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Yosemite San Francisco

23rd August 2010

Golden Gate Bridge Minus the Mist, and a Stroll around Sausalito

    With a leisurely start, we headed west to Merced in order to pick up highway 99. We had not traveled far from Mariposa before we found ourselves passing through prairie like land with visibility limited to the next fence or building skyline. This was such a contrast to Yosemite. We cut a track through acres of sweet corn, and overtook lorries with their trailers over laden with tomatoes.
    A couple of hours later and we were on the 580, driving through gently undulating hills, all with the same shade of "straw" colour. The setting looked surreal with hill after hill of identical straw colour sitting under a clear blue sky. The image was shattered further along by a forestation of wind farms. There must have been thousands of wind turbines over many square miles of terrain, drawing megawatts of power from the incessant warm wind. It was an impressive sight.
    As we descended towards the city of Oakland, we caught glimpses of San Francisco in the far distance across the bay. The drive through Oakland was painless, and in short time we were crossing the five mile Bay Bridge via Treasure Island.
The Golden Gate Bridge from Marin Heights Minus the Mist
    Once in the city, I was familiar enough with the streets to find my way across to the Golden Gate Bridge. After crossing this bridge, we headed up to Marin Heights to take in the view. I was last at the same viewing point when I stopped off on my trek from Bodega Bay to Pescadero Creek. Then the bay had been shrouded in mist, as it had been when I was first here in May. Today we had blue skies, and we could see the entire city and across the bay. The Golden Gate Bridge, Bay Bridge, city and Alcatraz were all clearly visible. I was pleased for Dan that he was able to see all these wonderful sights.
Sausalito Architecture
    After we had taken our fill of the views, we popped down to Sausalito, a small town with Victorian bungalows sitting on the edge of the bay. Here we enjoyed a leisurely stroll by the water's edge. The bay was a hive of activity with yachts, ferries, cargo ships and canoeists. There was a rather impressive looking yacht moored off Sausalito, its bow almost resembling that of a submarine. We learned later that it was owned by a 38 year old Russian, cost around $330M, was 349' long, contained three swimming pools, and the master bedroom could only be opened by the owner's fingerprint. Well, he did well for himself.
Russian Yacht
    We demolished an ice-cream each, and later a snack in a restaurant overlooking the bay, where we spent a while seal spotting. It was an idyllic setting, and I would gladly have stayed for longer, but I had received a call from a potential buyer for the van (I had advertised it and its contents for sale on www.craigslist.com 36 hours earlier). The chap was going to call round to our hotel at 6pm.
Sausalito Waterfront
    We thus headed back into the city and checked in at our hotel, and just managed to empty the van of our belongings before the chap and his mate turned up.
    We circled around all the usual questions and answers, but the guy's sticking point was the fact that the vehicle was registered in Washington, and he being a Californian, would need to re-register it with Californian plates. He wanted me to drop the price accordingly to cover this, which he thought would cost him $300. I wouldn't play ball, so he went off to think about it.
    Dan and I walked down to Fisherman's Wharf where we enjoyed a pleasant meal before visiting Lou's Blues Club for some live music. Sadly the club closed at 11pm, but the bartender told us all to visit the Parlor Bar, a couple of blocks away. I reckoned half the club ended up there, including us. There we met a young couple from Castleford who had taken in Los Angeles and Hawaii, and were leaving San Francisco in a day's time. There was also a gang of blokes from Victoria, British Columbia. These people were serious drinkers; Dan and I did not compete, but good fun was had by all. God only knows how they felt the following morning after seeing some of the concoctions they were drinking. However, it wound down our day nicely.
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Yosemite San Francisco

Uploaded from Francisco Bay Inn, 1501 Lombard Street, San Francisco CA on 29/08/10 at 23:00

Last updated 30.8.2010