Yesterday we were spoilt by Tex’s lovely daughter at her home and we tasted all the wine she made under her Lable:
Her Boyfriend is also a wine maker and we tasted some of his wine, and then we were given a taste sensation with more local wine from the valley and something to snack on.
Then came the big spoil, they did a Braai for us, but used a new cut of meat, called :Hanger Steak, (Lies Steak in Afrikaans.) It has only in the last year become known and before it was called “The Butchers Cut” as butchers would keep this tender yet tasty cur for themselves, it was Next Level !!!
I found the Californian Wines very good, and what was interesting it that their palet is slightly sweeter than ours, and I must say I liked the little sweeter Cab Sauv and even their Dry Riesling was sweeter than ours.
My Breakfast that I had this morning was really very poor, it was a Corn Dog (Vienna in a dough, really healthy as Corn was used, with lots of sugar and preservatives and heaps of MSG.) Please note the Presentation:
Last night was a bad night, with firstly our worst accommodation yet on this trip, the Budget Inn was out of Non Smoking rooms and half of the group had to sleep in Smoking Rooms, never thought it would be so difficult to sleep in that smelly room, but it was really horrible. And then, to make matters worse we went out for dinner at Hooters, where they discriminate against Small Breasted Women, and the girls wear very short Shorts and tight tops. But there were several families with kids, so its not “Stripper-Like” and the menu consist of Burgers and Ribs and Chicken Wings done so many different ways that it takes up half of the Menu. But the prices are steep, 2 beers and 10 Chicken Wings cost R580-00 with the tip.
We wanted to beast the traffic into SF and had an early start at 7h30 without coffee of Breakfast, we rode the 80km and parked Illegally to take this photo with Alcatraz Prison behind us. All the people were out running, walking the dog, cycling etc.
Then we found a Public parking garage where we parked out bikes and I locked my Riding Gear onto my bike and changed into T-Shirt and Shorts with Tekkies as the sun was out, (it got up to 28 degrees today.)
We then started walking along the famous Fisherman’s Warf, there were hardly any people yet, but later we could not walk as thousands of people came there for lunch, so here is what it looks like before the crowds arrive.
There are plenty of these Electric Scooters you can hire, you download the App and register with your Credit Card, then when you get to the scooter you scan the ID of the scooter and the Lock fastening it to the wall pops open and you ride it until you park it again and lock it.
Trolley Busses are Synonymous with San Francisco Bay, and they all are painted differently.
Another Thing associated with SF is the two bridges, we arrived on the one and left on the other, all I can say is that when 7 bikes stop at the entrance-side of the bridge to try and take a coria graphed photo it causes chaos, even if it is 8h30, and can easily result in Jail Time.
So this photo above I took from the Ferry.
We then took the ferry across to “The Rock.” This prison was made famous by the Clint Eastwood film about how three guys escaped, and I did not know it, but it is a True Story, three guys did escape after digging through their cells Air Vent with spoons they stole, 13 were found hidden in one of the cells. The 3 guys made it to their ” boat” made of Rain Coats, and pushed off into the ripping current, never to be seen again and this is how Legends are made as the bodies were never found.
They handed out Audio Tour ” Devices” free of charge, usually one has to pay which always results in chaos within the group as we are too stingy to all get one device and then it is ripped from ear to ear and between us we get the whole story, but each just know a little part of the story. So getting my own device I could listen to the entire tour, and it is narrated by three inmates and three Prison Wardens, so it is ” from the horses mouth.” When we got to D Block the one prisoner told how he would be taken there for Solitary Confinement, basically a dark cell where you are all alone, only let out once a week for a shower and a half an hour walk outside in the courtyard. He tells how he stayed sane by taking a button from his shirt a nd throwing it in the dark cell against a wall, and then it would bounce around and roll around, and then he would spend some time finding it, just to throw it away again so that he can search for it again.
See above, the prison started in 1934 and closed in 1969, and when it closed some Native Americans (Indians) occupied the Island and protested for 19 Months for the Island to be returned to the Indians.
After the tour we went to Pier 39 and met Milsy’s school mate, Bronwyn went to school with him and she is a renowned Architect in SF, we ate lunch with her (R750-00 for Fish and chips and a beer.) and then we went back to the Parking and paid R200-00 to park each bike for 5 hours. She then got on her Electric Bicycle and pedaled for 10km as she lead us on a tour of her city. We stayed in the Bicycle Lane and she went up and down the huge hills also synonymous with SF.
She took us down Lombard st, the steepest street in the world, the road transverse down with 8 zig-zag’s as it is too steep to go straight up or down.
Part of the 10km Tour went through the “Gay Area.” And a very large portion of the population in SF are gay. Another large portion drive electric cars and it is a very “arty” city. Its big on green and carrots are in big supply and less so are steak. I had an idea of California but must say I look at it now the same as most of the rest of USA, it has the highest Fuel Price R25-00 p/lt (LA is R28-00, also part of California.) It has the highest Income tax and property Tax, no wonder big companies are leaving the state.) But, the money from tax definitely gets spent on the roads as we had the most amazing ride East, inland, rolling through vineyards and orchards.)
Sorry, distracted, back to the Gay Suburb. (How did us Straight People give away the Rainbow Flag to the Gay Community ??? We were caught napping, can we take it back???
We went to this hill for the view, but I suspect most people here were there for the “other view.”
Good thing I am not Gay, I think I would have freaked-out these guys if I was gay and arrived there with my Boep-Pes and Board Shorts.
OK, Lets look at the view now, meaning the Sky Line as well.
We then said our Good Byes and hit the road for just over 200km to our little village in the hills, a real romantic Break Away, on the doorstep of the National Park we ride through tomorrow, Yosemite. Ad then we will aim for Las Vegas, And as they say in the movies, what happens in Vegas Stays in Vegas. But I have decided that I would share on this Blog should I find out that I got married and than I was married by Elvis.
Sadly I heard that the good old days of going to Vegas and then getting Food and Drinks on the house, as long as you gambled, are gone. Now you pay through your bum for the food, the drink, the accommodation and then you still need to lose some money in the casino. Well, they have a surprise coming as they don’t know how stingy us Boertjies can be. As I type this, Peens is in the restaurant refusing to drink their drinks, he mixed a “Stoute Coke” which is a Brand and Coke hidden in your own Sippy Cup.