Sunday, July 20, 2008

Day 11 - 18th July - Sacramento - Lake Tahoe - San Francisco

Were up at 5.30am, packed up, carried luggage downstairs, cooked up some porridge for breakfast, had one teaspoon of it, then the shuttle arrived, so had to bin breakfast and get into shuttle. Damn - I was hungry. Shuttle cost $39 for the three of us (another hosteller came with us - Raul - also had a hearing impairment, that we met the night before. He asked if he could come with us and we said yes.

Shuttle dropped us off at the rental car place. We had ordered a midsize car - but they didn't have one ready, so they upgraded to a big SUV! Very comfortable - even bigger than the van we had going from Montreal to Chicago in 2006 - very nice too. Not too gas hungry.

I drove first. Everytime I went to indicate to turn, I turned the windscreen wipers on, but apart from that I was okay. Drove all the way to Lake Tahoe - stopped for breakfast at Tahoe City as we were starving by then. IT took two hours to drive up. After breakfast drove down the side of the lake and found a carpark. Walked to the beach to find a booth selling tickets for a boat trip on the lake, leaving in 10 minutes. So we decided on the spur of the moment that this would be the best way to see the lake. The ticket 'boy' asked if I was over 55. I told him that just for insulting me, he could give me the discount anyway. He did!!!

The boat trip was beautiful. Very blue water, hot and sunny. Mountains all around, even with a bit of snow up top still in mid summer. Place was crowded with lots of Americans holidaying there. The lake is the 2nd largest body of water in North America - isn't that big in square miles (92), but very very deep. Apparently if the USA ran out of water, it could supply every single american with enough water for 3 years. If it emptied, it would take 700 years to refill naturally.

The boat took us to emerald bay - very very beautiful. Took loads ofphotos as usual.

Back to the car after the trip (2.5 hours), and left Tahoe and made our way back to Paul's. We dropped Raul back in Sacremento - Mike was driving this time - several times he drove on the left, so I will probably drive the next leg down. Arrived Stockton about 5.00pm Google maps are excellent for navigating around USA. We picked up our luggage we had left there, said our goodbyes to Paul, then drove to San Francisco to Steven's place in San Bruno. It was great to see Steven again - he hasn't changed a bit - doesn't look a day over. The only difference is he now sports two cochlear implants (blue ones) on his ears. I asked if that made him 'bi'? We talked until Midnight. Fantastic.

Am very sunburnt from the lake trip -because we had no idea we would go out on the boat, I didn't pack the sunscreen. I have a touch of sunstroke - which is uncomfortable but not as bad as Tahiti 2 years ago. San Francisco is cold - 12C compared to the 38C in Tahoe!! Foggy. Tomorrow it's just washing, and taking it easy for a day!!

We start driving to San Luis Obispo on Sunday, we'll be back in SFO on the 25th - so no internet until then!!

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