Na, I’ll find some real words, I’ll try to refrain from using made up Brian B’donde words when I write this.
There isn't much to say though to be fair, but it has been emotional. leaving the farm :( baaaaaa) Thanks to Richard and Catherine I was so comfortable there, I had no worries, I could just do what I wanted! and now I’m all on my own. out in the big bad world. I have named my truck though! I went male, as there is nothing feminine about him; Bruce. Big Brown Bruce Burther. Big Brucie… I think it fits. Pretty stereotypical but it works!
Quite sad that I cant Skype home or Chlo or anything anymore, that was kind of a comfort. But I suppose thats all part of it. Going off the grid in a way. I am excited to spend my first night in Big Brucie though! Got it all set up and everything!
The first stop was about 10 minutes down the road at El Grand Amigo, where I picked up a fabulous carne asada burrito. I only drove a few hours down the coast as it was getting late. I pulled up right outside steamer lane in Santa Cruz. It only took about 10 minutes for the cops to move me on. (that was ok I suppose, as any later I would have been all snuggled up!) Its ok cos I have just driven up a side street :) anyway! time for bed now! fingers crossed there will be a few waves tomorrow so I can surf steamer lane! woohoo!!!!
So! as you can see I have already failed at writing entries every day… But it was almost impossible this last week! I have just been so busy! Plus I have had people staying with me almost every night, making it impossible to find the time! Anyway, I’d best get on telling of my adventures.
As I had predicted, steamer lane was flat when I woke up. I had a pretty chilled morning. I went and parked up there for breakfast anyway, seeing as there is probably no better place to eat porridge and drink tea. What soon became clear, is that there is quite a large population of homeless people living in cars and trucks in California. It happens that the car park I was in was some sort of morning gathering of these jolly folk. They all turned up, drinking coffee and beer and having a yatter, I even got talking to a few! As I was leaving one of the guys I was talking to gave me a book! I asked if he wanted anything in return, that I had a book I could trade, but he said not to worry, and to enjoy my trip! what a nice guy!
That was how I set of, a smile on my face and a book in hand. It was in this jolly mood that I stumbled across a pair of hitch hikers! They Looked like nice enough guys, so I swung on to the hard shoulder to see where they were heading. “where are you guys heading?”
“Any where south” came the reply from the hippie with the guitar “hoping to end up in San Diago”
“well I guess its your lucky day!” and just like that I had to extra travel buddies.
They turned out to be Jordan and Kent Raw, half brothers with a Dad in Newcastle (yes thats right, the Mother Land!) and Mothers in California. They were just taking a bit of time out to hitch hike from… well I’m not sure actually… possibly San Francisco? I think Jordan may have come all the way from Oregan, where he had been working on a Marajuana farm snipping the buds. a long, repetitive, odious job, but as you can imagine it has benefits other than paying well.
It didn’t take long for these acquaintances to become friends. It was a shame I was meeting up with a friend (Luis Eyre) in Santa Barbara, or I think we would have Travelled together for a bit longer. we did however, have a great day. It started with the wonders of Highway 1.
One of the more famous roads in the world, Highway 1 can be traced from Alaska to Panama, or near enough to make no matter. Following the coast the entire way. Personally, I think we found the best bit. For about 3-4 hours we were winding down a narrow, 2 lane cliff road. With a vertical cliff rising to the left, and a vertical cliff dropping to the right. Not small cliffs either! The Pacific glistening as far as the eye could see and not a cloud in the sky. It was stunning. Oh and don't let me forget the Hump Back Whales! We kept having to pull over, for around every bend there was a new wonder! The Whales were pretty awesome though. We saw a fair few, and they were close as well!
If you wanted to know, this was Big Sur. What was really crazy was the amount of perfect, empty waves there were at the bottom of these cliffs. Most near impossible to get down to, but a few had paths down. After we stopped for some food (the lovely chaps bought me a burrito! This solidified the friendship), we stopped at a little cove with a lovely wave for a surf. Jordan had surfed before, so I let him borrow a wetsuit and board and we jumped in! We left Kent on the beach to look after the stuff. We didn't stay in for long, but we had a lot of fun. We were even joined by a few dolphins! Another aspect to the awesome day!
As I wanted to reach Santa Barbara that night we set of again, only to pull over again a few hours on. A beach full of Elephant Seals. Hundreds. Huge. I can’t even… It was awesome. The tourists had a car park and a view point with fences and no entry signs, so we went a bit further up the fence to get a closer look (we were very respectful and didn't get to close and didn't disturb any wild life and all that jazz, we just wanted to get a little closer). They were pretty funny though, with their massive noses. Noisy as well!
