End of May 2018. We have been in the USA since the day before yesterday, we flew here from Berlin via Frankfurt and stayed overnight in San Francisco. You don’t get a camper in your hand when you step off the plane. It was later than planned anyway because the entry formalities took longer. Much longer. After that, we let a taxi take us to the hotel after the driver finally found a way. Somehow there was always the highway between the taxi and the hotel and it was not easy to get to the other side. San Francisco taxi drivers are in a class of their own. But not rude. If we had known what an “Uber” is, we would have tried it. But we had no point in experimenting right now. The hotel room was simple, Best Western standard, but we didn’t care. We were in America. We were tired.
The next morning we had to drive again through half of San Francisco to pick up the motorhome from Cruise America. But first, we served ourselves at the rich breakfast buffet. Originally we wanted to use public transport, but then it was more convenient to just pack the suitcases and all the stuff in the car. We had booked the hotel in Germany well in advance but then decided to go for Cruise America instead of Jucy Camper, so the hotel was no longer that close. But never mind, our adventure should start now. The plan for the first day was: pick up the motorhome, shop, get out of the city. I didn’t want to drive through San Francisco on the first day, I just wanted to get out. And for shopping, we drove to the next Walmart. We had parked our motorhome next to another Cruise America vehicle and now came back packed with our purchases. Just when we were about to load up the things, the store manager (?) came and indicated to us that we had to leave immediately. In the United States, Walmart parking is a popular place to stay for RV residents in most states. However, this is forbidden in California Walmarts and so we were probably classified as illegal overnight guests. It was one of the very few unfriendly encounters in the United States. It’s just stupid that it was right at the beginning. We should have brought all the stuff we just bought back, but we were still completely perplexed.
So now we had spent the first night in our Cruise America camper. We have arrived in Half Moon Bay on a campsite and try not to let us appear that we are the absolute greenhorns when it comes to motorhomes and the USA. Well, not entirely, I lived here for a few years, but that was a long time ago and it’s a different story. However, it was the first time on a plane for my wife. And now she is in California at the Pacific Coast and overjoyed. I can also remember the feeling of suddenly staying on another continent and now I am very happy for her that she can experience it too.
The Pacific coast in northern California is often immersed in a foggy haze. Sometimes you don’t see the sun for weeks. Nevertheless, there is a certain magic in this scenery that would probably not be revealed in the sunshine because the spicy scent of the countless herbs smells different in the sun than this mixture of salty spray and freshness. It purifies the senses. I know that there are often only a few kilometers between the freshness here and the scorching heat inland. But now we’re on the California coast, our first leg of our four-week tour.
We went for an extensive walk and tried to soak up everything with all our senses. The fresh wind drove the jet lag out of our bones and we started filming and taking pictures. The photo above is a good example of how to capture a mood. You don’t need sunshine for this either, although it is sometimes difficult. But anyone can do photos with a blue sky …
Now the second stage lay ahead. We wanted to take Highway 1, the well-known Pacific Coast Highway south. The goal was Big Sur. Unfortunately, the PCH was no longer passable behind Gorda in early summer 2018 due to a landslide. Still, we wanted to go as far south as possible, then back to Monterey and from there a route inland. Before that, however, we made a mandatory visit to the elephant seals in Ano Nuevo State Park. More of that in the next post. Before that, a video: