Another classic photo taken by fellow rider Stwart of me leaving with the others for the Santa Rosa BWM agent where we are going to meet up with the Lorry and container at 9am for loading to England via the Panama Canal, how cool is that.
Sorry but the is guy is a idiot
Good GOD getting to look like my dad every day, sure he would be proud
Bikes and bags all loaded and Garys old engine, that packed up on day 1, he managed to purchace another on ebay in Texas and joined us later.
Lorry on its way to the port of San Fransico off we go in two separate taxis.
Very apprehensive today as I said fair well to the others we will be together again I kwon back in England when we collect the bikes from there drop off point in about 8 weeks.
They were containered up this morning by us all with Mike doing the hardest parts with small bouts of help from us all in one way or another, a taxi ride into San Fransisco two taxis ordered we all went or ways, myself saying fond fairwells to Stewart in the city Tim in the cab and Geff in the Airport lounge.
He bought me my final coffee and we parted he though secutity off to Los Vegas to meet his family and me off to the taxi rank to just clear the airport to start hitching, spoke to a taxi driver he wanted $40 to get me across the freeway to a safe starting point.
To much sorry Sir I said just as I crossed over the road still in his site Owen and Dotty pull up, hop in move the stuff and off we go.
I managed to cram in my life story in 15 miles to PACIFFICA a small or the first direct town for me for HWY 1 ( HWY that’s short for HIGHWAY) so Owen has been working hard away, for give me Owen but it was a famous head phone company, and he was going home I guess with Dotty whome said she was the cook.
The chicken dish described by her that was waiting at home for him sounded fantastic a marinade to die for, but I know when to get out of a car as I guessed Owen had not seen her for a week.
The spot they dropped me at was a well known spot for hitch hikers, thank you guys I had a Taco Bell but still not what I am looking for, so I am way again, with a 2 minute wait as Owen had promised.
Kevin and Margo off on a camping weekend, Kevin spun his car around to pick me up, and a great ride with a couple of stops for jam and eats great word that EATS, lovely couple old friends, met at climbing school/classes.
I must admit to talking to much at them but they seemed interested.
We stop and watch the kite surfers and finish up with NICER TACO eats in Santa Cruz where Kevin had Yahooed the restaurant while on the move, this is where we parted as they needed to find camping ground for the weekend.
I booked into a hotel, with it being a holiday rates are high $230 but manage to befriend the receptionist and settled on $150 still $100 more than I am used to.
The first hotel that sent me here said you must take it and its the last room in the area I can believe it this place is packed and I think tonight might be the same, I am happy to by a sleeping bag and do the beach thing but not had to yet.
Sunday and its holiday here will stay in room as long as aloud as nothing revs up here till 10am then off again, I left Santa Cruz about 1pm after a visit to a bakery across the road from the hotel, almost like the Golder Crown in Alberqueque, what a fantastic atmosphere, bread and blue grass music.
Random woman, PLEASE STOP I want to take your picture is that O.K ?
My only lift today one mile to the beach from the town of Santa Cruz, bit of a checky one on my behalf I saw the man go into a Milk Shake bar went up to him and asked how to get to the famous boardwalk and what should I write on my sign, I will take you he said, a bit like changing a fly to catch a different fish.
Its very difficult when hitch hiking to clear a town and today was no eception as I walked a good mile with no lifts and decided to leave town on a bus.
The bus driver said $2 but on no presumption $1 for senior citizen’s so $1 it was then to Castorville we passed though many villages and no sign of motels,so I carried on to the end of the bus route in Castorville.
The driver gave me a transfer ticket for the next bus company Monteray Bus company to take me onto Salida, how much I ask, FREE TO YOU he said,
I find myself in a town that don’t speck English and we have only travelled 15 miles from Santa Cruz, bazzare Its like being in a totally different country.
One hour bus wait and away
I finish with a long walk today, to find a motel we forget how much we relie on transport wheels a car or a motorcycle as by the time I had walked from downtown to out of town I was wacked.
Stopping at a petrol station and buying a Ice cream Heag on Daz in a box icecream, $3 everwhere else $1.50 here I can tell I am in a working town, I talk to the petrol attendant and he asks a friend if hes going my way, he mumbels something and I crack on walking and eating my icecream.
