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Google, the Big Sur and the hitchiker

GogleSo I left San Francisco today after a memorable three day visit. Certainly a cool place, quite literally at night!

So I headed out in my Korean hire car along US 101 through Silicon Valley and decided to pull off the freeway and visit my old friend Google. It took me 30 minutes to find it and I was slightly disappointed when I spotted their very modest HQ.

I drove on South and picked up State Highway 1, better known as the Big Sur. A short way into the drive I spotted a female hitchhiker looking a little sorry for herself and for some reason I decided to pass her, despite actually wanting some company for the trip.

I pulled in for one of the Vista Points and a mile further on I spotted the girl again, looking even more distraught.

So this time I pulled over. I very straggly looking 30 something bounded up to the passenger door and asked where I was headed. ‘I am going all the way to Santa Barbara’ I said enthusiastically.

So she climbed in and accompanying her was a smell I won’t forget in a hurry (and neither will the passenger seat of my car).

It then dawned on me that she was homeless. She was carrying a small pack, a tent, roll mat and little else.

I now realised how she ended up 5 miles ahead of me.

‘How far are you going?’ I asked with some hesitation. ‘Only a few miles’ she said. She was going to be camping on the beach in some remote spot.

True to her word she got out of the car after 5 miles or so and with some relief on my part as I was gagging to be honest.

I kind of felt guilty in a way as I would have never picked her up if I knew what I knew when she got in the car. One surprising thing for me is the amount of homeless people in California, particularly San Francisco. Such a prosperous state and so many people living like that.

So I am heading further south tomorrow to Surf City USA, aka Huntington Beach then onto San Diego where I am going to gorp at some animals before heading back up to Los Angeles and home!

View on the Big Sur….


Don’t worry, they were all alive…


Some of the crew from the Yosemite trip…


Yosemite really is the Taj Mahal of National Parks…