We were pretty stoked with ourselves that we had miraculously, unintentionally coincided our trip to San Francisco with the “34th America’s Cup”. It’s funny in hindsight - with the Kiwi boys doing so well, we thought there was a very real chance they would be done and dusted with that motley crew of pseudo-Americans before we actually got there. So put the pedal to the metal we did, and hoofed it up the Pacific Highway to see if we could catch some of the racing. Well, we all know how that turned out. Of course we had ample time to watch a Team NZ walkover turn into one of the most excruciating comebacks of all time.
Whilst this experience helped to pique our stress levels, which had become dangerously low, it was pretty damn cool to see these boats in the flesh (and get an education on ‘foiling’ – newsflash Sophie - they’re not actually flying). San Francisco certainly provided an incredible stage to host the event and we enjoyed waving the Kiwi flag in amongst bucket loads of our countrymen who seemed to well and truly outnumber the locals. Apparently moneyboat doesn't enjoy the same attention as NFL or NBA, plus the San Franciscans despise Larry Ellison.
Team NZ whizz past Alcatraz
San Fran Harbour
We spent plenty of time screaming at this screen
Catching a glimpse on the finish line
San Fran was the last stop on Ange’s whirlwind tour of the US and we thought it necessary to introduce her to the joys of hostel life. Unfortunately, this establishment was smack-bang in the middle of a urine-soaked hood for the homeless, which is directly adjacent to San Fran’s Market Street/plush retail strip. It certainly was an eye-opener to see such an astronomical number of people in such a dire state. In fact - I can’t think of a comparable state of poverty (that was visible to us) in our entire trip through South America (Or in fact previous trips overseas to the likes of India and South East Asia).
Ange getting stuck into hostel life
Hayley and Ange at the California Academy of Sciences
Now, drug addicts aside – we really loved our time in San Fran. Not only was our timing on the money for the sailing, it also was bang on for San Fran’s annual two weeks of summer. This saw us get out and traverse that great bridge, scream at sailboats, walk up crooked streets and poke our noses into many a fine eatery.
Took one of these for a burn. Looks fun, actually hurts like hell
The golden one
Those famed pink ladies
Scaling Lombard St, world's most crooked street
Apparently locals tired of drunk loons speeding down this formerly straight st in the prohibition era, and put a few bends in to slow them down
Great spot for a prison
How would you get out of this?
There ya go!
Having farewelled Ange, we moved into our friends’ place - the lovely Dan and Gabi for a few days to live like locals. Apparently locals have gin in their juice for breakfast (I think they would like me to insist that this is only on weekends, but frankly I have no concrete proof that this is indeed the case).
Hospitality chez Dabi
Thanks guys for a fabulous time! Next stop on the pals-reunite tour - Vancouver to see the Johnson-Olivers and some big mount'ns.