Growers town with signs like Growers Club the town is $85 Mexican, I have never been to Mexico but I can see this town is like on other visited at any time.
Walking past these places The Bakery Staition what a fantastic 1950s building.
I walk though block on block of houses and with a slit apprehension but I am on my way, you drive and ride though normally but walking you stand out.
I find the out of town cross road works without an pavements to two or three motels picking the dearest only by $20.
But instinct tells you were to stay, a quick washs of cloths hanging them over the balcony, off I go its sunset, I walk back to the cross roads and across the road to a bar, walking in to a bar full of ladies, a quick beer and I am out of there I didn’t count but ask while I was leaving by the bar man I said I was scared.
Walking up the road mobile taco vans on both sides of the road , its getting dark and on speaking to folks nobody I spoke to spoke English, walking on and stopping at a taco van that’s not so busy only 3 customers eating and talking.
I ask if I am safe here walking about at night fine I was told and eat and carried on walking about another 3 blocks to a bakery shop buying a massive bit of cheese cake $1 and wandering back.
Strange I felt safer walking down the road a night than in daylight, never experienced that before.
I go back into the bar hoping all the women had gone, nope but a chain had been place across my path, $8 to enter, why I ask, as we have a band tonight and we need to cover our costs, sorry I only have $18 I said, also I was here an hour ago and no charge.
Oh you should have said go on in the owner said, I sit at the bar free of the ladies now the had all spread themselves with their fellows around this massive bar dance hall.
I order a Strawberry drink the same as others were drinking and settle down for a few seconds, and this massive security guy comes over to me I look around and my heart drops, thinking the worst, he puts out his hand to shake mine, ” You made it then” he smiles and I recognized him as the mumbling petrol station attendants friend that was going in the opposite direction when asked if he would give me a lift.
Ah relief it was as if I instantly had an old friend, so now settled I start to talk to the young man behind the bar, he runs the place with his mother the lady owner on the door, started by his great Grandad in 1967, hes off to Monteray in the morning and I now have my first lift of the day.
I made the fatal mistake of calling home today, and it didn’t set me up for a good day, I cant do anything while I am alone way from home only worry and that turns into home sickness.
Grant turned up at 11am just as he said he would and I thanked the receptionist at the hotel who had been a star, she was dealing with some moaning white girl that was with a black guy, and I praised her to the owner and left.
Its best to instantly befriend the hotel receptionist with a hand shake and your surname because she has the instant button 50% Discount button at her finger tips, I always wait till the coast is clear of all other customers even letting 2 or 3 go before me, as not to embarrass proceedings.
This young lady in question was wearing for the second day the most amasing lipstick, anyhow I will get back to that in a minute.
Waiting at 11am
Graunt sorry if spell is wroung, gave me a small history lesson of the area on our drive into Moterey
We part not before him showing me some fantastic iphone photos of his dads Harley and his super Ducati Monster, he was off to see his girlfriend and it was her birthday, so I might have been a bit of a gooseberry hanging around with them today.
A short walk alone the seashore with the very fine sand and acorn shells between my toes, found me sat next to this man for the next two hours, after I had just drank a half of Gunniess in the LONDON BRIGDE on the quayside at $5 now I am alone I am worrying about money.
The bizzare thing about this meeting is he ended up giving me a beer and I am drinking it now
He talked after a bit of encouragement for 2 hours on all sorts, English American History, the Tudorv Wars, today state of America and general World troubles.
He had been made famous a few times by some of his signs attracting mass media coverage, and started to tell me what he did with the money he was taking, Taxis to good resterants Hotel stays trips to other cities, $12.000.00 twelve thousand dollas with a sign saying GIVE CASH OR I WILL VOTE FOR ROMNEY”
Anyhow I gave him a dollar for the photo and we eat Avacardos that I had bought yesterday in the last town, we parted and I was full of knowlage again.
Nicest hotel yet only went in to ask the price before the long walk out of town.
Dumped my stuff the off out for walks to get lost, anyhow evening meal time I drop into a Lebonese Reterant a bit very much café style not fancy at all, eat the most regular meal very nice to and the waiteress asks me about myself and she tells me she is native Mexican.
