Saturday, September 19, 2015

Day 34 (18 September 2015)

They say that this tall ship was used in the original Bounty film. Located near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

Hilly Hyde Street, San Francisco. One of three cable car lines in the city. Note the cable track in the centre of the rails.

The Stinking Rose Restaurant located in Haight-Ashbury district, San Francisco.

San Francisco City Hall, Polk Street. As grand as a capitol state building!

The Painted Sisters taken from Alamo Square, San Francisco.

View of San Francisco from Twin Peaks Lookout.

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco.

The Golden Gate Bridge taken from the north-east side of San Francisco.

Our mini tour bus taken at our Golden Gate Lookout, San Francisco.

The tourist attraction town of Sausalito on the northern side of San Francisco Bay.

A great sunny day crossing the San Francisco Bay from Sausalito to Downtown. Showing the extent of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

The dreaded Alcatraz rock taken from the Sausalito to San Francisco ferry.

Skyline of San Francisco taken from the Sausalito to San Francisco ferry.

An old WWII liberty ship “Jeremiah O’Brien” on display near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco.

A crowded Fisherman’s Wharf scene, San Francisco.

We had a Bubby Gump dinner at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco – great seafood!

Inside maximum security in Alcatraz, San Francisco.

Famous inmate “Al Capone” listed inside the security cells, Alcatraz, San Francisco.

Choon just released out of solitary in Alcatraz, San Francisco.

Explosive fragment result of the 1946 Battle of Alcatraz, San Francisco. Three inmates and two guards were killed.

Dummy and actual cell where the inmate “Morris” made his escape. Portrayed by Clint Eastwood in the movie “Escape from Alcatraz.

Turning the Hyde and Powell Street cable car, San Francisco.

Riding the Hyde and Powell Street cable car at night, San Francisco.

No Bertha today we are on shank’s pony to our designated meeting point for the San Francisco city tour. It was a good tour around the city with clear weather and saw sites such as: crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito, Fisherman’s Wharf, Twin Peaks, Painted Sisters, Presidio, Financial District, Lands End and many other interesting sites around the city. We were dropped off at Sausalito and cross the harbour to Fisherman’s Wharf. Then we boarded the Alcatraz ferry to the “Rock”. An excellent coverage was experienced about the life of inmates who served in the prison over the 29 years. We returned to Fisherman’s Wharf and had a meal at the famous Bubba Gump Seafood Restaurant – an excellent repast. At sunset we walked to the Hyde Pier Terminal and took the cable car to Union Square. Now this was fun, hanging out of an open trolley up and down steep hills at night was great. The trolley system rely on a moving cable between the tracks and a gripman in the trolley uses a handle to “grip” the cable and away we go. We all recommend that any visitor’s to SF should make this a priority to ride a cable car. Well, that’s it for the four of us, tomorrow Neil and Anne will embark on a 28 day journey to Sydney on the Golden Princess. Meng and Choon are staying in SF with their friends for 6 days and return to Oz next Saturday. It has been a jam packed adventure and the best thing about the entire journey was no rain. We don’t know what wifi access we have on board our ship so until we can enter any more posts – cheers.

Day 33 (17 September 2015)

These are our rooms at Deetjen Inn, Big Sur, California. Made of redwood and built by the pioneer family many years ago.

The Big Sur lighthouse also a US Navy establishment, California.

The famous Big Sur Bixby Bridge north of our accommodation, California.

Entrance to our Roaring Camp train ride near Santa Cruz, California.

Our little narrow gauge train waiting to depart at the Roaring Camp railhead. The tower could have been used in Petticoat Junction?

Ready to depart, Roaring Camp, Santa Cruz, California.

Crossing over a delicate trestle bridge on the way to Bear Mountain, Roaring Camp, California.

At Bear Mountain, Roaring Camp, California.

A Roaring Camp burnt out rail trestle bridge. Destroyed by a recent bush fire.

Cleaning the steam system – letting off steam. Approaching the Roaring Camp terminal, California.

Pacifica Beach, just south of San Francisco. Always fogged-in. New stayed in this locality back in 2012.

Entrance to Chinatown, San Francisco, California.

