We left San Francisco in the rain and were able to drive over the Golden Gate Bridge to view the full majesty of SF as well as Alcatraz in the blazing sunshine about a mile and a half away. Evidently, SF has its own meteorological prerogative and just refuses to fall into line with the rest of California like some kind of non conforming, LSD quaffing poet. I should point out that the view’s pretty nice once you’re over there.
We drove down the coast and gradually the built up areas thinned out and we were soon catching our first glimpses of the Pacific, and SF’s suburbs eventually became distinct towns and then we took our first stop. Santa Cruz. We were nearing the end of February and as such the normally bustling, college town of Santa Cruz was lacking its usual party spirit. An old wooden rollercoaster dominated it’s skyline and loomed imperiously over a rubbish beach which we went and sat on, almost out of a sense of duty, before wandering around its almost closed theme park. I say almost closed because we did stumble upon the most elaborate crazy golf course I’ve ever seen. With its Pirate theme and animatronic figures popping out from boxes it looked more like a Disney ride. It beats the UK ones hands down, where a badly made windmill with blades that don’t even turn pass for an activity worth £4.
The next day we drove into Monterey Bay, an upmarket resort town which we arrived, ascertained that we couldn’t stay there (even the Super 6 Motel was over $100, little in joke for all the American travelling salesmen reading this) and walked along the boardwalk before getting back in the car and driving to Big Sur National Park. We didn’t stay there long, I have to be honest. Drove in, looked for somewhere to swim, saw that the river looked like it would certainly take both of our lives should we be stupid enough to get in it and left before hitting the Pacific Highway, where the views suddenly got excellent.Now that I’ve worked out how to put photos on I no longer have to bother describing anything anymore. Needless to say, we drove and round each bend came yet more breathtaking views.
We, or I should say, Emma, drove a long time that day, so far, that we had to kind of make an emergency stop a nightfall in an unapologetic college town, where the barmen in every bar we visited that night, looked and behaved like Stiffler from American Pie. The drinks were not cheap and the people, despite their perfectly straight, white, plastic teeth, weren’t really my cup of tea. But then most people aren’t. The next day, we went to the public library to use their internet and after ascertaining that there weren’t any rooms available, we didn’t let that phase us and battered on straight through to LA regardless. The lack of accommodation would be an inconvenience, but would also lead us to within a hairs breadth of catching a wanted, Long Beach paedophile in a Motel just off Sunset Boulevard. Well, kind of.