In the Winds of Change We Always Find Our Direction
It is July 4th, Independence day in all of USA and we are going to a party! So far today we have walked down the coastal boardwalks of LA, taken a trip on the Water Taxi and now we are about to go outside on the balcony of Apartment 17 in the middle of LA to see the Fireworks! I’ve already made so many friends just talking here and here comes the first round of glittering sparkly bursts of power! But I am excited for another reason as well, tomorrow we start off on our first Road Trip of our stay here in America!!
This current road-trip is dedicated to California. I am so excited to see more of this country! We have been in LA for six weeks now and I am so ready to head off into open adventure!
Our first stop is San Louie Obispo, A hot spring town on the coast. We are going to spend 1 night camping in our blue pop-out tent and of course, swim in the hot spring pools, which in our case has a huge double slide and tornado twist! As we drove up the coastal road, (The Big Sur, which is like the Great Ocean Road except higher) I saw farms with lush green valleys, animals grazing and sunbaking and the ocean winking at the cars as they sped by on the curvy and twisty road. After San Louis Obispo, our next stop was Laguna Seca which is “The Dry Lagoon” in Spanish. This was the town of the Formula One Motorbike Racing Track! Unfortunately, we only arrived after the golden sunset, so when we had pulled into our campsite, it was pitched black! We would have to wait until morning to catch a glimpse of the famous track. We just threw our pop up tent out and WHOOSH, it, well, popped up!
We were just about to go to sleep when three huge trucks full of kids and camping equipment pulled up in the campsite next to us. There were about Fifty kids and only Six adults and they were all trying to get the five big non-pop up tents to stay on their swaying legs. This was a hard looking task especially because all fifty kids simply had no intention of going to sleep and ran around screaming at the top of their lungs and dancing by the fireplace. The ‘adultos’ definitely looked like they needed some help, and Lalika and I wanted to play as we were not tired at all either. So, mum and dad went over to offer their assistance which was gladly accepted and Lalika and I went to run around and play tag with the children. They were all Spanish and none of them spoke any English, so I had a fun time practising my Spanish, which I had started to learn in Australia. My Spanish was not perfect, but we could converse on a basic level which meant I could say my name and where I was from. We played for about an hour and then finally when all five tents were up, we said goodnight and went to sleep.
The next morning we all woke to the sound of motorbikes! Lalika and I quickly ran outside to the sight of the HUMUNGOUS Racetrack. A couple of motorcyclers were practising so we got a first-hand view on how a motorbike would kill the course!
We left soon after breakfast and drove on to the city of San Francisco! But by now we were about 890 kilometres from the warm south, so when we arrived in the city centre it felt like we were back in the Melburnian winter we had left back in Australia. It was way too cold to camp, so instead we decided to stay in a motel on the north side of Lombard street, which was home to the curviest road in the world.
Immediately after placing all our bags in our room we went out to sightsee. We started at the Golden Gate Park where we climbed all the tall lumpy hills to get a view of the Triangular shaped buildings in the middle of the city, before we entered the Japanese Garden and saw all the little ponds with rainbow and golden fishies in them, swimming happily. Then we made our way to Fisherman’s Wharf where we played the old arcade games of the eighties in the Arcade museum, which looked out to Alcatraz, the prison which once housed the most difficult prisoners of America, including Al Capone. After a good round of arm wrestling and pinball machines, we wondered onto the food court of Fisherman’s Wharf. It was so cold, so a warm rustic tomato soup in a bread bowl and sourdough pizza from the Boudin Sour Dough Factory was in order for everyone. It really got the warm blood pumping through the veins again!
We only stayed one night but it was a really fun night and with an Indiana Jones Movie Marathon and Indian Food, well, I could easily say that we all loved it! But no visit to San Francisco is complete without a walk down the most Crooked Road in the World! Which is exactly where we walked on the morning before we checked out of our motel and drove over the Golden Gate Bridge, heading to our next anchorage for the night.
After driving completely out of San Fran, we did a turn eastwards and headed out to Pleasure Cove at Lake Berryessa, where due to the extremely hot summer weather we could camp again but not before having a swim in the ice-cool lake! We had a picnic dinner while battling with Mosquitos before going to sleep. Now, we were on a roll with Lakes because after an awe-inspiring breath-taking drive in The Sierra Nevada of The USA, we arrived at Lake Tahoe, the second deepest lake in America and probably the coldest! We pulled into a Super 8 motel before we took a walk down to the shore of the lake and watched the sunset. I am going to sleep early tonight, tomorrow we are going on a long hike up in the surrounding mountains of Lake Tahoe: The second largest Alpine Lake in the world! There are so many cute furry chipmunks and squirrels here! In Australia we have zero squirrels and zero chipmunks, so I am always trying to catch a photo of them! But now it is time to sleep, then hike! Goodnight! (Hey, that rhymes!)
In the morning after a quick muffin breakfast we drove up to start off our hike and began to walk, I have done some pretty grueling hikes and I can easily say this one was one of the hardest! We hiked completely uphill through muddy ravines, sharp rock quarries and dense forests for a good 4 hours but boy, what a rewarding sight! From 2,700 metres (8,000 ft) we saw the beautiful clear aqua blue lakes of Tahoe and Aloha! We were so high! Higher than Mt Kosciuszko, The highest mountain in Australia! We had a picnic with the view before hearing a bear snuffle from behind the trees! Sadly, we didn’t get to see him or her but it was so cool to have heard a bear! After eating, we hiked back down and ended up getting attacked by mosquitos at the Mineral Water Spring at the bottom of the hike! We had to drink quickly while we kept getting stung! After making it back to our car with millions of photos of chipmunks, squirrels, hummingbirds, the views and blue jays (blue jays look like they have bright blue mohawks!) we drove back to the swimming area of Lake Tahoe where we had a quick dip in the pool as the sun went down!
I have already seen so much in California and I just can’t wait to see more of America!
Stay tuned for my next entry!
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