07 June, 2010

At the beach again

There is no getting away from it. The Californian coastline is stunning. Think Cornwall or Pembrokeshire on a monumental scale. Cliffs, sandy beaches, blue skies, pelicans, rocks.

And fog. Where we live is in a sunny part of San Francisco. We do get fog and now is fog season. But it usually lifts in the morning and doesn't come back until the evening. We can see it settled on Twin Peaks, obscuring Sutro Tower from view but it doesn't often drift down the hill during the day. On Sunday however we were driving north over the Golden Gate Bridge and up the coast to Stinson. The bridge itself was almost invisible. We couldn't see the tops of those famous arches even when driving right underneath. We were entirely surrounded by fog. The drive up 101 and then onto Highway 1 was mostly foggy with occasional glimpses of stunning landscapes - the bay and then the coast. Highway 1 at this point is an incredibly sick-making winding road, skirting around cliffs - which we couldn't see, just sense - past Muir Woods and on down the coast until you reach Stinson.

Stinson itself is lovely and very popular. We got there early which was good and the beach really filled up later in the day.

When we first arrived there was some kind of martial arts display or class going on, first on the sand and then in the sea. Which seemed a bit unnecessary. There is a gorgeous beach, some outrageously expensive housing and some rather chic shops. That's about it. All tucked between beautiful steep hills and a sandy beach.

We met friends, had a picnic, slathered on the sun cream and sat or jumped around. The girls had a great time tentatively jumping off sand dunes with the boys who were a bit more adventurous, of course. I sat reading a book about American wine (more later) and watched Californians on the beach. Turns out they are just as stupid about sun-bathing as the British, though usually a bit more tanned to start off with. There were several lobsters by the end of the day. No hankies on heads though and no deck chairs. So a bit more Beach boys than Brighton. And in the distance there were para-surfers or whatever that's called. Looked very very cool - scary clearly to this lousy swimmer - but very cool. If I had been tempted into the water (wasn't as the surf is big and the temperature low) this might also have scared me.

Great Whites. Wow.

1 comment:

Suzanne@ Panteg Alpacas said...

We stayed in Stinson Beach MANY years ago , and it was lovely , even thou the landlord was creepy!!