Friday 25th Nov at 8.35pm
Got a shuttle bus to the airport and picked up my rental car, a Mitsubishi eclipse. It may not be the fastest, sexiest convertible in the world but in garish white it's my very cool ride from San Francisco to LA. I squeeze my oversized luggage into the cramped boot space and immediately get stumped by the automatic transmission. When I eventually work out how to get it out of 'Park' and into 'Drive' I'm off...very, very slowly. The attendant on the way out, after seeing smoke coming from the exhaustI gives me some very helpful advice. Apparently you only use the break when you need to? I guess I'm just used to using both feet when driving but in true American style they can add driving to the long list of brainless activities they enjoy.
I took the 101 out of San Francisco, hdxopped onto Hwy 92 over to Half Moon Bay then jumped on the famous Hwy 1. Otherwise known as the Pacific Coast Road, this is rated one of the greatest drives in the world and the moment it opened up onto the Pacific Ocean, I completely understood why. The majority of the coast is un-developed giving it a real feel of emptiness. Huge waves batter the land all the way down with more bays than people. Each beach I stopped at had just one or two small groups of people, or no-one at all. I stopped at a lot of beaches.
I arrived in Santa Cruz around 2pm and took a stroll along the old boardwalk. There's an old style fairground right on the beach. It was touristy but in an interesting 1980s sort of way.
I grabbed some food and a virgin coloda on the boardwalk, with the ocean as my backdrop. I took a few snaps and carried on to Monterey. It wads ark by the time I arrived but I found the motel with no problems and bedded down for the night.
Tomorrow, I go whale watching...another bucket list entry.
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