Day 37: San Clemente – San Diego
Distance: 68.85 miles.
Average Speed: 8.8 mph.
Hi there, San Diego!
Setting off at quarter past 6, traffic was light, not that it mattered much to me – after half a mile the route moved onto the old pacific highway, and for a while I had the deserted 4-lane road to myself.
After a mile or two, a lane of cars appeared, and then disappeared again as the road passed through San Onofre State Beach. After crossing under the newer I5 Interstate, the full 4 lanes were back, but with a one lane width bike path meandering around on the Tarmac.
Soon after came the most unusual part of the trip so far, as I entered the Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton, necessitating an ID check. I got an idea of the scale of the compound when I passed Fire Station 10, then a school, shops and even a McDonald’s.
Back out of the secure area, I headed into Oceanside for lunch. Well, breakfast as it was 9 in the morning, but it felt like lunch so I had fish from a beachside kiosk. Continuing, I enjoyed fine ocean views at Carlsbad before stopping for lunch at ‘Pizza Port’ in Solana Beach.
At Torrey Pines State Reserve there was a long 135m climb away from the sea, after which, I took a wrong turn, taking me up a hill to La Jolla. I had to return up another hill to the outer reaches of San Diego, at La Jolla Cove, on the coast. I enjoyed viewing the spectacular coastal scenery, along with birds and seals resting on rocky precipices.
I passed along quiet residential streets and some popular bikes paths at Mission Beach and Harbour Drive before reaching my motel for the night, delighted to arrive after a tough day.
Although right beside the airport, the motel is in a good spot, right beside Little Italy, where I headed for dinner at The Crack Shack, enjoying a fiery fried chicken sandwich with a fruit-based ‘slaw’. It closed at 10, so I headed off for a walk through the city, along passed the Marina, through the Downtown skyscrapers to the Historic Gaslight Quarter, where I had gelato.
En route, I was blocked for some time by a container train passing up the middle of East Harbor Drive, it was vast, the carriages passing for minutes before stopping over an intersection, blocking pedestrians and traffic alike. After 20 minutes of waiting, and following the lead of other pedestrians, I jumped over the links between the carriages and made my escape.
Tomorrow is set to be a busy day, I must make the 40 mile round trip to the Mexican border, find a bike box for my trip home and book my connection to Vancouver.