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Simon’s Travel Diary

Thursday, 10 Apr 2008

Location: Tuckers Grove, California, USA

MapI’ve taken to walking over the last few days and, as I’m used to pootling around Bath, I must say that it’s very different here. Needless to say, US society isn’t especially used to getting from A to B under their own power (with petrol and public transport so cheap, I can understand why they’d rather not) and I did find that, with my spanking new mp3 player blasting in my ears, I was caught out several times by a pavement simply ending without warning, leaving me at the side of the equivalent of a major A road. Cars whiz by at a heady 45mph and you do get your fair share of looks: “Why’s that guy walking, Harv?” “He’s a fatty, too, ain’t he, Barb…?”.

Crossing intersections is a real Death Race 2000 experience too. In the US you can turn right at a junction even if the light is on red, so cars do tend to come at you quickly (from the wrong side too, of course). Jay-walking laws are designed to catch foreign tourists out, so you do have to wait for the green ‘walk now’ sign to flash on (it lasts about 3 seconds) to allow you to scurry across six lanes in relative safety. I also have to cross Hwy 1 on my chosen route (pronounced ‘rout’), which took ten minutes the other day…

Still, I made my way up to Tuckers Grove County Park, which is a lovely wooded area that has a few trails through the trees. What was also cool was that there were several huge BBQ areas that can be hired out for parties, get-togethers and so forth and in the late afternoon there were several large gatherings firing up the coals and having a great time. Those of you who’ve come to our August Bank Holiday sessions will know what I’m on about, although there was slightly less booze and the volume was also a little reduced…