California West Coast - Pacific Highway 101 - San Francisco to Los Angeles

Published: October 16th 2012
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San Francisco

I didn't sleep that well and was up at 6.30 to have a nice hot shower and wash my hair. We helped Jane cook scrambled eggs with spinach and goats cheese for breakfast..yum!

First we checked out these 6 Victorian houses. San Fran was developed during the gold rush then they had an earthquake and all the gas pipes burst and pretty much the whole city burnt down except for these 6 hourses that were above the flames. Then we went to Summer of Love area, Haight and Ashbury St, where free love was flowing in the sixties and where Janis Joplin and Jerry Garcia lived. Now it is full of beggers, poor musicians, people with dogs and secondhand/vintage shops.

We all got a piece of pizza in this little shop that has signed posters of Matt Groeing (Simpsons), Tenacious D and lots more. It's a really musical city, there are people busking everywhere.

We dropped our bags off at our hotel Adalente then headed down to pier 39 and watched the seals. They were all piled up on top of each other like a big pile of snuggley puppies with flippers. The girls have the cutest faces and the big males were fighting.

Afterwards we went on our bay cruise, Adventurer, that took us around Alcatraz and under the Golden bridge (that is actually red). It was freezing but luckily the boat gave us extra jackets to wear. We had 2 drinks included and a spread of cheese, biscuits, dip and fruit. We got off the boat and went to get some of San Fran's famous clam chowder in a bread bowl (I got creamy tomato soup,, but Chris had the clam chowder). Then we went to an Irish pub for a beer then caught the cable car home which was super fun. Chris and I went to bar for a drink and everyone else went to bed.

San Fran - Monterray - Morro Bay

It was really foggy in the morning so we couldn't go to the look out in San Fran so we drove straight on, only stopping in the gay area, Camero, where everything is covered in rainbow flags.

We stopped in a cute sleepy seaside called Monterey. The main part is called Cannery Row and was made famous by the author John Steinbeck. After spending an hour looking around town we had a picnic down by the ocean of hot chooks, organic broccoli and quinoa and vege curry...yummy!

We drove for hours down the California Pacific Highway 101 south to San Simeon where we were supposed to spend the night camping. The weather had turned bad and was forecasted to rain all night so we all opted to pay extra and get a hotel room.

The coast was beautiful, rugged and remote with the road hugging the steep cliffs overlooking the great Pacific Ocean. I had imagined doing this trip in a convertible with the top down and sun shining on my skin. But the freak storm that had moved over California since we'd been here meant it was cold, windy and rainy. They had even predicted snow in Los Angeles where it apparently never snows, especially not now! We later learnt that Vegas had had a flash flood and another tour group were unable to leave their hotel.

We drove on another hour to Morro Bay and booked rooms at the Travel lodge. We setup the camp stove and cooked dinner in the carpark outside Jane's room and had drinks sitting in the gutter! Fun times...flash camping! Chris hid all her towels and pillows and made fake coke lines out of flour on her dresser....hilarious! This trip was supposed to be a camping trip with 4 nights camping...we only camped once and so our sleeping bags are still practically new!

Morro Bay - Santa Barbara - LA

We drove down to the Marina to find that the town was a cute little fishing village cross nuclear power plant. There were seals under the gangway in the marina, their little puppy faces are too cute.
Next stop was San Luis Obispo for a coffee and a look at bubble gum alley. Once apon a time, someone stuck their gum on the wall in this alleyway and people have been doing it every since. The whole alley is covered in bubblegum and there are bees buzzing around them! We had a coffee at this funky German cafe before driving to Santa Barbara.

In Santa Barbara the sun finally came out and we strolled along the pier and the beachfront. We spent an hour here before getting back on Pacific 101 and heading to Los Angeles.

The LA traffic is pretty epic and

Home of the original Bubba Gump
it isn't really one big city, but actually a bunch bigmseparate cities connected by freeways. First we drove up to the top of Griffith Park for a view of the Hollywood sign. Then we headed across town to our hotel the La Quinta, near LAX.

We decided to book our 2 remaining nights here because we couldn't be bothered moving, plus it had free breakfast and a free shuttle to the airport.This was the last night of the tour and some of us went to Manhattan beach for what turned out to be quite a drunken night!

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