Leaving San Francisco

Trip Start May 06, 2010
Trip End Dec 17, 2010

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Flag of United States  , California
Saturday, July 31, 2010

Tonight is my last night in this fantastic city.

The weather took a slight turn for the worse for a couple of days but it is only Spring here so it can't be sunny all the time!  I've had a quite a few days of walking a lot but not achieving very much!!  I keep getting lost and going round in circles!!

On Wednesday I picked up the 49 mile route again having gone off the trail the day before to do the Golden Gate Bridge walk.  I visited the Palace of Fine Arts which is an absolutely stunning building.  It houses the Exploratorium, science museum and the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre.  I didn't go inside as there was an entry fee and a lot of it seemed to be aimed at children but I was more than happy seeing the exterior of the building.  I then tried to go to the next point of the route which was Point Lobos but I had accidentally left my transport map at home and I got totally confused as to which bus to get and ended up getting off at the wrong stop and then going in the wrong direction for ages and then getting a bit lost!  So, in the end I gave up and worked out how to get to the hostel and just went back.  That night I spent time figuring out how to get to the hotel I need to be at on Sunday morning to join my tour.  I need to be there for 7.30am so don't have much room for error!  Seems fairly straight forward and not too much walking with luggage so shouldn't be too bad.  Later that night I went out with a few girls here for a couple of beers.  They had a cheese & wine night at the hostel so I got a free glass of wine which I haven't had for ages!  Then we went out to a couple of bars.  Many places have happy hours late at night so I got a couple of beers for $8 which isn't bad at all.  It was just nice to go out and have some company.

Take 2 the next day and I found what I was looking for.  It was actually relatively easy but never mind I saw bits of the city the day before I hadn't seen before so I am taking the view point that getting lost is a bonus even though it is very frustrating!  I arrived at Ocean Beach which has a national park beside it so I walked a bit of the coastal trail.  It was very cold and windy though so not really beach weather but you have to make the best of it!  I saw a war memorial dedicated to the American Navy who died during a battle with the Japanese during World War II.  There were a large group of youngsters there who were taking turns to do break dancing moves along the front of the monument.  There was a lot of noise and whooping and cheering going on which didn't seem entirely appropriate really but I don't imagine kids think about stuff like that! 

I then walked down to a Dutch windmill which has a lovely garden outside it which was just nice to see and relax in for a few minutes before returning to the hostel. I needed to buy a sleeping bag and pillow for my tour and had looked up camping shops in San Fran so spent the last part of the day trying to find a particular shop.  You will not believe how much walking I did to try and get there.  It wasn't in a very obvious location and I couldn't find it.  It must have taken me over 2 hours!  I got there in the end and now have what I need although I can't believe how much it cost!!   The hostel had a pub crawl that night but I didn't go, I had spent far too much money that day already.  I got woken up in the middle of the night by a group of very loud people who decided to have a massive conversation outside our bedroom for about 15 minutes.  Obviously people who did go on the pub crawl!  It was really annoying as I was really tired after all that walking.  I have huge bags under my eyes right now, I need a decent nights sleep!

Today I went to the Golden Gate National Park.  I intended to visit the Japanese Garden but you have to pay to get into it so I didn't see it!  I wandered about for a bit and saw a nice rose garden and went past the Conservatory of Flowers.  I didn't go in as it looked like it had an admission charge as well.  I was trying to find Stow Lake but ended up going around in circles lots and when I did find the right way I realised that it was miles away so I gave up as I felt so tired.

This evening I went on the cable cars as I had not done that yet and this was my last chance.  I got the car from Powell to Fisherman Wharf.  There was a homeless guy entertaining the crowds at Powell playing on his guitar and singing to the massive queue.  He was engaging with people to name that tune and telling little stories.  He was getting a few quid and he thoroughly deserved it!!  The queue for the cable car was huge, I think I waited an hour and a half to get on a car.  I was quite glad of the entertainment as it sure helped pass the time!  The cable car passed over Lombard Street but I still didn't see the twisty turny bits so have now missed my chance, oh well next time...

I am sad to leave San Francisco, I have loved every second of being here and I will certainly return here one day.

I am really looking forward to my tour though. It is 18 days long going through Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, Yellowstone, Jackson, Salt Lake City, Moab, Monument Valley, Grand Canyon, Zion and Las Vegas.  I am really excited about it.

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