Friday, 28 December 2007


South towards Watsonville today through the Coastal Ranges. Also a day of adjustment:

4.45 local time - Reached Aptos, 12 miles passed Santa Cruz - just under 82miles today. In Best Western Motel. Would have gone farther but dark by 4.30pm and another 20 - 30 mile stretch before another night stop. Been a day of working everything out - daylight 7am to 4.30pm, getting to know and understand new maps, carry lunch to save daylight cycling time (took half an hour for lunch to arrive today after ordering), hotels/motels seem to be out of towns rather than in them, no camping - too cold. Feels weird wearing long cycling clothes.

Hilly out of San Francisco. Stunningly beautiful coast - people surfing (in wet suits!). Road busy but good space. Noticed the stillness though a tail breeze. Not been still like this since before Turkey. Still adjusting to different time zone, weather etc. Off for big sleep and on the road tomorrow by 7am.

California's state governor is Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Earlier in his career he played Conan the Barbarian in a classic film, and explored the realms of Hyboria.

South of Monterey Bay is the famous Big Sur area. In the hills behind are some Coastal Redwood trees. Image by Flickr user (nz) Dave under Creative Commons

Monterey has famous kelp forests.

This is a classic coastal landscape with the highway running alongside the cliffs.

Some useful maps are provided by the USGS. They are particularly active in California as it is a state which is prone to multiple hazards.
Mark is about to enter an area which, judging by the USGS diagram below is prone to lots of hazards. Click the diagram to find out more:
One of the many hazards is the risk of a tsunami...

Tsunami warning sign by Flickr user davebluedevil under Creative Commons

One issue for the state is immigration. The BRACERO program is something which is included in my AS / A2 specification, and is worth reading about. It was followed by Operation Wetback. It has a link to the more modern trend for the location of maquiladoras across the border into Mexico. As Mark heads further south, the Mexican influence in the landscape and culture is likely to become more apparent...

Alan Parkinson

AKA "Mrs V"

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