Greetings from a very tired pair of travellers! We are now in San Fran after two days of mad driving and exploring. We'll be based here until Thursday - so we hope to get the city sussed in the 3 or so days in the mean time.
So what have we been up to?
Well Monterey was great! Have you seen that cheesy old Tom Hanks film "Splash"? The city is just like the city in that film... a typical American seaside town! Because it's Labor Day weekend they had singing and bands in the streets and other random events. It was a really clear evening so we wondered around taking in the atmosphere. Helen also managed to check out the local chocolate shop scene! ;-)!!
We stayed at The HI-AYH in Monterey. HI (Hostelling International) is a very regimented affair with Curfews and Alcohol bans so it's quite mundane there. We weren't sure if we were going to like it, but in fact it turned about to be really nice, clean and friendly. We met a guy who had biked all the way down the coastal road from Seattle for days on end (whilst eating pancakes!).
The pancake beakfast was interesting! There was a huge bag of pancake mix from which we had to add water. American pancakes are very different from the Little G speacials which Helen and I have come to perfect! They are more like big scotch pancakes, but none the less we had some great breakfast! The locals looked disgusted that we were putting Lemon juice on them!!!
Anyway... we left around 10.30am and headed up the coast on Highway 1 to Santa Cruz (You're not that faaaaaar - *sorry - lyrics to The Thrills song "Santa Cruz" - the soundtrack for the day*).
Santa Cruz is ace! We went straight to the "Beach Boardwalk", which is just like a really cool version of Blackpool pleasure beach. The temperature hit 104F as we whipped around the rollercoasters!!
After a few hours there we jumped back in the car and headed up towards San Francisco. The first thing we did as promised was drive straight across the Golden Gate Bridge. It was Great! Top views on the other side! We then drove all over the city looking for a decent hostel. We have ended up at USA Hostels San Fran, which looks the best, on the corner of Taylor Street and Sutter for all you anoraks! It's very very hilly and the city has a dire parking problem. We've had to park the car 3 blocks away in a Car Lot which won't be cheap!
Anyway... Alcatraz tomorrow!
Vegas on Thursday!
Gotta go - out of cash!
Lots of love Helen and Gareth x