It was a great location in the little village of Big Sur. So fresh and we woke to another beautiful day. So far no wet weather has dampen any days and we are lucky from start to finish to have such good clear days. We drove north finishing the Big Sur road to Monterey and had a Macca’s breakfast. Continuing we drove inland near Santa Cruz and joined our Roaring Camp narrow gauge rail trip to Bear Mountain 900 feet above the start of the ride. Right among the Redwoods and thick forest it was awesome passing through these mighty trees that are up to 1800 years old. From Roaring Camp we headed north again to Pacifica which is a town 20 klms from San Francisco. We refuelled Bertha for the last time and checked out this location where Neil and Anne stayed three years ago. We made our accommodation at 4pm, unpacked the vehicle with many bags and items bought along our 30 or so days and returned Bertha to Alamo in the heart of San Francisco. Alas, the depot was closed at 4 pm. So we left the vehicle in their garage and walked to the other Alamo establishment nearby which we knew it was opened. After a kindly debate we managed to hand the keys and hopefully all is okay – we are now orphans. Returning to our accommodation we noticed many homeless people nearby. There seemed to be much poverty here and in many other cities across the States. For dinner tonight we had a great Chinese cuisine at the famous San Francisco Chinatown. Tomorrow we are on a City Tour and an Alcatraz visit. Cheers.

Day 32 (16 September 2015)

Our apartment include a swimming pool – use by tenants and hirers alike. Located at Fuller Road, West Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The inside pool area inside our West Hollywood Apartment, Los Angeles, California.

Information Board regarding Bradbury Dam - near Santa Maria, California.

 Bradbury Dam - near Santa Maria, California.

Another view of Bradbury Dam - near Santa Maria, California.

And another view of Bradbury Dam - near Santa Maria, California.

And yet another view of Bradbury Dam - near Santa Maria, California.

Countryside view near Santa Maria, California.

Morro Bay Beach near the southern entrance to the Big Sur, California.

The Morro Bay Rock itself, home of peregrine birds, California.

Sea otters at fun – sunbaking along the shores, Morro Bay, California.

Hearts Castle, near San Simeon, California.

Elephant seals just relaxing on a beach along the Big Sur, California.

A huge elephant seal looking for a quiet spot to sunbake along the Big Sur, California.

A fat ground squirrel near the location of the elephant seals, Big Sur, California. These critters may contain a virus harmful to humans.

A typical beach scene along the Big Sur, California.

Gorda the most expensive fuel price in the US - $6.50 per gallon. Located along the Big Sur, California. No we didn’t fill up here!

A Big Sur scene closer to our overnight destination at Big Sur, California.

The Big Sur Highway Number One hugs so close to the shoreline that tunnels are required.

A humpback whale frolicking along the Big Sur coastline. Near Big Sur village, California.

One of many bridges along the Big Sur, California.

Our accommodation Deetjen Inn at Big Sur, California. Tucked away in the forest.

Walking up a redwood trail at our Big Sur accommodation.

Another humpback whale near our accommodation, Big Sur, California.

Goodbye Los Angeles, the city we started from one month ago. Now we head north leaving congested highways towards Ventura in California. We stopped for some supplies at Oxnard - yes Walmart again. Also our Bertha has a slow leak in the rear left tyre and we have to pump up this annoying piece of rubber every three or four days. After Oxnard we entered Pacific Highway 1 to start the Big Sur at Morro Bay. A huge rock formation is the main scenic feature in this place and we saw some peregrine birds high up in the cliffs – also playful sea otters were easily seen in the harbour. It was lunch here and continued north along the Big Sur. It was a beautiful day, clear, no rolling mist that usually occurs along this coast line and many snaps were taken at various viewpoints. We stopped and watched sea lions and hump back whales swimming along the rugged shoreline. We stopped at Randolph Hearst castle at San Simeon and later watch elephant seals on the beach nearby. Basically is was a nature day with all this wildlife. Our overnight stay is the small village of Big Sur and stayed in cottages that were build 90 years ago. The walls are made of redwood and very rustic in design. The Deetjen Inn is a heritage listed establishment amongst redwood trees and manicured gardens. A great place to stay. Tomorrow we drive the 155 miles to San Francisco and have tickets to ride the narrow gauge tourist train at Roaring Camp near Santa Cruz. We will be handing back Bertha to the rental company after 29 days tomorrow afternoon. For Meng and Choon they are feeling the blues because they will have to return to Oz next week and admit the holiday has gone so fast. So….our next post will be in San Francisco without any road vehicle – cheers.