Further up the coast, still on the road!

Trip Start Jun 30, 2009
Trip End Sep 07, 2009

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Where I stayed
In a tent on the beach, right neext to the waves!!!

Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I last left you on the road between San Diego and  LA, and I write this current entry at in a tent on the coast of very northern California in a tent on the beach with just the sound of the waves (and Ben and Alfie) for company. Right now is one of those moments that makes me really happy to be alive and seeing so much of the world. I consider myself very fortunate.

In true style I will take a moment here to describe a bit about the roads and drivers out here in the USA. The first thing I noticed on the road was that there are a huge number of burst tires lying on the side of the road, and at times even in the middle of the road! This concerned me a bit, I’m not sure exactly why! The other thing I noticed was that American drivers very much invade on your personal driving space! They sit so much in your boot I sometimes wonder if they are really asking for a lift! This is one thing at 30 miles per hour in the cities and quite another at 70 miles per hour on a motorway. I just feel you need more than half a car’s length between you and other cars around you at those speeds!!

So, back to the trip. We left Dennis and Cindy in San Diego at about 3 in the afternoon and hit the road north to the heady lights and acting possibilities of Los Angeles! We reached the city at about 6:30 and headed straight to the Dodgers stadium to watch a very entertaining game of baseball with Ben’s friend Adrianne with whom we were staying that evening. Next to us at this game were two pubescent boys who cut their tow nails while watching the game and throwing the  nails over the edge of the balcony where we were sitting. The next day (Friday 21st August) we headed up to the Universal Studios which is both the site for the filming of the movies and the site of a theme park where rides are based on films made previously. We spent the whole day being thrown about on simulators, burned up by the ‘backdraft’ show, learned about costumes, special effects and make-up and got soaked by the Jurassic Park ride which went on 5 times in the end!! That evening we headed down to Long Beach where we stayed with Trevor a friend I had met in Coffee Bay in South Africa.

That evening was really good fun enjoying rum and cokes in a fabulous beach-side apartment owned by his current business partner. The next morning we headed up to check out Hollywood Boulevard and the walk of fame. We then headed on up on the road north to San Francisco. Here we stayed with Ben’s friend from High school Katherine who lives in SF with her American husband. We spent the first day wandering the very hilly San Francisco along the docks and then back through town along the California Boulevard which is the famous street that has the hills going up in layers (check out the pictures to see what I mean) and then back to Kat’s place for a home cooked meal which was very much appreciated!! The next day we hit the road once again. We had wanted to go over to see Alcatraz but the first available tour was on Tuesday afternoon and that would have delayed our trip up the coast too much. On the route out of town we stopped at SF’s other famous street, the very steep windy road. It was good fun to see and drive down. Out of town we also crossed the Golden Gate Bridge which we had seen on the first day in SF so we really ticked off the land-based landmarks!! 

North of SF we went to stay with Jackie Phipps (another friend from Camp) in the university town of Arcata in Humboldt. This was in the very northern tip of California (yes after 7 days of driving north we were still in California!!) This was more of a stop gap than anything else. We left Arcata and that takes us to where I am writing from now! We are staying at a beach camp site right next to the ocean called Gold Bluffs Beach. Out site is just next to the site boundary and tonight I will fall asleep lulled by the soft sound of the waves on the beach and the smell of salt in the air.

With that, good night dear friends and family!!

Pip xxx

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