U.S.A. – Cuba

We are in Havana! We stayed  a few more nights in the comfortable airbnb in a suburb of San Fran. In addition to bringing the motorbikes to the harbor for their journey home, and preparing ourselves for Cuba, we have been doing  a lot of eh .. cooking and cooking and cooking haha! What a joy to have your own kitchen again after months cooking on a one-burner gas. We made pasta with homemade pesto sauce, fresh lasagna, ravioli with a sauce of grilled pumpkin, goat cheese, nuts and sage etc etc. We shared the house with Andrea, a young woman from Minnesota who has moved there for work but hasn’t been able to find a permanent living space yet. And that was very nice. In the evening with a glass of wine she told us everything about America that we did not know and we had interesting discussions with her about Trump, poverty, possession of weapons in the USA, drug problems in San Fran and so on. I also did a lot of reading. I have bought a book about the history of GMOs (you have a lot of genetically manipulated food in stores here) and am still trying to form an opinion about it.

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Choices, choices, choices…

We are back in San Francisco. Eventually we spent another week in Santa Cruz, it was just such a nice place, Erik needed a little more time to do some work and we skated a lot. We then drove on to Montery. A chic place on the other side of the bay, with a total of 12 golf courses! The route to there went through agricultural area full of strawberry fields and it smelled so wonderfully sweet. For the lunch break we stopped under a few trees that were full of hummingbirds, fantastic! Driving with the new surfboards went fine, by the way. In Montery we spent a night at the campsite in the middle of the city park. It is right next to the army base and so we too were woken up in the morning by the sound of a trumpet haha. The camp ranger was also a skater and offered us his longboard so that we could skate down the hill in the morning, but we were out early and didn’t see him again. From Montery we drove south to where the highway 1 was again a beautiful coastal road along high cliffs. We slept at a campsite on a small river that ran to the sea and made a nice walk to a waterfall in the morning. In addition to everything else, we now also have to watch out for rattlesnakes.

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San Francisco – Santa Cruz

San Francisco, what a great city that is! So different from the last city we were in, Vancouver in Canada. Vancouver is a modern busy city full of skyscrapers, but it also has its own charm. San Francisco has only a few skyscrapers, is spaciously set up with beautiful Victorian houses and is located on a hill. It is a really atmospheric city, with a cozy, but maybe a little too touristy, port and cute little trams. The people are different. No rough people here in pickup trucks, instead we saw the first electric cars (since we are in the USA). We now also see organic shops everywhere. San Francisco was a Spanish mission post with the mission of course to convert the native Miwok population, with no more than 800 residents. The city is named after the patron saint San Franciscus (yes the same from animal day) Then the Goldrush came in 1849 and the city was flooded with miners and Chinese people. That did not go well together and the Chinese were banished to one neighborhood, Chinatown, which is now one of the tourist attractions. In 1906 the city, which is located near the Andreas fault line that we visited last week, was largely destroyed by an earthquake, but due to the great decisiveness of its inhabitants, the city was completely rebuilt in 1915. In the Second World War, San Fran became a drop off station for soldiers who were suspected of being homosexual. That was the founder of the large LBGTIQ community in the city. And of course here in 1967 “the summer of love” was a phenomenon / gathering in Haigh and Ashbury street (and in many more places in the world) where young people from all over the country came to be together, more than 100,000 to be precise. Young people with new ideals, against the Vietnam War (which killed almost 100 soldiers weekly in that summer). Against the consumerism and for a lot of love, peace and happiness hihi.

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Gualalalala, 1 month on the road and San Francisco

After the holy campground we drove on along the Avenue of the giants, with even more huge sequoias. What shall I say, it was beautiful again! Beautiful times three, because we had forgotten to refuel. And the nearest gas station was a long way back again, past the campsite we just came from. So we drove the Avenue of the Giants three times. It was a super-hot day but in the shade of the trees it was a nice and cool. Picked up an iced coffee in Miranda and then continued on the 101 again. However, the heat was too much for us. So hot .. and with that heat you no longer benefit from the wind while driving, that wind is still there but it is more as if you are driving into a hot hair dryer. I love those silly gadgets from the outdoor sports store. So I have an emergency whistle / thermometer / magnifier / compass thing hanging on my jacket. It said it was 35 degrees Celsius. After fifteen minutes of blow-drying we gave up and stopped at the first shady campsite we came across. It was ugly and we were the only ones there .. but there were trees ..

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We are in California baby…

We stayed two wonderful nights at the motel in Coos Bay. With clean sheets, a soft bed with countless unnecessary pillows, and your own hot shower! yes what a luxury! But we hit the road again because we missed the squirrels and chipmunks. Secretly it was a pleasure. For a few days no setting up tents and take showers for as long as you want (on campsites you often pay with coins and then sometimes you still are allowed  max. 12 minutes). And a vegan lunch cafe right next door, with rhubarb pie! After almost a month of camping, this was really a treat. All those things that we take for granted at home are suddenly very much appreciated haha. What a comfortable home we have in the Netherlands ..

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