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USA – Road Trip – San Francisco – 10th/11th October

Up early to mist and rain we both headed out for an early morning run whilst leaving Barbara in her bunk bed. Today we head back to the centre of San Francisco, but before we did we headed out to Berkley to try and get some sunshine away from the coast. We didn’t find any and it continued to pour down. None the less we headed for a coffee shop for a hot drink and found some great newspaper / what’s on guides. Café Intermezzo was very busy and people were flocking inside to order soups, massive sandwiches and gigantic salads. We couldn’t resist and all ordered our very own sarnies.

We dropped off our beloved Hyundai Sonata at the returns parking depot a few streets away and checked into Parc 55 hotel, which Barbara kindly paid for. Overall we drove 3325 miles in 30 days. We attempted to eat our sandwiches, got half way through and then went for a walk around the city, our first proper look. As it was continuing to rain we headed to China Town and decided to treat ourselves to a foot massage which was a nice relaxing way to avoid the showers. The Cheesecake Factory above Macy’s in Union Square was recommended to us by Barbara and we decided to give it a go. The food was surprisingly good considering the vast menu and slightly Planet Hollywood / Universal Studios feel to the place. The cheesecake desert was very good but we were too stuffed and all shared one, struggling to even eat that!!

We enjoyed our night in the 4 star hotel very much but instead of going for the overpriced breakfast hotel menu we opted for Puccini & Pinetti over the street from Parc 55. It was after 10am when we set off for the Golden Gate bridge opting to take the bus there, we took two buses intact and as we were en-route the sun came out, but when we arrived at the bottom of the bridge it was foggy! There’s always some fogginess going on in San Fran! This was our first time walking on the bridge and we decided to walk from one end to the other with several stops along the way, walking in and out of fog as we did so. It was very atmospheric seeing the giant cables coming out of the fog and we couldn’t see the waves below, only hear them along with the massive amount of traffic driving by. It was pretty surreal and a great experience. It took us around an hour and 45 to walk the bridge but we were much slower crossing it the first time. At the headlands end the path is currently closed but on the other side cyclists could make it all the way across.

We walked back towards Fort Mason getting more views across to Alcatraz and the headlands,  and eventually we ended up taking a bus from the top of Fishermans Wharf. When we got to the hotel Barbara picked up her suitcases and as we were hugging and saying our goodbyes an airport shuttle bus came along so she hopped on and we waved and waved until they turned around the corner. Thanks to Barbara for joining in our adventure!

So now it was back to the two of us, but not for too long as Dave’s friends were flying out that same day! Although we weren’t planning to meet them until Wednesday so we collected the mass of our bags – 2 rucksacks, 2 small rucksacks, camera bag, camping gear in new wall mart $15 bag, a water container and a cool box!!! Jeez!! What has happened here? We packed ourselves into a cab and made our way to our next home, a basement studio underneath the home of fellow travellers Heather and Jamie. Heather found our blog when she was researching for their trip to South-East Asia and sent us a lovely email about how  helpful it was! Yay! So when she knew we were coming to her home town she offered for us to stay in their basement studio at no cost to us! Wow! An amazing help in hand towards our travels and we couldn’t say no!

So our next home was located in the Mission District in between Mission and Castro. We could tell straight away that this neighbourhood had personality and it seemed to suit us! We spent our first night in the area roaming around Mission, found a great Vegetarian Japanese place to eat at on Mission Street called Chaya and followed this on with drinks in a nearby cafe. On our way home we stopped off at Bi-rite, an organic supermarket heading back towards Delores Park on 18th street. We couldn’t stretch the budget to afford their lovely wines, cheeses and deli goods but we did find a few things for us. They also own the famous ice-cream parlour over the road which has queues going on for streets! Crazy but it must be good!!

(Leica M9, Summicron-M 50mm f/2.0, Leica 90mm f/2.8, Zeiss 18mm f/4 ZM processed in Lightroom 3)

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