Dienstag, 26. Juni 2012

June 26 - Santa Cruz to Monterey

When we started our bike trip that morning I immediatley realized that it would have been better if I had stayed"in bed". I was so tired and kind of exhausted and I really needed a day off to recover. But we had already booked our next accomodation and so I decided to grit my teeth and to ride the bike.

preparing for the trip in front of our Quality Inn

The first part of our trip was still in the city Santa Cruz and it was no fun to ride to bike next to all that cars. But as I already mentioned: Riding a bike in California is much more better than in Germany. Usually the cardrivers are careful and we had bike lanes almost everywhere and traffic signs to remind the the cardrivers to share the road with pedestrians and bikes.

bike lane in Santa Cruz (like in every other city in CA)

common traffic sign
While stopping on a red traffic light in Santa Cruz Christoph was asked by a cardriver where he came from and where he was going to. The driver was a kind of local journalist and wanted to interview us. Unfortunately Christoph had to decline that offer because we had a long tour stage waiting for us and didn't wanna arrive after sunset. So the cardriver asked for permission to take some pictures of us and when the traffic light turned green he drove ahaed, stopped a couple of hundred meters in front of us and took some pictures while we were passing him. (Maybe we are now "famous" in Santa Cruz:-) )

After Santa Cruz we had some climbs and descents and this time there was a good part of the Highway we weren't allowed to use. Therefore we had to make a detour which led us through lots of strawberry fields (what a nice smell:-) )

strawberry fields

lots of people working in the fields

There was a short but very steep ascent after we had passed the strawberry fields and after that it was flat again. But I had laughed to soon... There was a strong headwind blowing...
I attempted to use Christoph's slipstream but it didn't work out very well because his recumbent bike wasn't really tall enough...

Anyway after 5hours we finally reached our lunch place in Moss Landing. We were seated in the wintergarden and I enjoyed the seafood. Moss Landing is known for its wildlife and while we were eating we observed the wild life.

enjoying my clam chowder and shrimps

poor Christoph (seafood area) could find french fries and chicken:-)

sea lions in Moss Landing

closer view of the piled up sea lions

harbour seal (=> I need a better camera:-) )

a seagull (?)

ready to continue
 In Moss Landing we had covered 40km of our tour stage but there were still 35km lying ahaed of us. Unfortunately Christoph had miscalculated the length of our trip. He had told me we had to bicycle 60km in total but in fact we had 75km from Santa Cruz to Monterey. We started realizing this mistake after lunch and I wasn't really pleased:-) It wasn't really that hilly after lunch but we still fought the headwind and when we approached Marina the bike path (next to the street) was up and down, up and down... When we finally reached Marina I was so tired that I asked Christoph to walk the bike together for a while. He suggested that I should try to catch a bus or maybe we would find a nice guy who could take us with him. I wasn't really sure what to do and so we continued walking the bike. There was bus station on our way and more as a matter of interest we took a closer look to the schedule. I didn't really believe in finding a bus station and a proper bus still runnning to Monterey at that time. But I was lucky! There was a bus going to Monterey and we only had to wait for about 15 minutes!!! Yeepiiee. When the bus arrived Christoph helped me to store my bike on the bike rack of the bus and he decided to bicyle the rest of the way. I asked the driver to let me know when I had to get off but he said "no problem". My bus stop was the terminal station. By bus it only took 15 minutes and when I saw the distance and the hilly bike path we were passing by bus I was sooo lucky that I had caught the bus. At the terminal station the busdriver had to show me how to release my bike from the bike rack and then I walked my bike to our "Monterey Surf Inn" which was located almost on top of a steep hill (I walked about 20 more minutes up....). Christoph and I had already decided that the upcoming day would be my day off and our prepartion day for the next tour stages as well as our laundry day. So at check-in I just extended our stay by one more night (so far we had only booked a room for one night).  I had taken the bus at 19:15 and arrived at the hotel at about 20:00. First thing after storing my bike in the room was taking a shower.  
our room in the Monterey Surf Inn that tend to
be our home for the next 4 nights

our room was located at the very end
 When I came out of the shower Christoph was already there. He had arrived at 20:15 and had been waiting for me to open the door for another 15minutes (sorry Christoph, I didn't expect you that early:-) )Christoph took a shower too and then we went to a shopping and restaurant complex close to our Inn. First we wanted to eat italian cuisine but at 21:00 the restaurant was already about to close. So we had no choice and went to the adjacent Chinese restaurant. 
my food: shrimps, as always
Christoph's very first try to eat with chopsticks!
Yippee, he got some food.... (I still remember my first try:-) )
 It was Christoph's first try to eat with chopsticks. But after a while he gave up: it was too complicated and he was still to hungry:-) When we came back from the restaurant our room smelled really bad of sweat... So I said to Christoph that all sweaty stuff had to sleep outside. He wasn't really convinced about that idea but didn't disagree either. So we put his windstopper and waterproff jacket and my t-shirt on a chair outside our room what proved to be a very bad idea.... (more about that on June 27). Bedtime was at 23:00 for the 2 of us.
Tour stage

Tour stage: Santa Cruz to Monterey
Distance: 75 km (for me: 60 km, remaining 15 km by bus)
Total time (breaks included): 11:15 - 19:15 (for me, Christoph arrived at 20:00)
Average speed: 12.86 km/h
Real running time: 4h 40 min

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