So here we are. Finally our epic month trip begins… 3 girls just woke up in the car (low class Volkswagen Jetta) full of staff, on the road in the middle of nowhere. It was a famous highway 1 in Big Sur, but it was too foggy to see anything. I’m glad we went there several days earlier (Sorry, B.).
We set ourselves the very first goal – to drive through the whole Highway 1. No one really bothers to do it because there are faster ways. But we decided to always choose the longer but the more interesting version. Honestly it was much fun to look for “California 1” signs in different scenery.
San Luis Obispo
Each one of us wanted to see some particular staff, but with no pressure. During my time in Santa Cruz I used to ask all people about some worth seeing places. One of Boardwalk clients told me with a big passion about San Luis Obispo. Obviously I couldn’t remember the name of it, so he wrote it on the peace of paper. That’s how I’ve started to collect slips with different names and during our trip tried to visit it all. It turned out that SLO is on the way to our destination – LA, where we had booked some nights in a hostel earlier, so we were motivated to get there on the same day. That was one and only thing which we planned for the whole trip.
San Luis Obispo is a county surrounded by volcanic mountains – a range called “Nine sisters”. I really wanted to go hiking around there, but we weren’t really sure where to go, and it was still pretty foggy. But at least I found not a bad viewpoint by total coincidence. We stopped by the market, so girls can go quick shopping and I took my camera to find a good shot. “Behind this building should be a perfect frame” – I thought, but I was too low and the trees covered whole landscape. At the same time I’ve noticed two construction workers with a ladder. I asked them if I could climb up on the roof and take a picture. They looked at me like I was a homeless alien and responded that it wasn’t possible. I walked away with a smile, but pretty disappointed that my epic plan didn’t work out. But I was very motivated and tried to think about other way on my way to parking. Suddenly someone grabbed my arm. It was one of the workers.
-We really can’t take you on the roof, but we could put you on the similar height. Come with me! – I had no idea what he was talking about but followed him immediately. He took me to an enormous platform, which we both stand on. It slowly started to go higher and higher, finally stopped high as a roof of the market. I was right! The mountains emerged out behind the trees.
I don’t remember how many times I thanked them for this nice gesture. Satisfied, I came back to the car and told my unusual story to the girls. During our drive in SLO I found another, even better frame, when the sky cleared up a little. I really hope to come back there and discover some cool spots.
Our next stop was a famous hotel Madonna inn – one of our work&travel friends was obsessed about it. It happens to be whole pink. It was near Highway 1, so we decided that it’s restaurant (whole pink as well) might be a perfect place for breakfast. On our trip we often ate a typical American dish – pancakes. It was the best deal because you can get full for several dollars and they pour you coffee to infinity.
After this very elegant breakfast we continued our drive. Finally the fog started to disappear. We stopped for a minute in Pismo Beach. Many people told us that ocean gets warmer on the south, but it was still fu**ing cold!
Our next aim was Santa Barbara, but all of us weren’t very good at planning, so something unusual happened on the way…
Our style of traveling was quit funny but I loved it from the beginning. For example when one of us came up on a crazy idea, everybody was into it and in the minute we were already doing it. Also we weren’t really in rush ever (only to catch a sunset), so I could truly enjoy the moment and catch it by my camera.
When we we were getting closer do SB, suddenly one of us shouted “Hey, it’s pretty over there” – pointing on some hills. Daria was our main driver because she loves to drive (especially fast cars). The brakes screeched loud when she immediately turned into any road. We weren’t even sure where it could take us, but continued. We were driving through empty roads between beautiful hills for another 20 minutes. We might have seen a sign with name of beach or something. Finally we stopped to take a picture. Out of the blue we saw a car driving towards us. I decided to stop it.
The driver turned out to be about 40 years old man wearing an old school cup with a girlfriend. I saw a surfboard and wetsuits on the backseats.
-Hi! Do you know by chance where this road will take us? – I asked directly. They stopped because they though our car was broken.
-You’ve been driving this road for over 10 miles and don’t know where it’s going? – I got the “homeless alien” look again.
-Hm, yes. It’s really pretty out here.
-So you better continue, cause in the end there is something absolutely stunning! Follow us!
So we went after an old Passat and slowly guessing where we were going. But our imagination was nothing to compere with a reality. After 10 more minutes a beautiful, enormous beach emerged from behind the hills. Together with palms, camping, cars and shops. Wow! We were screaming 5 times louder than on Golden Gate! Who would ever though there was such a secret spot! It’s called Jalama Beach and you can come here with you tent or a trailer and camp. Oh, too bad we booked those nights in LA..
There was a gate on the entrance so we paid several dollar and asked the bodyguard if there was a surf rental. He dined but said that he had one in the back so he can lend it to us. It was a short, pink, foam board without a leash. We’ve changed our clothes to swimsuits, bought some beers and sat on this amazing beach. Sometimes we could hear a train going on the tracks which goes along the shore. There might be better views than on Highway 1.
The waves were big and fast. We were watching some surfers and one SUPsurfer. A girl from the car was body-surfing. Me and Beatka were having fun on the white water. We didn’t go too far from the shore, because I didn’t surf on that size of waves even with Mike. He gave me whole list of surf spots to check out, but Jalama wasn’t there. When I told him later where we ended up by a total coincidence, he couldn’t believe and was super jealous, because he didn’t have a chance to surf there yet.
Somehow this place attracted us like a magnet and we spend there several amazing hours. The idea of staying for a night was very tempting, but we decided to move on to our next stop.
Except of a list of places to see, spots to surf I have also prepared a list of dishes to eat. Mike pointed best food in his favorite restaurants in almost every city in California. I think I couldn’t afford it all, but we stopped for some fish tacos in On the Alley, Santa Barbara. Although it was served in a paper box, the taste was sooo good.
We were cruising around SB for several hours: watched sailboats in the port and pink sea urchins in the track, ate ice cream on the state Street and visited color museum of carpets. We decided to catch a sunset on our way to LA.
During our drive we couldn’t make a decision where to stop for a sunset, so Daria turned with a screeching of tires into a random road second time this day . We stopped next to someone’s house and a group of guys made some pictures of us. I couldn’t believe that the day before I was crying that it was over. It was only a beginning and I didn’t know yet that this day would last much longer.
On our way we stopped by the Malibu Beach which we didn’t really see, because it was already dark. Unfortunately we’ve never came back there. We went to the market there, trying on some funny looking souvenirs. When I was buying a bootle of water, I completely forgot that I was still wearing a flat, empty, new Malibu bag. The cashier didn’t even notice and I left the store without paying for it by accident. Girls were watching the whole situation and laughing their asses of. The bag was very useful for whole trip (mostly carrying our alcohol).
LA by night
We got to Los Angeles by late evening. Chasing the cars on very wide highways feeling like in GTA we came up on idea to go to see the Hollywood sign. It wasn’t on our way to hotel, but who cared? To get there we had to go by long switchbacks (Hollywood Hills). Those roads looked pretty scary at this time. We were driving slowly among famous people houses searching for the letters in the distance. After a while we finally saw it. Dark, almost invisible, not lit at all Hollywood Sign. What a disappointment! We drove the closest we could, but some signs stopped us. We all decided that we are not gonna climb on it if it doesn’t even lit! But we had a chance to see the whole city from the top.
We got into hotel after 1 o’clock and we found out that we weren’t sleepy at all, so we were cruising around the city for another 2 hours. It’s really cool to drive in the city by night when it’s empty and it wasn’t the last time we did it. The next day we were about to see all those staff in the daylight.