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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Sunset At Sausalito

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. 

Famous for its old wooden fishing houses, ceramics, boat houses (Ottis Reading wrote Sitting in the Dock of Bay in one) and ship building history Sausalito overlooks the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz. Sausalito’s name comes from the Spanish settlers sauzalito for small willow grove (plot twist, an English sailor and Mexican citizen, William Richardson submitted a claim for area to be called Rancho Sausalito and also set up the village street plan of Yerba Buena now modern Day San Fransisco. Wikipedia’s great!). It’s such a cool name to say. Any name with ito/a: really small, young or to show affection in Spanish added to a word is fun to say. Sausalito!

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Parc de la Ciutadella #2

Back in June I shared photos from my morning phasing out of lockdown time slotted freedom bike rides to Parc de la Ciutadella, Barcelona’s most famous city park and my favourite park.

When the lockdown down ended, my gym still wasn’t open. To make up the distance there and back and to get some greenery and wildlife I cycled to the park after the beach in the afternoons (afternoon in Spain ends around 8-9pm)/early evenings. When my gym, climbing gym and zoo reopened I tried to make the park a few times a week. While I miss the quietness of the mornings the park’s back to being less busy in the afternoons now everybody’s at the beach, work or still staying at home. The early evenings during lockdown freedom hours it was the bar and pub replacement local hangout. It has now a different kind of quietness to the mornings. Ducks and geese are getting ready to nap with the water less busy. I’ve only just learnt ducks can sleep on the water, head tucked under a wing and are diurnal being active at night. I’ve even seen some rats climb up and run along railings.

Last morning lockdown ride to the park

Sadly the nights are getting shorter and soon my rides to the park becoming less as gyms have reopened after the 2nd lockdown (recommended to stay at home) ended. I still try to get there once a week to cycle around now around dusk for greenery, hearing birds sing, watching the ducks and geese, cycling with the bats (yep, nerdy!). Beach is first if I can get there before the sun sinks behind buildings. I can’t go before 15.30 even at the weekends as the sun’s too strong. I’ve now started snorkelling (In the sea, not in this mini lake! I’d get arrested! I wouldn’t want to anyway. It gets so dirty they have to empty it every now and then and refill). I get to see what the ducks, seagulls, cormorants see when they dive.

Most of the photos were taken in June and July when the light was nice and bright and of the boating lake. I used to like watching out for the ducklings checking the Mamas didn’t loose any. I don’t think they did! As usual, I’m a sh*t editor posting way too many photos. Enjoy!

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Summer 2020 Essentials

Today I’m sharing my favourite season summer, essentials! Summer goes by so fast. I’m always sad when autumn fall kicks in. I love the heat, the longer days, being able to go in the sea, the colours, the lesser layers to wear, the freedom that summer has.

Clockwise from orange juice. Please excuse the flat lay, I’m not that good at them.

Orange Juice Boost

When it starts to get warmer, I start to crave fresh orange juice. I think it’s the sugar in it that helps my body with the heat. It can quench thirst almost as good as water and I always feel awake and refreshed afterwards. 

Body Lotion 

I finally found a body lotion that works! Sadly there’s a lot of plastic involved, however Instituto Español do a vegan body lotion, Natura Madre Tierra Body lotion that my skin likes, keeps hydrated all day, works with sunscreen on top and isn’t that expensive for how much I get through.

Water Bottle

Goes everywhere with me when I’m out! Hydration, hydration, hydration! 

Snacks

I always try to have emergency snacks when out. This summer it’s been almonds and dried mango. 

Scrunchies 

These are kinder to hair once you find ones that work for your hair. I prefer Kitsch satin scrunchies but I can’t get them in Spain. These I got from Berskha. They’re not as good, my hair at least once a week gets tangled up in them, however they’re much kinder on my hair that regular elastic hairbands/ties. They also add a pop of colour. 

Hand Sanitiser

I don’t like the pretolum ingredients in them, but I can’t avoid them until alcohol plant based ones are available. 

Sunglasses

Essential not only for reducing wrinkles but protecting the eyes from the sun. A few years ago I started wearing polarised lenses and never when back to regular sunglasses. Oakley do the best polarised glasses and I like colour lenses as all black or all brown sunglasses are too dark for my colouring. 

Mask 

Summer 2020 and possibly summer 2021 mandatory item. I avoid disposal masks due to the waste they generate and resources in production. It took a while to find an all cotton one that didn’t cost the earth now people are cashing in the the mask market. These I got from El Corte Ingles, €5 for 2 which are reusable, washable and that I can breath through easily on a hot day. I also have some white ones that are really lightweight however being white, they weren’t white for long. I dyed them blue when dying a pair of shorts and now have lightweight masks for indoor/gym climbing. It’s like you need an assortment of masks depending on what you’re doing. 

Sunglasses

Essential not only for reducing wrinkles but protecting the eyes from the sun. A few years ago I started wearing polarised lenses and never when back to regular sunglasses. Oakley do the best polarised glasses and I like colour lenses as all black or all brown sunglasses are too dark for my colouring. 

Aloha Collection Pouches 

I discovered Aloha Collection on holiday in Oahu earlier this year initially only purchasing one, only to buy more. They’re great at stowing away wet/damp bikinis after the beach without getting everything else in your bag wet. They’re not 100% waterproof as the seams aren’t but they are splash proof so nothing leaks. They’re great too travelling for clothes, accessories, cosmetics, cables, ipads keeping everything organised even if inside pouches isn’t or just as a bag out. They’re expensive as is international shipping, but they’re worth the money. They’re also pretty to look at. So pretty I don’t want to use them in case I ruin them! 

Baseball Cap 

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Summer

Long time no see! How’s your summer? 

Mine got a little busy with everyday life, holiday in Mallorca, Mac iPhoto misbehaving and something had to take back seat for a while. Sadly natjtan. It got a little frustrating, but like an old Chinese proverb I saved from an Li BingBing Instyle Magazine Interview back when I used to read it: Time is like water in a sponge. You can always find it if you squeeze hard enough. Another way of saying if you want it, you’ll make time or find a way. I always feel I can never commit myself to things 100% as there’s always something else calling me or needs doing in a house of chores. Forget the evenings. My eyes are so heavy they just want to close. 

Castelldefels

P was here for a while so I couldn’t do as much as usual (he knows that), gyms closed for a local recommneded stay at home ‘lockdown’ for a few weeks due to a raise in covid-19 cases along with the zoo, cinemas, bars and restaurants back to reduced capacity. My gym and the city council along with a few other gyms petitioned against the regional government’s decision to close the gyms under the hastag #deporteessalud: sport is health rebelling initially against the closure. The Justice court overturned the gym closure decision. I was getting more demotivated everyday to workout at home, putting off for later. After 3 months working out at home then back at the gym for a month, then at home again I really missed the gym. Even if I don’t talk to anyone there, I concentrate better, it’s air conditioned, I get out the house. The zoo petitioned to stay open, reopening 5 days later after joining both my gym, climbing gym in being rebels staying open. The zoo on its initial reopening after the end of lockdown already had a Covid-19 Global Safe Site certificate and a Safe Tourism Certified seal, yet they had to reclose again too.

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