Golden

Friday 30 September

Today was a special day.  We hired a convertible Ford Mustang in preparation for our journey down the Pacific coast highway.  Now I don’t want to brag about this too much but; we hired a convertible Ford Mustang to drive down the Pacific coast highway.  Yes, you read that right.  A convert…I’ll stop now I’m sickening myself.

Driving round San Francisco and then across The Golden Gate Bridge was the stuff dreams are made of.  It just felt epic.  I could easily have shed a tear such was the power of how it made me feel.  The area is so beautiful and the view from one of the many vantage points is breathtaking.  One of life’s little ambitions ticked off…again!

We headed down the coast and stopped at a little hostel and light house called Pigeon Point.  It was dark as we arrived, and it felt very lonely and atmospheric.  The man behind the counter was very chilled and slow of speech, listening to some lazy 60’s numbers on his radio, moving deliberately and lazily.  A total space cadet.  I’m lying wide awake in a comfortable bunk imagining him with an axe in his hands and a back packer mass grave down the cliff face.  Somewhere in the hostel there is a room filled with other people’s stuff he’s collecting.  Maybe he has a business on the side providing naive travelers to the sex trade.  Maybe I should stop ripping off every horror movie cliché and get some sleep.

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ALLLCATRAZZZ…!

Thursday 29 September

Spend the morning grinning from ear to ear with every new experience of San Fran.  Leaning out of the trams, climbing up the near vertical streets, seeing the bay and Fisherman’s Wharf for the first time…

Somehow we managed to blag two passes to Alcatraz.  It’s so popular sometimes it can be sold out for weeks in advance, but a very kind group told us two of their number had not turned up, and passed on the spares.  We were very lucky indeed, but we still might not get in as the tickets belong to a pair of OAP’s.  I say OAP, they’re about 50.  Either we kid on we’ve reached that ripe age, or we hope the attendant doesn’t check the passes properly.  Thank fully it’s the latter; I was never that good of an actor anyway.

Alcatraz is a wonderful experience.  It’s fascinating, educational, emotional and atmospheric.  And cold.  Very, very cold.  I would recommend anyone finds the time to visit.  One of life’s little ambitions ticked off.  I’m wandering around the grounds quoting lines from The Rock, which I think is what pretty much everyone else of a similar age is doing.  It’s a damn good film in spite of Nicholas Cage and Micheal Bay.

Party time tonight in the city.  After meeting with Jo’s friends we descend on the colourful and vibrant bars San Fran has to offer.  I decided to wear the kilt for the first time on the road to see how well it is received.  We jump from club to club but somehow the promise of the night fails to deliver.  It matters little, considering the amount of booze the four of us have managed to polish off.  Fun times all round but a sore head awaits in the morning.

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Leavin’ on a jet plane…

Wednesday 28 September

I write on board a Delta airlines flight to San Francisco.  The headphone sets cost $2.  The films $6.  Food around $8.  Considering I had all this free during the past 7 hours in my transatlantic flight from London to New York, I’m feel my nose has been put out of joint.  At least according to the flight computer (the only thing I can watch for nothing) there is only 3 hours until I land on the West coast.  The end of a very long day of travel that started at 7am in a small flat in Whetstone.  For all of my patriotism, which rears its ugly head sometimes, I actually really don’t like London.  The tube freaks me out.  All those people marching to work.  subterranean creatures spending years of their lives underground.  A race of rats.  I find it odd.  It’s not for me, so I leave to travel the world and find whatever it is I’m looking for.

Get off plane, get in shuttle to city centre, get out of shuttle, fall in love with San Francisco.  I meet Jo, my travel buddy at the youth hostel, and firmly sticking two fingers up to jet lag, we hit some bars.  I’m far too tired to continue.  Night.

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