Montag, 25. Juni 2012

June 25 - Pigeon Point to Santa Cruz

That morning our alarm clock rang at 8:00 and I got up at 8:30. We prepared our already hard and dry bread in the kitchen and got some good travel tips from a Canadian guy whom we had already met the evening before. He suggested to buy travel and outdoor stuff in an REI and told us that there we could use a bus from Monterey to Big Sur in case of a time problem.

First thing we did after checking out was walking around the lighthouse place and enjoying the beautiful view. The place was recommended as a perfect location for watching marine animals. Unfortunately it wasn’t the time for whale watching: gray whales travel up and down the coast from late November to January.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse

our 6-bed dormitory, a common bathroom and kitchen plus
the front desk were in this house that belonged to the lighthouse
more houses for guests
ready for the bike stage from Pigeon Point to Santa Cruz
view from the lighthouse place to the Ocean
Pigeon Point Lighthouse and YH houses

still the lighthouse

view point from the lighthouse to the Ocean

Our bike trip started at 11:00 and I would summarize it as the following:

Slightly up, flat, steep up. After a break when Christoph helped another bicyclist, it was flat and after lunch break a little bit hilly to Santa Cruz.

After about 2km I already felt tired that morning. My legs wanted a break and a day off… After about 5 km I suffered from a backache. Since then I had packed my purse, a fleece, tissues and the drinking bottles in my backpack but this had been too much for my back. I needed to get rid off all the weight in my backpack. Christoph was a gentleman and stored my purse, the drinking bottles and fleece on his bikerack and in his panniers, thus my back and my butt (even though I was wearing padded bike underwear my butt had been aching from the 2nd day on) could recover.

on the road
On the peak of a steep hill I guy stopped us by waving a front wheel of his bike. He told us that he had had a flat tire and that he had already managed to repair the inner tube. His problem was to adjust the tire correctly over the inner tube. Christoph, who has a lot of experience in repairing bikes helped the very grateful guy. The guy also told me that he would buy my bike immediately if it wasn’t a women’s bike.

After that unexpected break it was more or less flat again and we passed a strawberry farm that was recommended by the guy with the flat tire.

We had lunch and went grocery shopping in Davenport from 13:30 to 15:00. Before we entered that small village we were a little bit worried because our bike map didn’t show a detailed street map of Davenport. But when we finally arrived at Davenport our worries had been useless: Davenport only consisted of a couple of houses along Highway 1 (no side streetsJ )


lunch on a patio in Davenport (it was pretty windy!)

After lunch it was a little bit hilly to Santa Cruz but I could cope with it.

In Santa Cruz, together with Monterey the biggest city we passed during our bike trip, it took us a while to find our Quality Inn which resulted in me being in a bad temper. Christoph had noted down the wrong house number: instead of 1101 Ocean Street he had noted 101 Ocean Street.

When we arrived at the beginning of the street we figured out that Ocean Street started with the 200-block. We were irritated and finally I asked the receptionist of a hotel located at the beginning of the street. He told me that the Quality Inn we were looking for was 4 traffic lights away. I was tired and in a bad mood because 4 traffic lights meant 10 blocks (more or less uphill) away from our current position. I walked the bike because I felt to tired to ride back through all the traffic in Santa Cruz. Even though there was a bike lane I didn’t feel that comfortable because we were looking for our hotel during rush hour, so we had to stop at almost every traffic light, were passed by trucks and cars all the time and that after 50 km when I was already tired.

When we finally arrived at our Quality Inn our hotel room was on the 2nd floor and we had to carry our bikes upstairs to store them in the room. Christoph helped me with my bike and the only things I did were taking a shower and taking a nap from 18:00 - 19:30. During that time Christoph took a shower too and went for a walk around our Inn to find a place to have supper. (He had guessed right when he thought I might need some privacy to recover and calm down:-) )

When he returned we went to a diner close to our Inn.

a typical diner
Christoph couldn't resist ordering a huge dessert:-)

At 22:30 I went to bed, Christoph at 23:30 after surfing the internet and planning our further bike stages again.

Tour stage

Tour stage: Pigeon Point to Santa Cruz
Distance: 50.12 km
Total time (breaks included): 11:00 - 17:00
Average speed: 14.4 km/h
Real running time: 3h 30 min

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