Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Keep your eyes on the road and hands upon the wheel

I left the Motel 6 this morning, put the top down on the 'stang and kept heading north. I don't remember how far I'd driven when I saw the sign for "elephant seal vista". 'Pfffft', I thought, 'as if there would be any elephants OR seals'! Just kidding, but I really didn't think there'd be any seals. There were lots of cars parked, so I pulled in, looked over the railing, and sure enough, there were seals!! Big ones too! Then I looked a bit further down the beach, and there were hundreds of them. It was hard to tell if they were alive, but every so often, one would give a contended sigh and roll over. Pretty cool. There were also heaps of squirrels running around, which people were feeding. I clicked my tongue at one, and he headed right for me. I didn't have anything to give him, but he kept coming after me. A squirrel chasing Carly!

Other animals I saw today included the biggest eagle I've ever seen, the biggest bull I've ever seen (who had the best prime real estate ever - a nice grassy hill overlooking the ocean!) and a teeny tiny hummingbird, who flew off backwards before I could get my camera out.

I can't begin to describe how wonderful today was. It was a little chilly, I had the heater going on my hands and my jacket on, but the sun came out around 11. I had my new friends DJ Spinbad and Richard Cheese to accompany me (on CD) and whenever I got the chance to go from 0 to 65, I'd let out a whoop of joy - boy could that baby go!! And funnily enough, there were more than a few opportunities to do that - there were traffic lights every so often on the highway. I counted about 7 seconds, but what with it being an automatic, and me not quite flooring it, I reckon the Stig could get it to 60 in about 5 seconds.

The thing is, the mustang gives off a certain impression - it looks a bit mean, and that it needs to go really really fast. But in reality, I was more than happy to set the cruise control for the speed limit, sit back and enjoy the ride. But the people in front of me kept pulling over to let me pass. I like having someone in front of me, so I can see what's coming up. If they're behind me, I get anxious that they'll get annoyed at me for going the speed limit!!

Anyway, the Californian coastline is really beautiful, and I loved going from yellow sand and blue ocean to autumnal pine forests. I took it really easy and ended up getting into San Francisco around 4pm. I thought I'd find my hostel first and then go for more of a cruise around town, but just getting there was so stressful!! Too many one way streets (I had to do an illegal left turn to get to my street...but I only realised it was illegal after I'd already committed to it!) and trams everywhere. Thankfully, there was a Hertz drop off point on the same street, so I pulled in there and sorted everything else, and only had to walk 2 blocks (downhill thankfully) to my hostel.

So that brings us up to speed. If I can figure out how to plug my camera in, I'll try to upload some photos, because I've got some good ones. I've got 5 days here, I'm looking forward to exploring!!

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