Anyway, it was getting kind of late by this point, so we decided to get some food and watch the sun set on a beach. We got ingredients for fish tacos and went down to a quiet beach to light a fire. We ended up just chilling there for a few hours, it was so nice! We had a little fire, food, beers, a guitar. A great sun set and a great evening. What was crazy was I had only met these guys that morning!
By the time the fire had burned down it was about 9 o’clock. I was still quite awake, so decided to drive on, we had to find somewhere less conspicuous to camp up anyhow. They had a tent, so would pitch up where ever I did. This turned out to be a bit of a mistake. For a few miles down the road Highway 1 merged with the 101, a big 12 lane freeway, with no no hope of being able to pull over and sleep. we decided to keep going till the roads diverged. This was another mistake, as this didn't happen for at lest 100 miles. I ended up getting lost twice trying to find somewhere to camp, both times ending up back on the 101. It wast till after midnight that we finally pulled over, about 30 miles from Santa Babara. We were all so knackered I said they could kip in the truck. Kent slept across the front seats and me and Jordan kipped in the 2 beds I had put in the back. We pretty much passed straight out. It was a good day.
The next day was the only day I had to see Luis, so we woke relatively early to get to santa babara. Now, what I hadn't realised in the confusion of the night before, was we had run out of fuel. As a result we made it about 2 miles before the engine conked out half way up a hill! I actually cant believe we didn't die at this point. We were going slow as it was, so when the engine died we started to role backwards down the hill! In to traffic coming up the hill at 60 miles per hour! After an initial panic, I remembered there was still a bit of fuel in the reserver tank, so with one hand reaching under the seat for the switch, and the other reversing on to the hard shoulder, I managed to get us going again.
What was ridiculous was there were no bloody petrol stations! We were on the empty line (Bruce doesn’t have a light bless him, swell as a horn… at least, non I can find) for about 18 miles before we came across a fuel station! I was driving super conservative, like coasting at every opportunity and hardly putting my foot on the accelerator. I thought we were going to break down again on every hill! but we made it to the fuel station, and subsequently to Santa Barbara!
The morning was a fabulous one to be sure, the boys bought breakfast (granola, yogurt, bananas and melon) which we ate on the beach in santa babara. It was stunning. It reminded me of croatia, the sea was dead flat and crystal clear, even had the islands out to sea! The only slightly sad point was the oil rigs. But really lovely morning. “Puta Vida” or what ever Jordan kept saying, something about life being f**king awesome.
Unfortunately, this was where our paths diverged. We had travelled over 250 miles together, gone whale watching, dolphin watching, seal watching, surfing, camped together, seen eagles, played guitar, made a bonfire on the beach together. All in a day! But everything must come to an end, so with goodbyes and promises to meet up elsewhere in our travels, we went out separate ways. I dropped them in a convenient place and went on my way.
Luis was staying with some old family friends form Portugal. They were super nice, even let me have a shower and use their sink to do my dishes! There shower was soon nice! like standing in a hot waterfall. omg. Amazeballs.
Anyway, it turns out they were going on a hike! And not just some walk up a hill, I’m talking a proper hike, like rock climbing hike. We set out pretty much as soon as I got there. Me, Luis, Luis’s mate and his brother and 2 of their mates (one was a surfer from cornwall!). It started out pretty mellow, a relatively steep assent up a river bed. It was super, through a wooded valley, steadily getting higher and higher above sea level. Then we came to the bottom of this 100ft odd cliff, where there was obviously a waterfall when there was rain. We took a rest hear, as you got an awesome view down the valley to the ocean. Then we started up the cliff.
There was this goat track of sorts up the side of the water fall, accept no goat could have made it up there. Apart from most of it involving clinging to vertical rock faces, there were some places where you actually had to pull yourself up ropes! It was worth it though, we ended up sat on a massive bolder, which was perched on the edge of the water fall, at the top of a beautiful valley, looking down on Santa Babara and the ocean.
After a long and slightly less death defying descent down the ridge of the valley, we ended up in a pub down-town drinking flagons German beer, followed by traditional german bratz (sausages). When we had drunk our fill at the pub, we moved to the beach for a fire and more beer. And that ended another awesome day in California, playing beach foot ball and dizzy dinosaurs. Puta Vida.
