30 August 2012

Going Down the Coast - Day 1

I've been lazy again. We were out riding on the weekend 18/19/20th of August. Took Monday off to have a bit more time and decided to ride South.

We went on Highway 9 to Santa Cruz, then took Highway 1 South - a classic ride in California and it is just plain breath taking riding along the rough coast line. The area from Santa Cruz to Monterey isn't very nice, but from then on it's pure joy.

Start of the fun part

Around Big Sur

The trusty steeds

We had really nice weather, clear sky, no fog, so we decided to take 1 all the way to San Luis Obispo that day and do the inland routes on the way back.

At Bigsby Bridge

Another short break

It was super windy at the coast, riding was sometimes quite a challenge when a wind gust shook the bike right in the middle of a corner while leaned over. Not nice. Relaxing is everything, the bike does the rest. It's still hard.

Did I say "nice weather"?
We wanted to stay in San Luis Obispo, didn't have a hotel reservation. What a mistake that was. As in our opinion it wasn't any kind of special weekend, we did not book anything in advance, especially as we didn't know how far we'd ride on the first day. 

Arriving in SLO and checking some of the hotels - they were all booked out. Hmmm. Okay. Went into a Starbucks, got the phone out and started calling around. To make the story short, I called 34 hotels overall until I found a room for us. There was a room at #29 or so but these assholes wanted $300 for some kind of no-name crap motel. Sorry Mr. Nightshift, no fluffing up your salary with some additional money from travelers, you can rip off whoever you want, we would have ridden back home if that were the only room available. 

We stayed in the Courtyard Marriot in Paso Robles for ~ $200 for the room. It was a very nice room, the hotel had a bar where we could get some Merlot to celebrate our 10 years engagement anniversary and then fall asleep after a loooooong day. 

Btw: does it strike you odd that a hotel bar in something that considers itself a "wine country" closes down at 9PM? Being from Europe I find that pretty ridiculous - at 9PM the main traffic just starts in European bars. Ah, doesn't matter, it was a great day and we found a place to stay. All was good.