SAN FRANCISCO - GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE

Trip Start Apr 01, 2013
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Trip End Jun 28, 2013


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Woke up pretty tired. Well more tired than pretty to be fair. Another magnificent interrupted sleep, care of sirens and noisy bums, and no, I don't mean Dave's.

Dave and I had decided we would look to bike around Golden Gate Park and over the Golden Gate Bridge. The good news was that the weather had chosen to play ball as it dawned a pearler day.
 
Dave had some last minute shopping to do as he was flying home this evening so he buggered off to Macy's straight after breakfast. While Dave was out, I packed my bag as I was checking out of this hostel and into another later in the day.
 
When Dave returned, we checked out and arranged for our bags to be stored while we went for our bike ride. We jumped on a cable car at Powell Street that was destined for Fisherman's Wharf but strangely enough it didn't follow the same route as the one on Monday. The good news is it took us on to Hyde Street and up to the 'money shot' photo location (where you can get the cable car going down the hill with Alcatraz Island in the background). We got off for the photo op. I had limited success trying to take the photo on Monday but pretty much nailed it this time.
 
We walked the rest of the way down Hyde Street and on the way came across 'Blazing Saddles' bike hire. We thought about hiring the 2-man motor-buggy but were told you weren't allowed to take it on the Interstate or over the bridge so we settled on conventional bikes. 

The lady at the counter provided us with instructions on how to get to the bridge, what to see and where to go for lunch in a little town on the other side of the bridge called Sausalito . She also gave us tickets for the return ferry sailing from Sausalito which would cost us an extra $11 if we chose to use them. Dave was adamant we would cycle back. Me, not so much.
 
The last thing I heard the lady say was that the 15km ride was relatively flat except for the one hill. Lying bitch !!!
 
He got fitted for our bikes and were off ! We headed down to the Crissy Field on the waterfront, rode past the Presidio, and followed the beach towards the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. I stopped several times for photos including a few of two America's Cup teams who were practicing - Team Oracle and the big black beast, Team New Zealand. It was cool seeing our boys all the way over here and also seeing the big catamaran up on the hydrofoils or whatever the feck they are called.
 
We arrived at the base of the bridge at which there is located an old fort from the Civil War era. Fort Point was built in 1861 and was positioned here to defend the harbour entrance. They had old cannons and guns with the cannon balls on display and also had a mock-up of the officers' quarters and enlisted mens' quarters, including the uniforms worn and rifles they had.
 
We jumped back on the bikes and began what was actually our second hill climb which would take us to the start of the Golden Gate Bridge. I got a bit of a sweat up but made it to the top. I grabbed a couple of overpriced drinks at the top from a cafe and we headed across the bridge. The bridge itself is flat so the only real challenge was avoiding the truck-load of walkers and the cyclists coming the other way.
 
On the other side we had an enjoyable ride coasting down a big hill on our way to Sausalito. The enjoyment was short-lived as there was a big arse hill to climb at the other end. That bitch at the bike hire place needs a slap !
 
We dug deep for a bit more energy and managed to make it to the top but my thighs were burning as was my arse due to those feckin stupid bike seats. Big arse doesn't go with little bike seat. I needed a lazy-boy for my bike !
 
We had another down-hill stretch and then the town of Sausalito came into view, much to our delight. Dave had changed his tune on the return trip via the bike and was particularly enthusiastic about the ferry ride. For me, it was never in doubt.
 
What a cool town Sausalito is. It is like an upmarket version of Devonport and doesn't have the wankers that live there either. There are heaps of cool cafes and ice cream shops, both of which we would make use of.
 
We had worked up a fierce appetite and thirst so went straight to a cafe for a bite to eat. We both ordered the beef sliders (3 mini cheeseburgers) with fries. I ordered a thirst quenching Belgian Ale and Dave ordered a Guinness for reasons I don't know. Perhaps he had some furniture that needed polishing.
 
Once we'd finished lunch we both grabbed an ice cream and went for a romantic walk in the park. NOT !!!
 
We jumped on the 4.25pm ferry which took us back to the Ferry Building in the city. It only took about half an hour to get back to the mainland. Unfortunately, the ferry building was 5km from where we hired our bikes though. Tired and weary, we jumped on the bikes and battling fierce headwinds, made our way back to Blazing Saddles via yet another bloody hill.
 
We dropped the bikes off and grabbed a bus back up town. We stopped into one of the Irish bars we had been frequenting and had a couple of 'farewell' drinks. 
 
We then headed back to the hostel to collect our bags and Dave grabbed a shuttle to the airport for his return flight to Auckland. I made my way down to the hostel I would be staying at for the next 3 days which was only half a mile away. Unfortunately it wasn't the best half mile to be walking however as it was full of strung out derelicts and crackheads who were talking to themselves, yelling and spitting. I set a cracking pace, ducking and diving and keeping my head down.
 
It was with great relief that I reached the safe confines of my next and final hostel. I gotta say, I was impressed with this place though. It had a bar for starters. I had a very nice private room containing a queen-size bed, a desk and an ensuite. The decor was nice and it looked like it had recently been renovated.
 
I dropped off my bag and headed downstairs to the bar and had a dirty old taco and a couple of beers. After yarning a bit with an Australian, a South African and an Irishman (sounds like the start of a joke), I headed back to my room for some well needed sleep.
 
Over and out !
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