Mittwoch, 27. Juni 2012

June 27- Monterey

Well done Katja!
When we came out of our room that morning our clothes were gone! I should have listened to Christoph, who wasn't really convinced of that idea....
First of all we still did believe in the good in people: Christoph asked me to ask the housekeeping ladies if they had taken our stuff and washed it (kind of extra service):-) => very naive we were:-)
Of course they didn't know anything about our clothes. Then I went to the receptionist and asked her if she had seen something or someone but she denied and looked pitiful but also amused ("stoopid tourists":-) ) at me. She told me that employees of that Inn were usually around til 3 a.m. in the morning but after that nothing was under surveillance anymore. And she added that homeless people were going around every night and trying to find something...
Christoph and I really hope that our clothes were stolen by homeless people (they might need it) but I am not really sure: our neighbour left very early in the morning and it might have been a good opportunity for him too (we grant the homeless the clothes but not "our neighbour"). Christoph took it very well: his jacket was worth over 150 EUR but he wasn't mad at me at all (thank you Christoph!).

So the plans for the day changed a little bit:-) After having a poor breakfast that was included in the Inn price (only sweet stuff, I hat sweets for breakfast...) we were looking for a laundromat on the internet. Then we walked to the place and washed and dried our clothes (we were lucky: it was free detergent day:-),so we could save some money but compared to the value of our clothes it was nothing ). We had to ask for help because none of us knew how to handle those washing machines and dryers. Washing took us from 10:00 to 12:00, then we bought something to drink and eat in the adjacent grocery store and went back to our room. As I already mentioned, the plans for that day had changed: we were looking for an outdoor outfitter and found one in Marina (close to that place where I had got on the bus the day before. The Canadian guy we had met in the lighthouse hostel had recommended REI (a very good outdoor outfitter in the US)). So we decided to go there and buy a new windstopper for Christoph. I still had 2 function t-shirts that should be enough for the rest of the trip. But Christoph needed a new windstopper. And we also needed a new bike map because ours only showed the way from San Francisco to shortly after Big Sur (Big Sur would be our next tour stage). And we also decided that it would be a good opportunity to test if Christoph's recumbent bike fit into the bus racks. So we took our bikes and went downhill to the place where I was dropped off the day before. We found a bus to Marina and when the bus came there was only one empty rack for my bike. But the bus driver was nice and let Christoph put his bike into the bus.
The bus left at 14:15 and from the bus station to the REI it was only a short ride on the bike.

I had to take this picture for Christoph:
he loves those bike racks!

REI in Marina

We spent about 2 hours in the REI, Christoph found the same windstopper that was stolen from him (the new one in black, the old one was in red, so in the future the bike pictures of him will change:-) and he also got a discount for it:-) ). He also bought maps of California and a new bike map for the remaining trip. I tried on some t-shirts but wasn't convinced, so it was just shopping for him this time. Then we went window shopping a little bit and finally bought an ice cream in a supermarket. At 16:45 we took the bus back, and this time Christoph put his bike on the bus rack. It was the first time for the bus driver to transport a recumbent bike and he said if the bike was steady he would try it. It worked:-)

all buses in California have at least a bike rack in front of the bus

When we came back to our Inn we had dinner in our room and started planning our upcoming tour stages. Christoph was calculating and searching the net and we were busy from 18:00 to 1:00 a.m in the morning.
The problem was the following:
1) I didn't wanna make more than 50km a day anymore
2) the next 150 km were supposed to be the most beautiful part of the Pacific Coast: one option would be to take the bus from Monterey to Big Sur (about 50km) and then continue by bike to Lucia (another 45 km) in one day (only to let everybody know: between Monterey and Big Sur and Big Sur and Lucia there was nothing except nature!). But then we would miss the bike trip from Monterey to Big Sur and the intensity of that trip wouldn't be the same as if we rode our bikes. And we still couldn't make sure if every busdriver allowed Christoph to put his bike on the bike racks or if 2 bick racks were vacant by the time we wanted to take the bus. The bus only operated 3 times a day and if we had to wait for the next one it would already be very late to continue afterwards from Big Sur to Lucia by bike. So many uncertainties... And the most important thing was: Actually Christoph wished to bike the upcoming 150 km, so we had to make sure to find some accomodation at these places: Big Sur, Lucia and Ragged Point.
3) The next problem was that these 3 places were really small villages. Lucia was the biggest problem: there were only 2 places to stay: one Inn and a hermitage. The Inn had been booked out til August and the hermitage was also booked out for the next 4 nights. So what we finally did were booking the hermitage (only 2 single rooms were available but we were lucky to get at least something) from July 1 to 2nd and decided to book the other accomodations the next morning (so we could make some telephone calls and asked for vacancy and prices because not every place could be booked via internet).
4) At that point we already knew that we wouldn't make it til LA. Christoph had already booked a rental car from Germany for a very good price and we were supposed to pick it up on July 4th. Changes would have made it even more expensive, so we had to be in LA on July 4. The plan was now to end our biking trip in a "big town" where we were able to find a car rental station. We would take the car from that town to LA and change cars over there on July 4th.
5) Another "problem" was that Christoph didn't have an international driver's licence and when I called some car rental companies they told me that we would need our German driver's licence plus the international one (this actual was not true, we rented our cars later without the international one because there is a special deal between Germany and the US!) But at that time we weren't sure and so we had to make sure that at least I got to a bigger city on July 3 to pick up a car!

=> everything was very complicated at that time:-)

Finally bedtime was at 1:30 a.m. and we were a little bit frustrated to be stucked in Monterey for the next 2 days (that meant that we had no changes to take any other day off for the rest of our whole trip! => made things stressful and complicated...)

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