Published: November 4th 2008November 4th 2008
Driving along the Golden Gate Bridge.
It's actually quite similar to The Forth Road Bridge.
California road trip part 4
After cleaning up the mess left by the racoons at our campsite, we headed towards San Fancisco. The route in from the north took us over the famous Golden Gate Bridge which provided great views over the city and the bay. After a short drive through the city centre, we headed over the Bay Bridge to the university town of Berkely where he hoped to find some cheap accomodation. Unfortunately there wasn't any and we had to settle for a fairly expensive motel but it was much nicer than camping. We spent the rest of the day wandering around the shops and bars that surrounded the university before going back to the motel. The next day we took the train into San Francisco and spent the day exploring the various districts within the city. In the Hispanic Mission district we browsed the many thrift shops looking for some bargains to replace some of our more worn out clothes. Downtown, we looked in the malls and stores at clothes we would have liked to buy but couldn't afford. We then walked to China town where we saw fortune cookies being made and went for some Dim
We actually ate here!
Not anything cooked in the chefs special sauce tho!
We had managed to get booked into one of the busy hostels in San Fancisco for the next two nights so headed back over the Bay Bridge to the Fishermans Wharf area and checked into the hostel there. We walked along the Wharf lined with tourist shops and restaurants and had some of the local speciality of clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl. We then caught the ferry out to Alcatraz island and toured round "The Rock", the audio tour included the voices of past prisoners and guards and was really interesting. On our last day in San Francisco we went for much needed haircuts and then caught up with our laundry and other exciting things like that. In the evening, a thick fog rolled in from the sea and it was quite eerie as we went for a walk listening to the the foghorns from the ships in the bay.
We left San Francisco the next day and headed south to visit some old friends from university who had moved out to America. After spending the afternoon with them, we drove on to Santa Cruz, on the coast, to try and find a campsite
for the night. As it was the weekend, all the sites were full and we were forced to get a motel again which wasn't good for the budget but as it was another cold foggy night, we were glad not to be in the tent. On Sunday we went down to the Boardwalk where there are lots of fairground rides including a 1920's wooden rollercoaster which was exciting mainly because it felt like it would fall apart at any moment. There was also a cheerleading competition going on on the beach which we watched for a while. After a round of crazy golf and a few games on the arcade machines, we headed into town for a huge chinese buffet which included sushi and fresh crab. We were stuffed after this and only just managed to walk back to the motel and collapse on the bed to watch TV for the rest of the night.
We had heard of a place nearby called "The Mystery Spot" which sounded quite interesting as supposedly the laws of physics were distorted there. The guided tour showed us how inside The Mystery spot, people appeared to chage size and the trees grew at
an angle. Further in closer to the spot itself, a shed had been built and inside it seemed that everything disobeyed the laws of gravity. Was all this caused by some mysterious force or was it just an optical illusion.... We'll never know.
As we pondered these mysteries we drove on south down the scenic highway 1 along the California coast line past Big Sur and Hearst Castle which was the inspiration for the Xanadu mansion in the film, Citizen Kane. Near there we stopped to see a large colony of elephant seals on the beach which were very noisy. We found a campsite near the beach which was fairly empty and we built a fire and finished the last of our wine. We carried on down the coastline the next morning to our final campsite of the trip near Santa Barbara. We arrived early in the afternoon but were still lucky to get one of the last available sites. The camp was right on the beach so we sat in the sun in the afternoon but the sea was too cold for swimming. The next day was our last on the mainland of USA so we spent the
We stayed in a hotel in Mexico which looked similar to this.
day preparing for our flight. We cleaned out the car and our bags and went into Santa Barbara to get our laundry done. Our flight was early the next morning but it wasn't worth getting a hostel as check in was at 4 am so we went to the cinema and had some fast food before driving back into LA and dropping the car off at the airport and then caught a few hours sleep in the airport lounge waiting for the check-in for our flight to Hawaii to open.
There are more photos below