We camped in the California State Parks, where they mostly have a Biker camping section, much cheaper than the regular camp sites. We have also met many other bikers here (as well as a bunch of other interesting people who use this cheap accommodation). Some days were clear, but most days started off foggy and clearing later when the gusting breeze picked up in the afternoon. The Big Sur (meaning Big South in Spanish) lived up to its name - spectacular but hilly. We also got to look at the fat elephant seals on some of the beaches (with seemingly contented smiles on their faces as they basked in the rare sun). This was the start if the giant redwood tree area, and we camped amongst these huge trees in the Pheiffer State Park, in the Big Sur area. I've been accused of carrying too much on my bike too many times, but I added to that during this week. I spotted a creature at the roadside, it appeared in poor condition (seemingly having been run over on numerous occasions). I picked him up, dusted him off, drew a cross in his dull eye, and tied him to the front of my bike (I've felt better ever since!). Of course, I had to name the little blighter, so his name is KASI (derived from terima kasi, meaning "thank you very much" in parts of SE Asia). Then we followed the bike maps and went through parks and scenic coastal areas, with views over the San Francisco bay and Alcatraz island (former infamous prison). The Goldan Gate Bridge is what I really wanted to see, and fortunately the day was clear and we could get a pic or two. Now Leana and I are in the rather expensive San Francisco city. The weather has been good, and we've done some sightseeing while waiting for Leana to organise her new credit card - we took touristy rides on the old street car, as well as a ride back to where we are staying across the "backbone" of the city by historic "cable car" on rails up the steep hills (I was a bit worried about the brakes on the way down!). We visited the famed REI outdoor store on the other side of town and got some things (tyres for Leana and waterproofing stuff for my ancient tent - as well as cycling maps for areas up North). There has been an unfortunate twist to this tale. Leana discovered that her entrance permit only allows her to be in the USA for another 2 weeks (I have a additional 3 months). Due to this, as well as financial- and other -issues, she has booked a flight from San Francisco back to Cape Town for 20 April. (Therefore I will be cycling North across the Golden Gate bridge on my own). Distances cycled since my previous update have been as such:- San Simeon Creek 49 km; Vista Del Mar 18 km; Back and Forth 39 km; Plaskett Creek 56 km; Big Sur 56 km; Monterey 68 km; New Brighton 80 km; Rossi Road 59 km; Half Moon Bay 44 km; San Francisco 55 km. The total distance cycled in the USA so far is 2 590 km (1 619 miles). The total distance cycled so far on this journey is 107 216 km (67 010 miles).
Friday, 19 April 2013
Eventually, since my last update, we were able to proceed North from Morro Bay along the spectacular California coastline. We were rather disappointed with our bank in SA, as the bank cards we'd been waiting for were never sent! So, Leana and I tried to organise an alternative plan and headed North along the coast. There were spectacular sections of coastline, and we cycled along the famed Big Sur section, with some Big Climbs wearing out the bikes and the legs.