For the past week, some good friends have let me stay on their spare couch in Oakland. It’ll probably be the last really comfortable bed I’ll be in for some time. I got up at 3:30am in order to catch the first BART train over to Colma, south of San Francisco. My friends were nice enough to wake up to see me off, as well as to ask when I would be back. It was still pitch dark when I left the Colma station and as I struggled up the first slight hill I asked myself why on earth anyone would choose to do this. It was to be my mantra for the next week.
Got my first rear flat tire when I got to Santa Cruz, not before being stopped by the Californian highway patrol for riding on the freeway.
My fantastic route planning (which basically was to work out where I’d camp the first night and then wing it from then on) meant I had to do a 90 mile day. I was turned away at the first state park because there was no camping allowed and turned away at the second state park because it was camper vans only. I finally struggled into Manresa State Beach where I tried to cook fried rice and fresh vegetables. Learnt that brown rice was a pretty dumb thing to bring on a camping trip, even after having soaked all day in my pannier, it took fifty minutes to cook. It’ll be five-minute instant rice from now on I think. And fresh veggies…well that was the first and last time I’ll be cooking them on this trip.