Day 37: Canada to Mexico
From San Clemente to San Diego
Last night we saw that beautiful sunset and headed back to the tents. This was a really peaceful site. All the campers were were lights out and in bed by 2200 it was real bliss. It was really warm so I had the main outer door of the tent open all night long and whenever I look up I could see the stars, it was a really nice and relaxing site.
We aimed to get up for 0700 and get the wheels moving at 0900. I always wake up early and I have a system in place so I can be packed up and be moving 30 mins after eyes open. This morning though I could not lie and wait so I got out of my tent at about 0600. The other two must of heard me preparing breakfast and started to get ready shortly after me. For breakfast it was porridge with 100% dark chocolate and dried fruit and nuts, the real luxury coming in the form of soy milk instead of water.
As we got up a bit earlier we actually got the wheels moving at 0800. We had a good start and were cruising along at an average 17-18mph for about the first 15 miles, this is just down to the fact the first bit of the ride is flat as a pancake.
We had to ride through Camp Pendelton Marine Corps which meant showing our ID. The place is massive. The Marines on the gate were well impressed with our ride and said they would never be able to do anything like that and they were really friendly and helpful which took me by surprise as I thought they would be full of bravado and make out that their training equips them for any scenario. I am sure if they were asked to do it they would cope just fine. One of them did make a comment about the size of my legs again. I am starting to get a complex about this now, only joking I like it really 🙂
As we were riding through the camp there was a queue of about six tanks waiting to cross a track and some of the Marines were waving from the top of them and that made me smile, like I say they seemed really cool guys.
We went through Oceanside and stopped for a coffee. It is a nice little spot with a cute harbour. We also rode through Carlsband, Encinitas, Cardiff and we had lunch in Solana Beach. We were well ahead of time to meet Julie our WarmShower.org host so we stopped in Solana for couple of hours.
After lunch it was about 15 miles, a big hot climb to get to San Diego. At the top of the climb we bumped into a guy pulling a massive trailer on a Specialized Allez, just proves you can tour on any kind of setup, we have seen a whole manner of bikes on this trip and part of the fun is talking to people for different ideas to either make the riding or the camping better. He was called Bala and he was of Indian heritage but lived in London, he seemed an absolute gem of a guy really friendly and smiley. He had just qualified as a teacher and thought sod it I am going to cycle from Alaska to Argentina. I am so jealous of his trip. We all stood at the top of the hill and discussed all the hardcore adventure touring cyclists we had met that made our trip seem like a corner shop dash. There was the family from Quebec with two children. They had two tandems one for each parent with the kids on the back of each one and they had been on the road one year in America and before that two years in Africa. There was the couple I met from Scotland that have been on the road four years. There was Jesse that had done the Trans America Trail east to west and thought sod it I will fit in a bit of the West Coast as well. Bala told us of the family they he had met in Alaska that were travelling with a baby all the way to Argintina and were taking three years to do it. I am not saying it would be easy, but in my mind that is exactly what living should be like, don’t put things on hold, just adapt, if you were single a trip might take a year, with a baby it might take three, but these people thought that it was going to be worth the effort and I think I agree. Gab and Eugene also met a guy in his 70’s that had been on the road a massive amount of time. Now I don’t want to sound sexist, and I really hope you understand what I mean, but I am also amazed at the confidence young women have at just jumping on a bike and seeing the world. Murdock was telling us about a young 20ish lady he had stopping with him one night. She was from Spain and was on a massive tour around the world. She did not make plans about where she would sleep the night, just figure it out when they got tired I guess. One thing I know from doing this trip is that there are more people out there that are wiling to help you than are wanting to take advantage of you. You just got to use a bit of common sense and if something feels wrong, then go with your instinct, but also be ready and willing to let your guard down when you realise, sometimes people do just genuinely want to know about you and your trip.
We got in to San Diego and stopped for some frozen yogurt, another inch on the hips. Then we went to the bike shop to asked if they had any bike boxes we could have. We are in luck, we pick them up tomorrow. They were not as friendly or as helpful as my LBS (local bike shop, PedalSport at King Cross, Halifax).
We went round to meet Julie, lovely lady, consultant for the Police. Loves riding, surfing and real ale. Defo can’t be bad with them as interests. She has opened up her home to us and really gone out of her way to help us out, she has sorted Gab with a taxi to the airport, me directions for my border trip tomorrow and up turned her living room to give the lads a place to stay. Marvellous. Thank you so much!
She introduced us to some friends Allen and Barbara and we had a couple of nice real ales before heading out for a mega burger. Another two inches on the hips. The diet starts when my feet touch British soil. Julie has travelled a lot and we discussed the differences between USA English and English English. She came up with a really funny example when she was on a course at Cambridge, but I don’t want to repeat it here incase in offends anybody, but it defo highlighted how we used the same words but for different reasons.
So I am now tucked up in the spare room in a house in San Diego. Tomorrow we get up early and Julie has excited the boys by stating she will take them to a place for breakfast where they can buy big egg burritos to start the day. I ride to the Mexican border tomorrow whilst the boys stop in San Diego, so maybe something a bit lighter might be on the cards for me.
So thats it tomorrow I end my days on the bike. 2000 ish miles. Done……………………… Then a night out with Eugune to finish it off in style 🙂