Day 47 – Bay Area And The Pacific

Friday, October 8, 2010
Miles To Date: 
6 991

The morning and early afternoon today were spent driving from our motel in Mariposa to San Francisco. The drive went up the central valley, and then west to the Bay area. It was one of the busiest stretches we have driven, with the motorway reminding me quite a bit of the M1. When we got close to San Francisco we decided to take a diversion to avoid the toll roads (which are basically the roads across the famous bridges), and ended up approaching the city from the south.

Since we were close to our motel in South San Francisco we checked in before heading to the city. Another coincidence: the lady who runs the motel is from Kingston Upon Thames and moved here to be near family. We then drove up to the city and started on the 49 mile scenic drive around it. The stretch we covered today went up the Pacific coast to the Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing the Pacific for the first time was a rather monumental moment! Finally after nearly 7,000 miles and 47 days of travelling we have officially crossed the entire continent of North America from Atlantic to Pacific. Its a great feeling and something we would definitely recommend.

There’s a great beach by the ocean which has large waves coming in at all times. As a result the place was full of surfers and we spent some time watching the waves while enjoying the sun. Our next stop was a high point at Legion Of Honour, which is surrounded by a golf course on the hillside. The drive then continued around the coast and we saw the Golden Gate bridge for the first time. Unfortunately at this point we hit traffic for the bridge so had to turn back. Instead, we’ll attempt to cross tomorrow when it isn’t rush hour on a Friday!

Turning back brought us to the beach just in time for sunset, which was great to see over the ocean. After, we returned to the motel to get ready before driving into the city centre to look for dinner. We drove to Union Square which is where all the premium designer shops are. Unfortunately we couldn’t work out where we were allowed to park so we just drove around and then headed back for a pizza locally. Tomorrow we will probably get the train in so we don’t have to worry about such things.

Overall San Francisco seems like a really nice city and definitely the best since Chicago. Tomorrow we will complete the scenic drive and see downtown during the day.

Photo(s) of the day: Pacific waves and Pacific sunset.