The first have of January was so sunny! That’s what I like about January. Within a week of the winter solstice you can notice the days being longer and the light changing. The promise of spring’s coming from the first week of winter! So much and so little can change within a week.
For New Year I got out the city! A little outing up to the Costa Brava for the night before heading to Monestir de Sant Pere de Casserres, an 11th century Benedictine monastery along the Riu Ter/Ter River. We didn’t go to the monastery, just the look out point, Mirador del Ter. Sadly the lookout point’s filled with rubbish from an abandoned restaurant. The path to the look out point’s a little confusing at first with overgrown pavements. Why an overgrown pavement so far away from the road along a dirt track? It all made sense at the now abandoned restaurant.
Back in the city where magpies, pigeons, ducks, wagtails, sparrows, seagulls. geese and parakeets/parrots rule the skies. Well maybe not the ducks and geese, but they rule the ponds in Parc de la Ciutadella.
December’s one of the hardest months for me. The days just get darker and darker, shorter and shorter. For some reason unless I’m outside after it gets dark, I shut down or just become a couch potato if I’m in after it gets dark. If I’m outside the house I have energy to do stuff. As soon as I get back all that energy and fire I have to do things when I get back literally goes as soon as I walk in the door. I grab snack, shut down. I’m forever working against to stop this. Next month’s book read’s Atomic Habits which I hoping will help break this habit. Well, that’s if I don’t crash before reading it 🙈
Honestly I don’t mind when winter finally arrives. I don’t like the cold, I like the days get longer. I can deal with that. That light the last month of the year as I mentioned in my previous Light Project post is amazing. While I b*tched about the zoo closing earlier it was actually a blessing in disguise. I got out earlier on the days I went so I got to spend more time outside and explore a bit afterwards or even get back earlier (to crash earlier!)! The zoo’s keeping the earlier closing hours until the end of March so I have loads to time to break my shut down habit. She says!
Anyways, December’s winters light from the winter Solstice until 31st December.
I saw these birds in the summer at the zoo and never saw them again until now. They have like a Mask of Zorro bandits face/headband. They’re so tiny and noisy! After a little research they’re common waxbills native Sub Sahara which is ironic as I’ve only seen them in the Sahara exhibit! There are quite a few groups in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia in Spain.
After a quick stop at Lania Lookout we headed to a sunset spot Spitting Caves, also known as China Walls. Caves in the cliff spit out the water as the waves crash into them. It’s literally a run down path between two houses that looks like it’s probably a pee alley. You go down a steepish dirt path that opens out onto amazing ocean views and rocks. It was already getting busy with sunset watchers and whale watchers when we got there. P later commented that in the USA people actually stop to watch the sunset. This was more so along the Big Sur, but then you have to stop and watch the sunset along the Big Sur. If I can I like to watch the sunrise to sunsets.
I was more incited by the rocks and the water hitting and swirling around the rock face. So many red layers that contrasted with the blues. I didn’t notice until looking at the photos there’s a rope ladder and a rope to get down to the rocks. Or for after Google images, climbing back up after cliff diving. I didn’t know at the time it was Spitting Cave. Now it clicks the beautiful swirling sea ocean patterns. I can never get used to call it the ocean. I’m used to sea.
As I wanted some p&q I sat away from the main crowd on naturally worn away stone that was like a seat. Filled with warmth from the day and for stone comfy to sit on. It was an in memory of seat. I can see why they came to watch the ocean and light. Or perhaps he was a cliff diver who lost his life living it full cliff diving. There was also a rescue ring with Lei so I’m hoping this place has some good juju! Flowers are normally placed where people died or they are in Europe along roads. Or maybe it was an ocean offering.
The houses were amazing. They must cost a bomb to run and fed up with tourists tramping everywhere for the views, but amazing nonetheless. And sh*t in a storm so close to the water. I’m sure Hawaii like everywhere else has it’s problems, high rent, high living costs, dependency on tourism (which shows in a pandemic like now), unemployment, gentrification, at times limited to what you can do but an upside must be the being on a beautiful island that has a bit of everything: wilderness, city, being able to be in the water all year round.
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.
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…