Oh I was in Castorville and Salida yesterday and procceded to tell here about her home town, people bars and all, then she said she had been speacking to her cousin that afternoon and she said a nice Englishman had stayed in the hotel that she is the receptionist in now this is a back street in Moterery and Salidais is 30 miles way.
Ah I said the girl with the amasing lipstick colours, yes she has told me all about you.
I have been lazy the last three days so a big big hitch is needed to get me down to Los Angeles for Wednesday afternoon.
7am its an early start today as getting out of any town or city is the difficult part when hitch hiking, I am just leaving the Monterey Hotel the nicest and cheapest so far, its was LABOUR DAY yesterday so nobody hung around last night so hotel rates go back to a norm, if in Monterey you must stay here.
Its large rooms and Victorian décor is just grand to the bland places I have stay in all the while.
So off the bed and I must go
Well that worked early start and 320 miles covered and at my dear friends Mr Micks house,
thank you to the 4 hitches some just around a few bends some a few miles and one 300 miles to the door.
A short bus ride started my 320mile day, the most difficult part of theses hitch hiking trips visiting a town is that you have to find your way back out to the major road or Highway 1 in my case.
So its a small one block walk to the transit center (Bus Station) listening out to where you want to go because each bus has a recorded message at can be heard from across any the street, you just obviously have to know where and in which direction you need to be going.
The hotel receptionist that you have done your best to befriend over the last 18 hours is your best bet here, she will draw on a make pulled cross from the reception desk and say ” You need to drive 3 blocks, take a right on Ingelwood Drive(there’s always an Ingelwood) two blocks onto Douglas (there’s always a Douglas)and its straight in front of you.
Well I can assure you that’s mostly one and a half miles, so the bus is the only way to go, or no buses the taxi ranks normally opposite the transit center, along with the CLOSED information center.
The only information I have eve needed in a US information Center is what time do you OPEN.
Bus drivers also know the best places for people like myself to stand so will always drop off at the best pickup points this one being at the exit of the Village of Camel. A 15 minute wait and I am picked up by an old car, running towards your pick up its best to have a reason for why you dont want a lift handy just in case you have a bad feeling.
I get towards the car and the window is down, hope in I am only going 20 miles, fine thank you and we are off, the gentleman and that only way to describe him, worked for The Big Sur Lodge Hotel as a Maintenance Man, so the discussion starts off about how the hotel wont listen to him about spending only a few dollars more on proper quality brass fittings.
So as you can see the agenda is you talk or they talk, we disscuse the ins and outs of buying proper products and then we talk about prices of hotel rooms, then on how he came to be working at the Lodge.
He was a small builder that wasn’t getting paid by his clients, he had 3 staff and couldnt pay suppliers as he wasnt getting paid, “I even did work for church folks and they never paid, some did but others nope” he said. Final thing that finished him was he was owed $12,000 and it took two years to get the money though the courts, thats it I`m done he said and was offered a job 20 miles away at The BIG SUR lodge.
His wife helped out at a wildlife ranch and a Condor feather lay across his windscreen as you can see
We parted at the Logde and a car drivers quarter of a mile is nothing like the mile I then had to walk up hil to the bakery he had told me to visit.
I visit the bakery and leave my details for the nice youngman I met walking up the hill, he had just finished his bakery shift and was walking home we are now talking about the middle of no where.
I get to the bakery and introduce myself to Chris whomes name I was given, not realy going to say anymore, only that I do hope Chris gives the young lad may details as he deserves better that the reception I got.
So not even a photo taken and Chris your attitude will keep you where you stand,and I do hope the young chap contacts me as I would love to offer him a job.
The young couple in the next photo heard all that went on and offered me a lift away from the bakery/Deli place.
The girl was German and the drivers aunt had a bakery, so intant talk of Rye Breads Pumpanikel soon drowned the thoughts of this bakery I had walk a mile up hill in the blazing sun to see.
They were off walking for 2 hours and appoligies for the short lift about 5 miles, where I found myself trying alsorts of signs or Flys to catch that fish.
Anything even standing sideways
Why do people insist on turning cameras when they take photos, it really doesn’t help my writings.
