a journey of 2,652 miles
THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL 2018
starts with a single step.
We wake up early today as we want to catch the first bus leaving Yosemite Valley towards Fresno, where we will have to take the AMTRAK train to Richmond.
But first we have a decent and even more expensive breakfast.
As we wait a the station for the bus to arrive we meet Monica again. Remember, we met her after Kennedy Meadows and went swimming in the river together.
While we are talking to each other, another bus arrives and we meet Dzim again, the cool Russian Guy who offered us some mushrooms he collected. Unfortunately we don’t have much time as our bus now arrives. We take a picture together, say goodbye and board our bus. Everything goes smoothly except that we see a lot of smoke leaving the valley. Yesterday a fire broke out and is now growing fast..
After 3 hours we reach Fresno, take the train to Richmond and from there the subway (called BART - Bay Area Train) and ride it until 19th street in Oakland.
For the 4 days we are in San Francisco we contacted Lollie - a good friend of our friend Luki, we met her a year ago, when she was visiting him in Switzerland.
Generous as she is, she offered us to stay at her place but found out that her friend Grant has a free room at the moment, as his room mate is on holidays in Canada.
Wow, thank you two again for letting us stay at Grant’s place!
When we arrive, Lollie and Grant both welcome us, serve us some beers, do our laundry, order some dinner...You guys are just awesome! :)
We talk, laugh and have dinner together. What a terrific start of our San Francisco time!
The next day we take the BART to go to San Francisco - it is a quick 20 minute ride.
When we leave the station, we find ourselves in front of a GAP store and immediately decide to get some new clothes so people don’t confuse us with some hobos.
After a long shopping tour we start our search for Maya’s dress for Caro and Mauri’s wedding and end up at Macy’s where they have at least 400 different dresses. After trying about 10 different dresses, Maya finally finds a very pretty one.
Now we start to get hungry and walk to Chinatown, get some amazingly good and gigantic dumplings and relax in a nearby park.
We forgot to buy something to drink and therefore go to the next Irish Pub and have some beers. It was a nice first day in the city and we go home a little tipsy.
Grant and Lollie are arriving at the same time and they take us to a lake close to Grant’s apartment. It looks so beautiful in the night, there a hundreds of small lamps shining from tiny light bulbs and the big buildings reflect on the totally flat surface of the lake.
From here the two take us to a nice restaurant where we sit in the patio, have some pizza and drinks sitting next to a cozy firepit.
And then Speedy texts me, that he and the Hongkong 4 will also visit San Francisco and will arrive on Wednesday. Grant immediately comes up with the idea of all of us meeting to cook dinner at Grant’s and eat together on Wednesday evening.
It is a wonderful evening with these two amazing guys!
The next day we sleep in a bit, get some breakfast at the local store and then take the BART to San Francisco again.
This time it is shopping for town shoes as we only have our dirty hiking shoes.
After successfully spending another fortune, we meet with Lollie who does a San Francisco Tour with us. We start at “the Mission”, a neighbourhood which is mostly inhabited by latin people. So we stop at a restaurant and have some “Pupusas”, a dish from El Salvador, which is basically a rolled up tortilla with cheese, meat or fish in it and - oh so tasty!
After that we hit a chocolate store to try chocolate from all over the world and then pass by some nice graffity,, go for some greek ice cream with olive oil and salt and end up in a nice park.
From there we take BART again and embark on a ferry at Pier 18. The three of us drink a bottle of Rosé, eat some fancy cheese and enjoy the beautiful views of the San Francisco skyline passing by.
30 minutes later we are at shore again, only this time in Oakland. Here Malcom, a friend of Lollie and Grants picks us up and drives us to Canadian Mike’s place (another friend) whose birthday party is tonight.
Mike cooks some delicious fried japanese.chicken and we all sing the Canadian anthem for his birthday. We actually learned it by heart on the way over to Oakland!
It’s a cool evening with all of Grant and Lollies friends and after Malcolm generously drives us home we fall asleep in a second.
It is the morning of our third SF day and tonight Speedy and the Hong Kong 4 will visit for dinner. Together with Grant, Lollie and Lollie’s roommate we will be 10 people. So the first thing in the morning we do is to go shopping for all the ingredients we need for our 3 course menu and then we do all the cooking. In the afternoon we take Grant’s and Lollie’s bikes to SF (thanks again guys) and go for a 4.5 hours long trip through the city. We do the “Wiggle” a more or less zigzag course to avoid all the hills, then we pass Golden Gate Park, bike over Golden Gate bridge, both directions, drive along the coast with views over to Alcatraz, pass by Fisherman's Wharf, visit the famous Lombard Street with it’s criss cross curvy road and then end the tour next to the pier. Now we hurry back home as all our guests will arrive very soon. And indeed, after only some minutes of spending at home, Speedy and the HK4 arrive. We laugh a lot, share stories and are very thankful to Grant and Lollie who have made this evening possible.
The next day is already the day we leave SF and fly home. We quickly wash all the dishes and pack our stuff together and off we go towards 19th street where we take the BART to SF airport.
Everything goes smoothly and at 6pm our plane takes off towards Istanbul. It is a weird feeling going home, leaving the PCT and all our newly gained friends behind, but we also feel so happy to see family and friends again. Soon the silhouette of the SF skyline disappears on the horizon and about 12 hours later we are in Istanbul again.
Unfortunately our connection flight to Zurich is 1.5 hours delayed but at 11pm we finally set foot on Swiss ground again and back we are at the exact place where we embarked on this amazing journey 2.5 months before...