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Driving down to Santa Cruz

Posted on 2007/01/30 07:28:05 (January 2007).

[Sunday 28th January]
Today found me and two fellow employees at something of a loose end, so the three of us decided to go for a daytrip together. Somehow the plan was hatched to drive down to Santa Cruz, and as it turned out I was the only one with a car, so I was to be the driver for the day.

Sometimes with this kind of outing it is more about the journey than the actual destination - today fell very much into that category. Santa Cruz itself was a vaguely interesting place, but not really the highlight of the day - for me at least getting there was much more fun.

The scenic route from Mountain View (the town in Silicion valley where I've been based here in California) starts by heading out through the suburbs, and then up steep and windy roads into the mountains. This made for surprisingly fun driving - I usually find it very hard to relax when behind the wheel, but once we'd got away from the other cars I really got into my stride. The countryside from there on was quite varied and interesting. Our first short stop off was a sort of ridge, in the area which had apparently been the epicentre for the big earthquake of 1989.

The next stop off was possibly the nicest surprise of the trip - we passed through a forest of giant Redwood trees (or something like that). These were really quite spectacular.

From there we headed on through the plains, and a couple of little redneck towns, before suddenly and quite dramatically arriving at the Pacific. I found the coastline there to have a particular kind of grandeur about it, and I took to it immediately. Really great.

The remainder of the journey to Santa Cruz was on a road which followed the coast, so the views continued to be really nice the whole way.

We eventually arrived at Santa Cruz around 3ish. Whilst it wasn't really the highlight of the day for me, I suppose it wasn't without it's charm. There was a devoted army of surfers out at sea - I had never seen so many in one place before - and downtown was also full of a lot more character than the somewhat more artificial settlements to be found in Silicon Valley.

After a wander around Santa Cruz we motored a little further along the coast to a little seaside village whose name escapes me. This was vaguely reminiscent of seaside villages in England, and as the sun set it had a nice atmosphere to it.

The drive back was of course a lot less interesting - it was dark and so we decided we might just as well cut across land and take the quickest route possible.

We rounded off the day back in Mountain View by dropping off the car and going for tapas - after a day behind the wheel it was really nice to sit back and relax with a couple of glasses of wine.

Comment 1

Are they "Sequoia"? hmmm. Nice trip though! Oh, and by the way - [hint]CIMG1398 = good wallpaper at 1440x900[/hint] Please! :))))))))

Posted by Nigel at 2007/01/30 09:52:45.

Comment 2

Nigel - as it happens when we stopped to look at those big trees there were some other visitors there, and we discussed whether the trees were Redwoods or Sequoia. I tried to pretend (unconvincingly) like I new what I was talking about. I think I had dimly heard of Redwood before, but have to admit Sequoia was completely new to me!

Posted by John at 2007/01/30 17:27:15.

Comment 3

really fantastic pictures! well done!

Posted by Malinda at 2007/01/30 21:03:16.

Comment 4

I thinkI like the starfish best.

Posted by Mum at 2007/01/31 14:50:45.

Comment 5

err, ...Pacific

See any vampires in Santa Cruz?

Posted by paul at 2007/02/03 17:16:06.

Comment 6

Doh! Pacific! (have edited it now - thanks)

Posted by John at 2007/02/03 17:47:47.

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