the Sunday we went to Gaztelugatxe. Castle Rock in English. A castle, St Juan de Gaztelugatxe built on a little islet along the coast of Biscay. Steeped in history it’s been a hermits hut, castle, fortress, refugee, chapel, laid under siege, caves prison to ‘witches’, Game of Thrones Dragonstone set and a pilgrimage site. Depending on how you see it the weather was in our favour. Sunny clear skies would have been great but the drizzly rainy day added to the feel. The way the sea crashed the shoreline matching the jagged rocks and coastline. The one time we got someplace early and experienced the lesser foot traffic before the afternoon visitors picked up. Had we been usual time getting anywhere foot traffic would have been high, queue for vistas while the Instagrammers got their selfie. 


Access is free although they prefer if you book online. Maybe it speeds up the ticket office work. Parking is plenty with overspill car parks. Hiking boots are recommend even though the path down is paved it gets slippery when wet and it’s steep in places. The Basque region is a luscious green thanks to its rainy climate. Walking back up, several were wishing they had different more grippy shoes as they clung onto the handrail getting down the 35 degree slope.

Continue reading “Gaztelugatxe. Castle Rock”

Beauty Finds: Moisturizers, A Face Mist and A Handcream

Welcome to another Beauty Finds! My honest review on Kora Organics Moisturisers, Frank Body Face Mist and Freshly Cosmetics hand cream.

As usual my requirements for beauty products are: cruelty free, vegan is better, natural ingredients, clean ingredients or a combination of both. No nasty ingredients like SLS, parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals etc. I also try to avoid second, third, fourth generations petrochemicals. I avoid palm oil as I prefer oranguatans. Some get through as I sped read the label, didn’t know its alias or that ingredient until later. With skincare it’s easier to be picky. With makeup it’s a little more tricky so I opt for cruelty free. I’m also reducing plastic waste however with beauty products it’s not always easy finding less plastic packaging. Brands are catching on that consumers want less plastic such as Freshly Cosmetics.

My skin type is oily, sensitive, acne and even more now, I look for anti-aging products. I know ageing is inevitable, I’m all up for slowing those wrinkles. 

Kora Organics Purifying Moisturizer Oil/Combination Skin 

A light-weight daily moisturizer that is great for oil/combination skin. Thanks to Certified Organic Aloe Vera, Lemon and Green Tea Extracts for controlling excess oil and providing hydration and balance to your skin. 

I was looking forward to trying this moisturiser as the Kora Organics products I’d been using I was enjoying. A friend brought me back this from Australia as it’s unavailable in Spain (I paid her back of course)! While I loved the scent and the light weight texture sadly it just wasn’t hydrating enough for my skin. I tried it both as a day and night moisturiser and found it worked better in the mornings. When used at night I found myself putting more on 30 minutes later to feel hydrated. In the morning this was overcome by applying SPF afterwards. As for controlling excess oil, I was still as shiny later on in the day. 

Continue reading “Beauty Finds: Moisturizers, A Face Mist and A Handcream”

Weekend Friday Favourites

I hope you’re having a great weekend! If I’m honest at the moment I don’t always know what day it is. Run days I only know as I alternate cycling a few days for my morning freedom with running. I’m sure many of you are the same at the moment while we’re in lockdowns or easing of lockdowns. Spain’s slowly easing the lockdown and I’m patiently waiting for when travel’s more free for the hairdressers. I’m really liking the longer length, the ends however.

Anyways, welcome to a short and sweet Weekend Friday Favourites. Things that have made me smile or caught my eye this week. 

Ducks, Geese, Turtles 

I’ve changed my morning bike rides to the park! It makes me so happy to see ducks, geese, turtles, sparrows, magpies, butterflies and green all around. Hearing birds sing always makes me happy. 

Continue reading “Weekend Friday Favourites”

What I Learnt Hand Washing For 6 Weeks

Leave it to my washing machine to have a breakdown in a lockdown. For various reasons I didn’t via the landlord get a new machine until a few weeks ago, making in about 6-7 weeks of hand washing. With my 6-7 weeks experience of hand washing I’m sharing what I learnt manually washing clothes, towels and linen. Exciting huh?!

Source Giphy

Washing machines revolutionised the world. They free up time. They do the dirty hard work. All you have to do is pop the load in the machine, press a few buttons, leave it to do it’s thing, you go do other stuff until it bleeps all done, either air dry every thing or tumble dry. Done. I line dry which requires:

Timing. I couldn’t wring all the water out. It’s physically impossible. Not even a washing machine can unless it tumble dries too. I had to check the weather a few days ahead to plan laundry days for drying on the balcony. Thankfully I have a bath and the washing rack fitted in the bath to catch the run off. However leaving like that overnight nothing dried. I could have put a towel underneath the rack and let it air dry in the living room, but that would result in parquet water damage. Thankfully there were only a couple of stormy days and I wasn’t wearing much. Clothes were on repeat in lockdown and it was mostly lounge clothes. No pretty outfits. 

I already hand wash my bras so I thought I had how to hand wash down. Nope. You need buckets. A few buckets. I already had a bucket and salad spinner for help drying my bras (trust me. It’s a game changer!) but soon realised I need another. Thankfully my local big supermarket, the cleaning bucket isle wasn’t tapped off out of bounds. With 3 buckets, bowls I learnt:

You have to run an little bath with liquid (preferably environmentally friendly laundry detergent. I use magnesium balls (I use another brand) learning buying the gentlest for sensitive skin liquid detergent again is expensive) then add the clothes. Rather than dump them all in, each individual item you swish around a little, rub fabric together to start to lift dirt, repeat a few times like how a machine does. When all the items are in, swish them around some more. I found with towels I had, dump the water and start again with the detergent. One ‘wash’ wasn’t enough. I then left them overnight for the detergent to I dunno, lift anything else with enzymes. That was the easy part.

Source Giphy

Rinsing is the harder part. I’m dreading the next water bill. Although it’ll be interesting to see if hand washing vs washing machine uses more water. To ensure all the detergent is removed you have to rinse, rinse, rinse baby. I found the easiest way again was individually as each item and type of fabric holds the detergent at different rates. Cotton Continue reading “What I Learnt Hand Washing For 6 Weeks”

April 2020 Pink Moon

Even under lockdowns the moon’s still up in the sky watching over Earth. Imagine how many tales, secrets she could share and tell from being Earth’s constant companion. How many lost civilisations she could say they collapsed due to a pandemic as the nature took back cities?

DSCF5249Waning crescent

April’s full moon’s known as the Pink Moon as it coincides with the blooming of pink wild flowers. This year it was the 2nd super moon of 2020 and the first moon of spring! Egg Moon, Sprouting Grass Moon, Budding Moon and Moon When The Geese Lay Eggs Moon are April’s full moon other names. Pink Moon is more magical.

Third quarter

This year due to the Covid-19 lockdown most moon shots are just the moon. No trees, buildings framing her. Apologies if they’re a little of the same and more. Thanks to a sea view I got to see some amazing moon rises as it rose a ball of orange over the horizon and moon ladders as night sea diamonds and sparkles lit up in its cool reflection.

Waxing Continue reading “April 2020 Pink Moon”