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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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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June 2020 Strawberry Moon

Strawberry Moon? I’m in! Strawberry Moon’s June’s full moon when one of my favourite summer fruits are ready! Give me a bowl of strawberries, raspberries, peaches, nectarines, grapes and some mango and pineapple with some soya yoghurt (I’ve just discovered Alpro’s lemon and lime soya yoghurt. Yummy!) and I’m a happy girl.

The zoo reopened in June too! Opening hours have changed due to covid-19. They’re keeping last entry winter schedule with official closing two hours later. It’s a little tricky getting there, the light only gets good when leaving nevertheless, I’m enjoying an extra hour not rushing around when there and that it’s virtually empty. The EU has opened its borders within Europe yet tourists are minimal. I never realised that most of the summer pedestrian traffic along the beaches, on the beaches, in the centre were tourists. It’s nice having a quiet city, thought there needs a balance as tourists bring dinero and Spain needs dinero.

Waxing Moon

Almost full

June 2020 saw two eclipses. A penumbral eclipse that occurs when the Earth, Sun and Moon are imperfectly aligned. The Moon crosses the faint outer edge of the Earth’ shadow, the penumbra causing part of the Moon to appear slightly darker than usual. It’s harder to see unlike full lunar or solar eclipses. The second eclipse, a Solar eclipse on the first official day of summer. This wasn’t visible in Barcelona however I was up just after Moonrise and before Sunrise. The moon shone extra bright almost like a star with light bouncing off it. It’s a bad photo, maybe the light was from the Sun chasing it from the horizon.

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May 2020 Flower Moon

The best month of spring is May. Not only because it’s my birthday month, flowers start blossoming letting you know summer’s a month away hence May’s full moon name, Flower Moon.

This May it was extra special being the last of 2020 super moons (when it’s closer to Earth making it look bigger) and the first moon of some sort of freedom from Spain’s covid-19 lockdown. We were finally allowed outside to exercise! Okay, it was age time slotted freedom, but we were allowed out after 7 weeks cooped up. Flower Freedom Moon.

I didn’t take many photos of May’s moon phases. Like April’s Pink Moon they’re a little same same. No trees, building framing la luna. I’ve included this month some of the wildflowers that the councils didn’t cut due to the lockdown and sunrises. Some thing a little different. 

Birthday Moon

May’s other moon names include Mother’s Moon, Milk Moon, Corn Planting Moon.

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Muir Beach

We stopped by after visiting Muir Woods National Monument earlier this year on our holiday vaccay to Northern California and Hawaii, Muir Beach. A cove, lagoon and beach that’s nestled along the coast by the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and Mount Tamalpais State Park. Though it was January it was still busy when we got there near sunset with a switch from the day beach goers to the dusk beach goers. 

We didn’t stop long, only exploring the beach not the beach overlook as we wanted to look around Sausalito before it got dark. It was enough time for me to understand the magic of California beaches. All beaches have their charm. Maybe it’s the hype, maybe it’s because California is known for its beach life, maybe because it was my first California beach, maybe it was the mid winter light. Either way I can see why California beaches and the sea ocean draw people under their spell. 

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