We are already crossing the Central Valley in the mean time. The last two weeks, we drove along the coast and had some health issues, unfortunately.
Santa Maria – Pismo Beach
From Santa Maria, we went back to the coast and could fully enjoy the head wind for the first time. And we will been told several times in the next few days, that we are driving in the wrong direction… Anyway, we reached Pismo Beach in the evening and visited the beach just next to our campground. People pay here a fee so that they can drive with their SUVs and others on the beach. As a result you will see trucks with trailers which are passing you when you walk along the water line.
Pismo Beach – San Luis Obispo
We continued our journey towards north on the next day. The plan was to drive till Morro Bay. However, shortly after San Luis Obispo, the knee of Ines gave up. It didn’t want to cycle anymore and we therefor decided to go back to San Luis Obispo to visit a doctor. We just turned, when Lionel, an older American, stopped us. After a short conversation, he invited us to his home and also informed his Wife Chris about this. Both visited Switzerland some time ago and had some good time there. I was happy to hear that and we could now profit of this as well. After a very relaxing bath in the Pismo Beach hot springs, we had dinner at their house and could also stay over night.
The next day was a Sunday and therefor no doctor day. But you are not getting bored around Lionel. Before breakfast, he and I made an one hour cycle trip in the neighborhood. Together with his wife, we went afterwards to San Luis Obispo to see a movie and to visit a bit the city.
On Monday, we finally went to the doctor. However, he just said that the knee is only a bit overused but otherwise everything is fine. So we should be able to continue the journey. However, what do we do with the rest of the day? No question, Lionel already had a plan. First we went to save a young tree in Morro Bay which was poisened by some gardeners. Trees are the big thing of Lionel and he uses all his energy to make sure, that a lot of native trees are getting planted in the area. This is for sure a good thing in such a sunny and dry area as California is. Afterwards we drove along the coast up to San Simion and back. We will have two days with the bikes for the same distance… He finally didn’t leave us without recommending to take the train up to Seattle and cycling south from there. Reason: the wind, of course. However, we are not giving up that fast. Thank you Lionel and Chris for all your kindness and time! We enjoyed it a lot.
San Luis Obispo – Moro Bay – San Simion
We continued cycling the next day and were hoping that Ines knee will do better this time. Till Morro Bay, it went pretty well. However, because there was still some pain, Ines decided to change a bit how she was sitting on the bike. For this, she needed some additional bike part which she hoped to get in the bicycle store in Cambria. Unfortunately, this bike store closed three weeks before our arrival… Therefore, Ines had to take the bus back to San Luis Obispo to get the parts there. In the meant time I enjoyed coffee, cookie and Internet in the highly recommendable Cambria Coffee Roasting Cafe.
San Simion – Plaskett Creek – Pfeiffer Big Sur
Thanks to the new bike parts, we continued our journey along Highway 1 towards Big Sur. To avoid the wind, we began to start cycling already at 8. Till Big Sur, we were successful with this strategy. Also the landscape was very nice at this part and can also be recommended for cyclists. But it’s also pretty hilly…
Pfeiffer Big Sur – Monterey
We started again pretty early. However, we just entered the main street when we already felt strong headwind. If you see a flag next to the road which is pointing directly towards you, you know that something is wrong… At the Rocky Point, we were already so exhausted, that we decided to have a second Breakfast at the restaurant there. However, also with this break we reached Monterey in the afternoon and with that also the end (for now) of our journey along the coast.
Ines knee is doing much better thanks to the changes on the bike. I for my part lost my voice because of a cold. Luckily it is not needed for cycling ;-).
At the moment, we are already crossing the Central Valley towards Yosemite. And we are getting up early again. Not because of the wind but because of the heat. Day temperatures of above 36 ºC make it almost impossible to cycle later in the day. Especially because there is almost no shadow at all.
In around two days, we will start to climb towards Yosemite. In the mean time, we just have to figure out where we are going to stay in the Park because all campgrounds seem to be fully booked already. We will see. We also plan to cross Tioga pass from Yosemite to visit Mono Lake. The pass is open since this week but it seems that all accommodations on the way are still closed…
All the best from Merced,
PS: Enjoy also the pictures in the Gallery!