02 August, 2012

Day 28, 312km: Santa Barbara

So for the first time in 10 days I felt cold again. Waking up in that campsite next to the pacific was a chilly morning. The fog was still here.

Amazing views of the Pacific they said
 I packed in triple speed because it was 10 degrees C, had a snack bar and left.

The sea is probably 200 or 300 m below
 The road was still completely covered by the fog, so that was a cold morning drive. On some parts we would be higher than the fog for a few minutes before digging back into it. So I didn't have much chance to enjoy the view, but that was still nice. For those of you who have read "Brume"by King, that was most of my morning. Minus the blood thirsty monsters of course.

Sea lions enjoying their morning by the beach
That was fun to see. Most of them were quietly sleeping on the beach and a few were in the shallow part of the beach arguing over something, probably related to their love affairs. In the picture below you can see 4 of them engaged in two "fights". They weren't really fighting but rather challenging each other, emitting guttural noises that sounded like enormous burps.

Some of them arguing in the sea
You're burping to me?
You're burping to me?
Then who the hell are you burpin' to?

This house escaped from Dragon Ball
After a hundred kilometers or so, the road came back into civilization with lots and lots of small towns on the way.
Stopped for lunch "picnic" at some stop on the highway where I talked with a fellow motorcycle driver who's been to Alaska and crossed the USA several times 20 years ago. "It never leaves you" he said, walking his dogs. The excitement and memories that I was bringing back to him were really nice to feel! It was nice.

Continuing on Highway 101
 At some point the Californian Highway 1 joined the HW 101 which is a much larger road, still along the coast. The landscape changed slowly, opening up to longer beaches and fewer cliffs.

Santa Barbara State Street
My destination for the day was Santa Barbara, recommended by Fanny and Nabil, friends of Amelie G (I salute them all!) which I should meet tonight.
That was a nice city indeed, I don't know Spain much but that's probably how coastal cities look there. Lots of tourists, restaurants and fashion shops along the main road, State Street.
Since I arrived there early I walked around and visited downtown. People recommended me to visit the Courthouse.

Santa Barbara Courthouse
 It was a nice place indeed, with strong Hispanic influence in the architecture as you can see ... ! Anyway in this region there's probably 50% of the signs/shops with names and menus in Spanish.
Though it was fun to know that it was built in the 1920s, long after the area didn't belong to Spain anymore.

Going up the courthouse tower
It was a nice and cool (important!) building, that offered a good view of the overall city form the courthouse's tower.

Santa Barbara looking south to the sea
 After that I checked into a motel (Accor!) away from downtown. Helene, I remember you saying that whenever Ibis rooms where rented to people of a certain nation your staff would find the bathroom completely soaked the next day.

Well I may have an explanation.

Laundry, dish washing and cooking area
See, when you're being as cheap as it gets, you will do your laundry in the wash basin and the bath tube. Now you can be as careful as you want, water will spill on the floor. Plus when hanging the laundry in the bathroom, more water will be spilled.
If you add the water that I also did my cooking and dish washing here (each with their own incidents) you end up with a place that is more like a swimming pool than a bathroom.
So maybe your guests at Ibis were doing the same thing. I strongly believe so after doing it myself.

Cleaned as best I could and headed to bed early (Futurama live on Comedy Central!). Next destination: Los Angeles and Santa Monica!

Cheers everyone,
Have a great day/night.



  1. Dis-toi juste que ta chambre d'hotel sera prise en photo et tout le staff fera circuler la photo avec un ptit message "another crazy customer".
    Hey dis... Tu me ramenes un sea lion ? Le poutou khun Guigui, et merci pour la video :)

    1. Bon si au moins j'en fait rire...!

  2. "Santa Barbara, dis mois pourquoi j'ai le mal de vivre..." Bon, tu etais surement trop jeune pour cette extraordinaire (sic) chanson d'Herbert Leonard qui introduisait la serie du meme nom.. dommage, tu aurais pu te passer ca dans ton casque en baguenaudant ca et la ...
    J'ai un peu le meme souci que toi avec le bassin... je suis dans un hotel vicieux ce soir au Bresil a Lencois (Bahia), ou les sacs de laundry sont disposes a cote du bassin dont la bomde de fond a ete enlevee... Y sont malins ici ! J'ai ruse, et je suis parvenu a convertir le hair cap en plastique mou en bonde de fond...
    Si tu prevois de passer par le Bresil, pense a acheter aux US les meilleurs ear plugs que tu puissent trouver, genre "Noise Terminator". Hormi les grandes villes comme SP, partout ailleurs, on a l'impression qu'ils sont toujours en train de faire la fete, de jouer de la musique, et de faire du bruit.. sympas sauf lorsqu'on veut dormir.
    Te recommende Chapada Diamantina dans ton expedition, splendide, j'ai ausi croise quelques touristes motards "professionnels"

    1. Merci effectivement les deux endroits ont l'air vraiment magnifiques! Les voila dans la todo list Brasil. Bon sejour a toi!