It was a great little ride today from Santa Cruz to our destination for the day, Half Moon Bay. It was a bit chilly as we set off, and we had more than a moderate head wind, but the scenery was beautiful and most importantly of all there was no rain!!
The day started with a truly stunning breakfast at our hotel, Pacific Blue Inn. After a bowl of fresh fruit, we were treated to another new culinary experience (further to our discoveries earlier in our trip: hush puppies, grits and chicken fried steak). These delightful items were called “Pop-overs”, and consisted of very light, puffy balls, a bit like Yorkshire puddings, but sweet, and dusted with icing sugar. In our case, they were also served with homemade chocolate/hazelnut butter (a bit like posh Nutella), and jams. Yummy. Anthony loved them so much, he even had his poached eggs in a cut open pop-over…
As we munched away at all these gourmet items, we had a very interesting chat with Kirk and Christine from Western Massachusetts, who were vacationing in the area. They had many tales to tell of the places that they had visited in California that we had not been able to see this time around, including Yosemite, Joshua Tree etc. And we all put the world to rights when it comes to farming, the food industry, the economy and the like.
With full tummies, and invigorated brains, we eventually set off for our 50-mile ride. The terrain was rolling and 95% of it was along Pacific Coast Highway, skirting right along the coastline. We were surprised to see that the coast around here reminded us of the North Norfolk coast where Kat grew up. We also noted that much of the flora and fauna is of the type that we both remember as young children …e.g. buttercups, those plants with the long green stem and little brown nubbin on the end that you could loop over and fire at one another, stinging nettles and many many other things. And we even got a picture of one of the eagles that we keep seeing (see photos).
About 20 miles into the ride, we passed two of those New Age Travellers that we saw in Santa Cruz yesterday… we kid you not, they were walking along the hard shoulder of the PCH, in their long green parkas with their dog. We recognised the dog first of all and then heard the familiar “can you spare a cigarette?” Honest; it really happened.
As we stopped for “lunch” (in speech marks since it actually consisted of energy bars today, as we had failed to get any bagels/bananas, and there were no shops on the route between ‘mile 9’ and ‘mile 50’ of the ride), we were joined by Frank and Margit, a couple from Germany (between Dusseldorf and Cologne), who are cycling from San Francisco to LA. We had a pleasant chat about the joys of bike touring. As usual, we were overwhelmed by the number of cyclists who were out on the road, both touring and day cyclists, and as we have come to expect, hardly any of them were going in our direction fighting against Edwin …bloody lightweights or sensible buggers?!
Half Moon Bay, our stop tonight, is a cute little town, and we managed to get some very good sushi for dinner. It’s a hop, skip and a jump for us tomorrow into San Francisco where we will have a rest day.