Travelling the Pacific Coast Highway (Part One)

San Francisco

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The Golden Gate Bridge, still feeling a little rough.

Our introduction to America started on the steep streets of San Francisco. The sun was shining as we picked up our rental car at the airport, then drove towards the city. With accommodation pre-booked, we could find our feet quickly and start exploring. I rediscovered my appreciation of Blue Moon, and the city welcomed us. A fabulous beginning. Sleep came easily that night, and the next day we started exploring early. Then we were stopped in our tracks – food poisoning. The details are painful, but we were out of action for the next 36 hours… Unfortunately this included missing our pre-booked tickets to Alcatraz!

But slowly we came right, and it was back to exploring. San Francisco is an interesting city. I have met so many people who really love it, and I can see the appeal. I love a city where walking is the norm, and good food is everywhere. However, I have been able to visit a couple of times, and really would not rush to return. For me, there is something missing in the city. That special feeling that around every corner, there is an opportunity for something new and exciting. I do not feel that in San Francisco… Mind you, a bout of food poisoning can hamper one’s views slightly. We did get to explore the Bay Area a little bit, taking our trusty rental car out to see the sights (and drive over the mighty bridge). It is beautiful in the sunshine, and a nice introduction to America.

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Downtown San Francisco

Travelling south on the PCH

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Brixby Bridge

Now, I grew up with the Californian movie ideal. Central to this was an awful lot of sunshine. Unfortunately, someone forgot to pass on this memo and our drive down one of the most beautiful roads in America was somewhat hampered by a rather impressive amount of rain. Therefore, our planned two night trip south ended up being only one, with some extra time added to Los Angeles. However, despite the cold and the rain, we still got to see the beauty of the region. As Ashby got used to driving on the wrong side of the road, we followed the coast along cliff faces, through farmland, and amongst towns. On our overnight stay, we found a spot on a forest road in the Big Sur region to test out the car for sleeping. It was comfortable enough, but a tent is in order for our next stage through the national parks.

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Testing out the sleeping capabilities – not bad!

The second day was annoyingly wet, and we ended up just pushing through to Los Angeles. Thankfully, I think the really beautiful stuff was enjoyed on the first day.

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