The next tow lads that picked me up were in there 30s and had just returned from the BURNING MAN FESTIVAL in Navada, two great folks again, I was given 6 small lifts around six very secninc bends while we talked quite fillasssopicly about life past and present, I was left with a bottle of Water and a Bag of Walnuts.
Now I am stuck, I was told by Mick and others this could be my problem on the coastal road beautiful but baron of cars, almost resorting to the sign saying CERIAL KILLER.
Its now hot, out with the sun hat and the factor 50, somebody somewhere is making vulture noises, as I look up they are circling above as if to taxi land on my patch.
Trick is when in this sort of situation is find shade, there isn’t any if there had been it would have been out of site of any future lifts.
I desperately reword my sign two or three times pointless task as you need passing traffic to hitch hike, not sure how long I was there, and the thought of praying was entering into the equation.
I had read on the internet that a referance to your home country can help.
So I madly rub the Dry-Wipe board clean just showing the Union Jack Flag as I have seen an on coming car, oh is a Mustang Convertible how cool would that be a few miles in the rear of that, with two women and me, driving out of the BIG SUR into the Sunset.
The car reverses back a I see a young lady driving and a young man in the passengers seat , well our drivers side.
Sorry to keep using the words young people, but they are I cant get my head around my age
So did I pray no, but close to it, Bret and Kylie were on there way back from Carmel the small town I started at after a night away to celebrate their 3rd Wedding Anerversay, they had left their 18 month old bady girl with Kylies Mother and father, the first break away and a road trip they had always wanted to do, now they have a would be CERIAL KILLER in the back of there hired Mustang Convertable.
Now we are talking talking talking and I would like to say all enjoying each others company, there two have just lifted me out of the middle of no where, ” It was the FLAG that did it ” Bret said, as we carried on into our journey.
We talked of food and the mention of bills in restaurants and the costs of meals, its a good job we both don’t drink he said, I had to keep a little bit quiet then.
Talk of family family units and just general healthy talk then some 200 miles into the journey they both explained that they were Mormons.
Well if the Merman religion is as nice as these two folks had been to me its as they are it must be a very Special faith, we had a wonderful afternoon salutaly wonderful afternoon.
We stopped and eat, flow a kite, didn’t like to tell Bret I was British Kite flying Champion in 1985 as he asked me a little concerned how he was going to get this thing down.
” You need to take it out of the wind window Bret ” I very unassumingly explained.
It was fantastic to watch this young married couple enjoying there own company as I watched from a far, Steve Steve come and have a go, ” NO NO your doing fine ” and I turn away again.
Some of this wonderfull coastline
Then on to Santa Claus Bay, where I left them to themselves again.
I can see why people want to live here, we all move on and an offer to drive me to Mick almost front door well the hotel across the road was taken as we hugged the coast to Huntington Beach passing through Malabo, is that where the drink comes from and they both laugh as I just realised what I had just said.
Guys you were my saviours 300 miles you put up with me in the back of your car, and you could have lobbed me out anywhere, I hope that I paid my way in the little bits that I added, GOD BLESS your small family.
Three days in the Californian Sun you need too keep that FACTOR +50 pasted on and the use of a pushbike helps sweat it out, DAY 1 I spend the day at the famous SO-CAL Speed Shop, made famous by a T.V Show a few years back, Day 2, I ride off looking for Huntington Beach and find LONG BEACH.
Day 3 I go looking for Huntington Beach and find Sunset Beach, and final find Huntinton while cycling 10 miles in the wrong direction.
Heres Mr Mick at his desk, with the Worlds BEST HOT RODS painted by him and his team.
ZZ TOPS Next years stage car
ZZ TOPs mans own car even those he doesn’t drive, Californian is about cars
13,000 Hours and $13,000.00 paint job, with maybe $400,000.00 tied up in some of theses works of art.
Transition shot now taking us to Seal Beach,
its bin a blast
finally thank you Felix (Felix means HAPPY) for asking me to be your guest in the 1st Class lounge at Detroit Airport.
Then the security officer one of six looking at passports at the door of the plain, see the Egyptian Stamp and silver star in the middle of my passport, I was just feet away from stepping onto the plain to Heathrow, after having to explain it, thank you that was a very competent answer the officer said, as the queue behind me stood still for what seemed to be 5 minutes, may have been only one or two.
“Carry on” he said
I was on my way home.