Sunny San Diego
Trip Start Apr 15, 2011
94Trip End Feb 04, 2012
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I’m staying with Joyce, one of my ex surfers who stayed with me in London a couple of years ago. As with staying with Katie it’s a wonderful experience. I like making new friends but its different staying with someone you already have a connection with. It was like staying with old friends and Joyce and her fiancÚ show me the best of San Diego at a whirl wind pace to make the most the short time I have here. They’re getting married in less than a month, moving into the new place and they still had me to stay! After ten days in the van its good to be staying in doors again. We hit the best pizza in San Diego one night (olive and pesto, yum!). Joyce has take the day off work to show me around and we hit Balboa Park with its beautiful conservatories full of orchids and palm fronds, beautiful, Spanish style architecture and ponds filled with water lilies, fat, brightly coloured carp and cute turtles
There is time for a walk in the old town and its old fashioned shops selling soaps and candles and salt water taffy before lunch at old fashioned Mexican dinner where the women work in the window flattenins balls of tortia dough in their bare hands. This close to the border there is a big Mexican influence in the food but day trips across the boarder are no longer recommended due to safety concerns. From what I hear Mexico is a bad place to be right now, with drug cartels enacting a might is right policy and using torture and fear to suppress anyone who dares to speak out or rise up against them. We swing by Mission Beach and its upscale neighbourhood with killer views of the city. I knew San Diego was on the coast but I never really thought of it as having beaches. As the day draws to and end we hit Cabrillo National Monument just before it closes. It used to be an island until sand from dredging of the navy shipping channels was dumped in bay, connecting the island to the main land by a narrow strip of sand. The navel base has been decommissioned and the area turned into a national park. There’s an old light house that’s been done up as a small museum, showing how the light house keepers of old would have lived in isolation before the island was connected, and San Diego was just a small town. The views of the city from here are amazing and it reminds me of the Point Nepean area back home with its old brick bunkers and no go zones on the beach
The train back to LA is uneventful but the views of the coast and the beaches easier to see in the day light. The stop in LA passes relatively quickly and before I know it I’m boarding my train to Austin. The train leaves at 3pm and won’t roll into Austin until 10am on Friday in two days. The time passes relatively quickly. With the exception of long haul flights I seam to have an inate ability to pass time on journeys like this without getting board. Sleeping on the train is not to bad. The seats recline and there is a leg rest that goes up to be level with the seat. If I’m luckily enough to have two seats to myself there is enough room on both chairs to curl up and sleep OK. The coffee on board is still dire however and I’ve learnt to add lots of milk and sugar when I just can’t wait for a caffeine fix. On the second night we are woken up at 2am to change carriages. This one is having technical difficulties and we have to switch. Between staring out the window, catching up on my blog and watching an old series of Chuck I’m in Austin almost before I know it.