One of the best things about Manoa Falls are the parking security guards. Semi wild chickens who have the run of the car park!
Nestled in the Manoa Valley mountains, the Na Ala Hele (trail for walking) Manoa Falls Trail is a 2.6km/1.6mi hike up into the mountains. Starting at the car park the trail takes you into the rainforest. I think admission was about $5 if arriving by car otherwise it’s free. Trees start out tall with canopies reaching fanning out to the sky. Looking up they gently give each other breathing space while almost matching each others outline just like looking at world maps seeing where continents once connected, like a jigsaw puzzle or tropical coral fanning out. As you get higher up the path becomes narrower, steeper. Plants you don’t notice unless you use a branch to help you up. Tree trunks become skinner, the leaves become bigger as they compete for light, the forest becomes more dense, the path narrower and rockier. When we went it had been raining earlier so the path was muddy. Muddy! If you do this hike, wear something more than sandals as several people met the mud in style. Also do the hike earlier in the day if you want to avoid people. The hike takes around 1-2 hours there and back. No photos I’m sure it can be done in just over an hour. I think the trial during the initial covid-19 lockdowns was closed for maintenance to widen the path and make it more user friendly. It’s since reopened however I’m so grateful I got to visit before the covid-19 pandemic took hold. I’d love one day to go back to explore more trails that connect to it and those from the Harold L. Lyon Arboretum located near the start of the trail. This girl can visit in her dreams!
The path ends at Manoa Falls, a beautiful waterfall that I swear has ledges cut out each side for shampoo. Only joking, the ledges are filled with plants, but maybe just maybe shampoo. I wanted to get closer but the good positions were taken up with selfies. Take 100, delete all, take another 100 selfies. Another reason to get there early. I felt for the people that hiked up with 2 people with loudspeakers. Why? The epic soundtrack. In a city I get it, but in nature, please leave the music behind if anything to let others who for many it’s once in a lifetime experience to enjoy it. Man, I sound so old! Looking back I didn’t hear many birds. Maybe they avoid the area due to people. There were moments on the path to myself which was cool against the day’s heat.
The past few weeks during time slotted exercise hours I switched the coast for the park. As much as I love the sea I needed some greenery!
It was a little emotional my first ride cycling past the zoo and around Parc de la Ciutadella. After 7 weeks lockdown indoors, 2 week cycling up the coast, then being hit with greenery, birds singing and flying everywhere, I nearly burst into tears. I had missed what being outside surrounded by trees not just the sea felt like, how I missed being surrounded by nature. Now we’re in phase 2 the beaches are open to sunbathe and take a dip, exercise hours dropped save the over 70’s time slots, we’re allowed to go outside as many times as we want. That said the park only has it’s peaceful magic in the mornings. The afternoons and evenings the place gets loud with humans. When I can I’ll still take my early morning bike rides to the park for its quietness. I get to see the sea up close cycling there and back. That is until the zoo opens where when everybody’s at the beach if you time it right it’s like you have the place to yourself (my view on zooshere) when I can do both the beach and zoo. A little balance of both.
The ducks and geese early morning like to preen and sunbathe as do the turtles. Later on in the day I’ve noticed they either hang around the easy spot for food or take a nap.
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.
Welcome to another Weekend Friday Favourites! I hope you’re having a great weekend!
Apologies for the gap in Weekend Friday Favourites. Some of you many know Spain has one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns in Europe. Translation unless an essential worker you could only leave your house for the supermarket, bank, doctors or work. 7 weeks of not being allowed outside unless a bike ride to the supermarket or bakers lead me to dark place. It’s not the worst dark place I’ve found myself in. Maybe, a different room of darkness. Add a huge birthday this month of a new decade for a girl it’s all downhill. Thankfully the Spanish government last weekend has allowed us out to exercise. We have times slots based on age and I can’t tell you how good it feels being able to freely within reason run and cycle. To see the sea up close again, feel open space, see flowers, birds and other people with happy faces. Hopefully in a week Catalunya can move into phase 1 of a little more freedom as restrictions are eased.
Freedom Flowers. 1st bike ride in 7 weeks!
I’m also getting up early too! We’re only allowed out once day for exercise within the 2 time slots. I’ve chosen the mornings between 06.00-10.00 as I’m guaranteed daylight and sunshine. The other time slot is 20.00-23.00 however 21.00 it starts to get dark. I need all the sunshine and vitamin D I can get.
Anyways, Weekend Friday Favourites, things that have made me smile or caught my eye recently. Please feel free to comment below what’s been making you smile recently!
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 gardenPuffer 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 “→