As I leave the city of San Francisco behind me, the radio tuned in to California’s best Friday afternoon hits and moving north, bumper to bumper amidst the weekend traffic, it is here I realise that the past six months of travelling have finally come to a close and I am making my way home in a few days. So for one last time, leaving wonderful memories in the past as I look in the rear mirror, I take on the horizon that lies ahead and focus on the here and now, ready to explore new places.
Approaching Lake Tahoe with its beautiful, clear blue glacial water glistening in the distance, the natural beauty of this ecosystem is simply amazing. The road leads me along the shoreline, down through thick woodlands and up among grey boulders making way to spectacular views. On the sandy shoreline, I join the families and friends taking a break from their weekly routines, grab a pic nic and take a swim in the icy cold waters of this tremendous deep blue basin. I could spend hours if not days exploring this part of the world, but as I am destined for further places along my route I turn in at my country side lodging for the night and take the scenic road to the foothills of Sequoia national park the following day. What lies ahead here is something I could only have envisioned in a fantasy world. Trees the size of giants, valleys wide and vast, rock formations inviting you to climb high and seek out the tree tops and winding roads from above. The scent of pine, moss and mulch evaporates in the summer sun, as my drive takes me back to the foothills and along the dusty valleys that lie stretched out between Sequoia and the Californian coast. Driving along Donner Pass, stopping at Santa Barbara pier and finally arriving at the enchanting farming community of Guadalupe, where I step back in time and indulge in the most enjoyable Mexican food this side of the boarder.
California’s coast line with its natural dunes, ragged cliff side vistas, lighthouses and marine life has taken my breath away. Watching elephant seals, sea otters, and sea lions as I drive north. Pulling over on Highway 1 and joining people from all over the world to take a moment and rejoice in the mesmerising beauty of this place. Waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the shoreline as I raise my head from underneath the sheets at the Montara Lighthouse Hostel and gaze out onto the Pacific Ocean one last time. As I reach the end of the road and return to San Francisco, where final celebrations and reunions await amidst the bustling city vibes south of the Golden Gate Bridge, I feel incredibly fortunate that I have travelled around the world and was able to make this one last stop on my spectacular journey.