Saturday, April 27, 2002

San Francisco to Sydney - Day 12

Day 12 : Monterey to San Luis Obispo

We spent most of today travelling, first by Amtrak mini-bus from Monterey to Salinas, and then by Amtrak train from Salinas to San Luis Obispo. The train was late pulling into Salinas and, accordingly, we were late arriving at San Luis Obispo. The terms "late" and "Amtrak" appear to be synonymous, but today was our last Amtrak journey, so this is no longer of concern to us.

Train rides, we've found, are decidedly soporofic : we've both nodded off at some point during our two train journeys. But I did manage to stay awake for a large portion of the trip today and I was taken by the attractiveness of the passing scenery. Grey clouds loomed over green hills that rolled down into farm land laid out in squares of ploughed, brown land and crop-laden, green paddocks. Farm workers, yellow buses, white cars, dirty trucks and blue portaloos were dotted across the farms.

San Luis Obispo Debs took this photo as the train approached San Luis Obispo, just before we took a horseshoe-shaped turn into the township. In the background of the photo you can see San Luis Obispo, known to the locals as SLO (pronounced "slow"). The town's much bigger than either of us expected. We're only here for one night, just long enough to visit the Mission and then leave; we didn't expect there'd be much to see here.

We're staying at the Travelodge. It's cheap and it's close to the Greyhound station we'll need tomorrow. They've obviously had problems in the past with people not paying their phone bills : I've just discovered that I can't make a 25c local phone call to post this blog because I haven't provided the front desk with a $20 deposit. So, you won't be reading this blog, nor last night's, until we arrive in Long Beach tomorrow night.

SLO Travelodge The waving couple that you can see in this photo on the top floor, are also staying at the Travelodge. We're a bit worried because they were in exactly the same position when we left for dinner as they were when we returned. If they're still there in the morning, we'll have to mention something to the owner.

Only In America

Tonight, the first in a series of items where I'll reveal activities, comments and behaviours that we've witnessed and that seem unique to the US.

A couple of days ago Debbie and I were walking along Monterey's Recreational Trail, a trail that runs from Downtown Monterey, along Cannery Row and then along the water for some distance. It's popular with bicyclists, rollerskaters, skateboarders, walkers, runners and joggers, so it was no great surprise when we spotted coming towards us a lycra-clad female jogger, moving swiftly and purposefully. What was unusual though was what she was pushing in front of her : a pram, complete with baby. The kid will have completed three or four marathons before he can even walk.

Originally posted by TC

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