To El Capitan Beach SP 56km
To Carpinteria 62km
Yesterday we cycled out from beneath the cloud, away from the fog, and for the first time in a while, cycled in sunshine. California, up until now, certainly has not been as you see it in the movies, sunshine, bikinis and beach volleyball. It's been cold, often foggy, and windy. But suddenly that has changed. I saw my first bikini clad beach girl today. The sea has changed colour, from a cold grey green, to a clear blue, with startling white surf, and people are no longer wearing puffer jackets. The question is, will this strange phenomenon continue? We hope so.
Last night we treated ourselves to a Motel. Hot showers, recharged electrics, good wifi, and two Mexican meals, and a long comfortable sleep without snorting raccoons looking for our food cache. It's got to be worth a few extra dollars.
We have cycled through an area heavy with Grannie towns, RV Parks, and Mobile homes. It seems the climate in this area suits the pensioners. Lots of well manicured, neat and tidy Mobile Home parks, and RV Parks, and cafeterias filled with older folk. That doesn't mean they've all slowed down. There are plenty of grey haired surfers, male and female, cyclists, joggers and walkers, and the golf courses we pass are pretty busy for mid week.
It's definitely getting warmer. Ju went for her first swim yesterday, and I saw my second bikini. This one was a lovely, two piece, day glow pink. The wearer had long silky, blonde hair, a wonderfully sculptured body, and an Adams apple twice the size of his boobs. Hmmmm.
Yet another ideal of California was shattered yesterday. A group of families were on the beach. I was told they had hired a female life guard to watch over the swimmers. In my shallow, naive, TV and movie corrupted, male mind, I immediately thought.....Pamela Anderson. Shattered. 5 foot 2 inches, tall and 5 feet two inches round, wearing tight red cycle shorts, with a fog horn voice and attitude of a rottweiler. The kids were too scared to go in too deep, in case she came to rescue them. Job done. Imagine all the dads getting "out of their depth", if Pamela was the lifeguard.
We cycled through Santa Barbara. It was all I expected. Very wealthy, small boutique stores, cafes and bars, with expensive cars sitting outside. Most seem to live in gated, locked communities, protecting themselves from the other half.... those sleeping in parks, under bushes and on the beaches, with all their possessions in a stolen supermarket trolley. The very obvious difference between the "haves" and the "havenots" keeps slapping me in the face.
We are just out of Los Angeles. We are meeting new cyclists, and catching up with old aquaintences. It's still a lot of fun exchanging stories, plans and advice. I'm a little uncomfortable with being regarded as the "expert", the most "experienced". I still feel as if I'm learning every day. I'm still loving being on my bike. I'm loving sharing this adventure with Juliet. (Last night she reached her arm over me in the tent. "Cool" I thought, a cuddle. Nope. She was measuring how much room I had on my side of the tent.) It seems surreal to think that I have cycled around the globe, and equally surreal that in a few days it will all be over.