We were heading to San Francisco, but we got news from John that he sent our camera and it should already be in Sacramento. Even though this was not on our calendar so early, we decided to go there and get the camera. Unfortunately, we didn’t take into account the USPS and their shitty service. After going around the city being sent from one place to the other to pick up the “general delivery” mail, we finally find out that our “general delivery” package had been returned the moment it arrived for the strangest reason: “unknown addressee”.
Luckily enough, we found a nice couple of travelers who offered to take us around the city and show us around. It was a good experience thanks to Dee and John. They almost convinced us to spend the next night to participate in the evening party, or some sort of monthly festivity which takes over the city. Our days here are counted, so we must keep on going, and so we did! We arrived in San Francisco early morning, with a wonderful sun and clear air that we could see the whole Golden Gate bridge without a trace of fog or clouds. And it was just the beginning.
As we were looking around for a place to park, we saw plenty of people running or cycling, or being engaged in various sports activities. And it was only 8am on a Sunday morning! Getting over the excitement the city welcomed us with, we moved slowly along the Marina to the Pier 39 and Fisherman Wharf. We bought a daily pass for the city ($17 +$3 non-refundable for the plastic, each) and we went straight for the cable cars. Not a big queue and we’re going up, leaving behind the Maritime museum and the Alcatraz prison in the distance. It is a very cool feeling to travel hanging on the side of the tram while the conductors brake and accelerate as it goes over the hills. We rode 2 of the 3 tram lines, mostly because we didn’t pay attention when we wanted to board the 3rd one.
A few hours we spent in the Marina, among few of the old ships still afloat, learning about all the shipwrecks around, and the ‘potato patch’. It’s right, but sad at the same time to see how the process of ‘conquering’ the land took place and how the local people were slaughtered and pushed off of their land, but at least it’s written everywhere, so the people know.
We also walked along the famous Hyde street where the famous hippy artists of the 60s used to live, and saw the driving madness on the Lombard street, the most crooked street in the world. The houses on both sides of the road were really nice and well taken care of. Even if the whole city is full of homeless people and beggars, it has a certain charm, an ongoing rattle and a lot of life. The houses are friendly, with large windows exposing their not so techy or fancy interiors. Based on the parking fares and the public transport we figured this must be one very expensive city to live in. The financial area we deliberately avoided – we had enough tall buildings on our trip, but we had to drive through when we left. And since the city has no Walmart to go to, or Couchsurfers still hosting, we drove out South to a rest area. The rest areas are the next best thing here after Walmart when it comes to sleeping for free (in your own car), but I can’t imagine how busy it must be in the summer. All the rest areas are almost full by 6pm, and people are definitely not moving out after 8h (the maximum time you’re allowed in one of these areas), and neither did we.