Trip Start Jan 28, 2014
13Trip End Ongoing
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Up at 5.30 so Neal could drive us to Solana Beach station to get the 6.43 Surfliner train to LA where we have to change to Starlight at 10.10 then an eight hour train ride to Salinas. We could just take the bike on the first train but it had to be boxed & go as baggage on the long ride. We were worried the 1hour wait at LA wouldn't be enough time to find the baggage area buy a box for $15 plus $10 train fare as a blog we read about taking the bike on the train said allow an hour for a bike & we had 2, no worries though as the guy in the baggage area was really nice. Union station was amazing, it's an Art Deco place with wonderful architecture and huge leather armchairs - beautiful. We were allocated seats upstairs on the train, we only had 'coach' but I've never seen anything like it - so much leg room & you pull a lever & it's a bed almost, well it does go all the way to Seattle, no idea how long that takes - our trip is 8 hours!
The ride is great but although you know Southern California is a desert it still comes as a surprise how sandy and dry everywhere is, this is supposed to be the time it rains but they haven't had any - hopefully not for the next couple of weeks either. Bought some sandwiches on the train which were terrible, could have had dinner but as were arriving at Salinas around 7pm figure it might be safer to wait. At Salinas we had to wait a long time for our bikes to come off then had to get a ticket for the bus into Monterey, luckily the lady on the bus waited for us.
The bus didn't have any bike racks but she said we could put the bikes at the back, there was LOTS of luggage there belonging to a really nice coloured family from LA who didn't mind us squeezing in. They asked where we were going & when we told them they said "do you have to do that"! One of the sons liked the colour of Peters bike and he promptly said I used to have a black one but it got stolen, later he said he felt bad about saying that, they got off at Monterey airport so that was a lot of shuffling of bikes & bags. There was a guy on there from Encinitas that we had met at Union station, he was there to scuba dive - he had a real lot to say about he's rides as he'd done long rides for triathlons. The nice driver dropped us right off at our hotel Adobe Inn which was great for $50 and we went just around the corner to a Thai restaurant that wasn't. Nice bed after a long day