Benicia, California – day 1

It was a nice day getting here to Benicia. Up this morning, we had breakfast at the motel and then we took a walk up Pacific Avenue to see a bit of Santa Cruz’s downtown area. It was OK, but I think some of the other towns we’ve seen outshine it. But, we found a good coffee shop and had a bit of the old Java to get us going.

Then, back at the room, we both spent some time on our computers before we checked out. We left the car at the motel after checkout and walked across the street and rented two cruiser bicycles and went for an hour’s ride along the coastal bike and walking trail that goes west from the wharf area. A coastal fog was around but not too bad and it was a good ride.

Later, on the way out of town, we took a ride out Bay street and up into the Univeristy of California at Santa Cruz (UCSC). It was interesting, to say the least. I’ve never seen a campus quite like this one. It was widely and sparsely spread out through a hilly and forested area. All the roads quickly turned onto small twisty turny things that dead ended into unlikly parking lots. It was all quite beautiful. But without a map and some study, I don’t know how anyone would ever find their way around the place.

The ride from Santa Cruz up to San Francisco (SF) on Highway 1 took us through some more isolated and beautiful California coastal scenery. Miles and miles of it. Towards the end, as we approached SF, we stopped into Pacifica where I’d come with Dave on my last visit to the area last April. We had a cuppa there and I sent Dave an E-Mail so he had someidea of our probable arrival time and then we were off again.

SF was only 16 miles up the road but still, to get through the city, over the Golden Gate Bridge and then across the east side and up to Benicia was a business of nearly two hours.

The aproach through SF was fun as always and also a bit nerve wracking as it is not a city I am deeply familiar with. But, the roads towards the Golden Gate Bridge wre well marked so for the most part, I just followed them and enjoyed the ambiance of the citygoing by. I was conscious of reading one of Amy Tan’s books recently, “The Bone Setter’s Daughter”, in which a lot of the story unfolds in SF.

Finally, the bridge appeared and it was up and over. Colette and I are planning to come back into SF on Saturday (I’m describing Thursday’s journey here and writing from Dave’s place on Friday morning). We’re going to see if we can noodle out how to use the BART System which will be anadventure in itself, I think. C’s been on many of the world’s large city transport systems (Paris, London, etc.) so I think she’ll be good at it. So, when we return, we’ll BART in and go to SF’s Fisherman’s Wharf and, if possible, walk over to the Golden Gate Brige and take a walk over it and back which should be fun.

More about my friend, Dave, and his place soon. Today, we’re just laying about, washing clothers and enjoyed some down time and some chat time.


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