06/01/2015 07/01/2015 08/01/2015
The next day I was up early and back on the road, I had a 5 hour drive ahead of me and was supposed to be picking Max Pechonis up in Murrieta at 12. The drive was relatively un eventful. I got a pretty good sunrise as I left Santa Babara, and driving through hollywood and LA was cool. The day really started when I saw Max on the side of the road! Me and Max were great mates as kids, but we sort of fell out of touch when he moved to cornwall. For the last year he has been living in florida, as a result we haven't had much time to hang out. But as always with old friends we were strait back in to our old ways, and spent the drive to Huntington catching up and reminiscing of days gone buy. The days of the Woolacombe Crew, breaking in to building sites to skate on the new concrete and empty ponds.
As you can see I’m going to go ahead and chuck my 3 days with Max in as one.
We did have a great time, it was epic hanging out with Max again, chilling and surfing, just like old times. I wanted him to stay on and come down to Baja with me, but his pastport had expired so he couldn’t, and he could only do 3 days for some reason… I think his mum was with friends and was flying home then.
The first couple of days we hung around Huntington and Newport. It was pretty small, but we had some fun surfs. There was actually an ASP (or should I say WST now?) QS event on while we were there, so we got to see some epic surfing as well!
On the evening of the 7th we drove down to San Clemente with high hopes of surfing T-Street and Lower Trestles (Kelohe Andinos training ground) and boy did we score. It wasn't big, only head high, but it was perfect direction and perfect wind. We surfed T-street in the morning which was fun, not too many out and super fun bowly lefts and rights. The real magic started when we got to Trestles.
If you are reading this and you haven't heard of Trestles (there may be a few), just imagine the ideal, most perfect, creme de la creme of perfection a surfer could want. When it is good, Lower Trestles is a perfect A frame peak, with both the right and the left offering long walkable walls of pristine water.
So we took the long, half hour walk to Lowers. We got down there, the sun was up, the wind was light, and the waves were pumping. We surfed for about 2 and a half/3 hours, me going right and Max going left. What was crazy is how many waves we got, it wasn't crowded by Trestles standards, but it wasn't exactly empty! We got so many waves in the end we had to get out because our arms were going to fall off! I’m actually going to throw out there that it was probably one of the best surfs I’ve ever had! I just had so manny sick waves! And they were beautiful waves as well, perfect walls, each offering at least 5 turns! I’m pretty sure Max was of the same mind as we collapsed on the beach to watch the sun setting, with perfect waves rolling in through the shimmering twilight.
After taking the long walk back in to town, we celebrated in a little Mexican place. Max had a quesadilla and I got some enchiladas. Epic end to an epic day. Max’s flight was the next morning, so with a heavy heart I drove back to Murrieta to deliver Max back to his life. He did however say he would get his pastport sorted asap, with the chance to fly out and meet me in southern Baja!
I awoke in a Walmart car park. “today I am going to skype Chloe” I thought. And so I did. With eye on the roads and one on my phone I drove past shops till I found one with free wifi. I did want to skype home, but after I’d spent all morning talking with Chloe it was time to head back down to Trestles.
It wasn't quite as good as the day before, and there were a few more people, but I still grabbed a couple of fun ones. Then it was soup, left over bread and bed on the side of a road in San Clemente.
Today was seriously chilled, I was just like “today I'm not going to do anything” so I didn’t! I lay in as late as I could (which was about 8) and headed down to T-street to watch the waves and have breakfast. It was pretty small, with about 100 ripping 10 year olds in the water. I just made my porridge, drank a cup of tea, chilled and started catching up on this! Turns out I had a lot to write! It has taken me most of the day!
I have missed one thing out. When me and Max were grabbing some food, some guy came up to us to chat. Turns out he is kind of homeless, but he has actually been making money on youtube! He has been going round interviewing other homeless people and people travelling and living in cars and making videos about it! His thing is ‘Road Worriers 360’. He interviewed me and Max which was funny. Anyway, I ran in to him again outside the same shop when I went to get some bread! We sat down for a bit and chatted about stuff which was nice. I’m going to go see him tomorrow morning, he wants to shoot me driving around and stuff for his channel or something…
I think everyone thinks I’m a crazy homeless guy (which I suppose I am). But I am getting lots of interest in the truck. A fair few people have given me compliments, and some have stopped to chat about it. Someone gave me a burrito today! i was chatting to this guy, and he goes “I just got myself 2 burritos from the Mexican, but I can’t eat them both, do you want it?” I was like f**k yeah! Free food! So far I’ve managed to get 5 free meals and a book! Safe to say I’m buzzing.
But yeah! Here I am, I did have a fun surf at T-Street (landed a big spin! eat that Will Baily, you owe me a fiver!) but yeah, I have just been chilling, writing this and getting ready for tomorrow. I think I’m going to head down to carlsbad to see some people I met up in half moon bay! buzzing! Over and out.