To the Finish Line
Friday 1st May Ė ďhe looked down, said it is finished and was well pleasedĒ Book of Genesis
Itís done. Finished. All over red rover. Iím stuffed.
I was planning to stop off at old Cambria which is about half way between San Francisco and LA but when I got there some bloody Porsche rally had taken up every damned room in the township. So I pushed on to LA.
It rained all morning and I was soaked to the bone. The Gods of America had not finished with me yet. When I left San Francisco it was a clear sunny morning, albeit a bit cool. The further south I went, the cooler it became. I thought Ďthis isnít right, itís meant to be getting warmerí. Next thing I look up at the skies and there are clouds rolling in everywhere. ďmother of mercy, leave me aloneĒ. Within 15 minutes the rain had started, but there was no damned way this rain was going to bugger up my last two days.
I had the minimum of riding gear on and before long I had to stop and put on warmer gear. After a couple of hours I pulled into Carmel-by-the-Sea for coffee and a piece of hot apple pie to recharge the batteries. This is a delightful little seaside village where the cop sets his speed sign and then walks away and leaves the car while he does something else. Probably having coffee somewhere. :-)
After a short break, I head back out into the rain and continued south. I am hoping to get to Cambria, just past the Hearstís castle. Along the way, I come across the most incredible sight Iíve seen so far.
A colony of Elephant Seals parked up on the point of Piedra Blanca. There are hundreds of these huge things as far as the eye can see. The Elephant Seals first started arriving here in 1990 and within 2 years the first pup was born.
Since then births have steadily increased to 1700 pups a year. This is pretty amazing because these creatures normally prefer isolated areas where there are no threats. At the moment they are malting and that takes about 3-4 weeks.
Trying to compete for the attention are cute little squirrels. They even come running up to me and sniff my hand, no doubt looking for food morsels. They incredibly fun to watch and cheeky enough to let me pat them a bit.
As I said earlier, I had hoped to stay at a pretty little village called Cambria. Itís even painted like the houses in the Italian villages. But as I started to make enquiries for accommodation, it quickly became apparent that these Porsche types had snaffled up everything. It doesnít matter, Santa Barbara is just down the road a bit and that only leaves a hundred miles to finish off tomorrow.
When eventually I arrive at the outskirts of Santa Barbara, I check the time and decide...Ēstuff it, letís push onĒ.
The run down the old Highway 1 is a great riding road for bikes. There are plenty of twists and turns and hills to climb. Again, you need to decide whether you want to ride for some excitement or just cruise along and enjoy the scenery.
At 1800hr on 1st May 2009, I pulled out my battle weary Australian Flag that I had made repairs to, hoisted it onto the back of the bike and proudly drove the remaining 10 miles (16km) into the City of Angels. Within minutes of the flag going up, I had another Aussie from Perth yelling out his window at me and a coach full of passengers giving me the thumbs up. It was so great to be an Aussie finally crossing the finishing line in LA.
As I sat down at the bar after checking in, I felt a huge wave of relief come over me and a great sense of satisfaction. I had come here fully expecting that something would go wrong on the trip and that Iíd come home in a box. Not only did that not happen, but I achieved a goal that I didnít fully expect to realise.
All that remains now is to get the bike to the drop off point somewhere here in LA and then to relax for the remaining few days before heading home.
Iím not going to do a web update for my days here until Iím heading home on the plane on 6th May. So thank you everyone who has taken the time to follow our journey and particularly those who have written to us during the trip. We had over 50 people subscribe to follow our journey, some of those we met during our trip across America, some I have no idea who you are but thank you for writing to us. Itís been great. Just a short mention to the Wake Up Club on radio 2CA in Canberra. Apparently Hayden. Larry and the gorgeous Jane have been following the trip and occasionally mentioning it on air. Thank you guys for doing that. Hayden once went way out and drove all the way from LA to Vegas. Go you legend.
For the next four or five days, Iím just going to chill out and relax. However, I have instructions from the grand daughters to make sure I bring them something back from Disneyland.
Next instalment should be a wrap up from both Steve and I.
Bye and Thank you for your support
Steve & Paul
Posted by Paul Brealey at May 02, 2009 06:34 AM GMT