The first day of our roadtrip and we couldn’t have chosen a more beautiful day. We woke up early in the GT hostel, enjoyed our brekkie before we were picked up by the airport shuttle to be brought back to SFO (San Francisco International airport). At the Amalo rental car desk we arranged everything we needed for our car and checked the paper work.
When we came to the garage they seriously said we could CHOOSE one from a specific row of cars. It felt like our birthday. With a non-existant knowledge about cars we basically choose the car based on colours, space in the back and license plate. In which state did we want to drive around? Texas? Nevada? California? For an unknown reason we chose a grey Nissan Sentra from 2015 with Californian plates.
We dumped stuff in the car and our journey was about to start. Since I didn’t manage to get my driver’s license in time, Joyce will be driving the entire route. The car has an automatic transmission. Therefore there was a catch phrase of the first day: “crap, I’m not driving stick!”
During our first day on the road we made several stops along the coast. From San Francisco we quickly made our way to the California highway 1 south. Our first stop was in Moss Beach at the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve.
When it’s low tide you can see all kinds of sea creature between the rocks such as star fish, little crabs and so on. Unfortunately for us, it was high tide. Still it was a beautiful beach and we saw several sea lions sun bathing in the sand. We also enjoyed the sun and were glad we weren’t biking on this day because it was pretty hot.
After spending some time in Fitzgerald we made our way back to the car and after a quick bathroom stop we made our way to Greyhound Rock.
Greyhound Rock is in a park along the California 1. This major rock in the sea is easily accessible via the path going down the cliffs. On the beach you have a pretty view on the Pacific. We made our way on Greyhound Rock to see the beautiful cliffs with trees, rocks and flowers. Climbing back up the cliffs wasn’t pretty with the day’s temperatures.
Our next stop was Shark Fin Cove. The name for this cove was very obviously. The rock in the cove did look like a shark fin. We made our way down a pretty steep dirt path down the cliff and entered this private beach.
The first scent that approached us, was the smell of weed. Now, being born and raised in the Netherlands might suggest every Dutchman knows what pod smells like. I reckon the smell was familiar to me, but until I went to Denver, Colorado last year I never connected the smell to weed. I have never smelt so much marihuana in my life as I did in Denver. I still find that quite a feat for someone from a country in which this drugs has been legal for as long as I can remember. So when arriving on the little beach, our first thought was “not another one”. The smell is far more present in all sorts of places in the US than in the Netherlands.
Shark Fin Cove is however not the perfect place for a swim. The sea is pretty rough with high and strong waves hitting the shore covered in sand and large rocks.
Our last stop of the day was the Walmart in Marina before going to our airbnb in Del Rey Oaks.
I find the Walmart (and other large grocery stores such as Safeway) fascinating. They are so much more than just a place to buy your food. Of course there is a difference between the express and the supercenter stores. Since we’ll be camping in the Grand Canyon National Park later on in our journey, we bought a tent, an air mattress and we invested in a decent sleeping bag.
Our host of the day, Phoenix, had sent us a message saying she wouldn’t be in when we’d be arriving, but she said to make ourselves at home. Indeed we did. We even received a big welcome from her boxer/pitbull mix breed dog, Sadie. We unloaded the car, unpacked what we needed before we made dinner. Phoenix returned in the evening and after we had a little chat we went to bed, recharging for the next day.