Finding somewhere to sleep every night can be a bit of a challenge. This is becoming increasingly so as I travel south and can’t rely on the lovely facilities that were found daily in Oregon. While I am being very lucky at finding places in big cities such as LA and San Diego the smaller more remote places are a little trickier.
You will remember that I have mentioned Warm Showers (www.warmshowers.org) in past blogs and they were normally experiences set up by my travelling friend Alan. Sadly Alan is now too far ahead of me and unable to be my concierge service so I have signed up myself. Warm Showers is an online community aimed at connecting cyclists so they can find somewhere to sleep and have a warm shower. So far I have used it twice and had two very different but equally great experiences.
My first was in a town called Pismo Beach and my host was Eric. I emailed Eric the night before I arrived and he promptly got back to me and after a short run (34km) from Morro Bay I found myself at the front door of a complete stranger who was willing to help out a stranger. Eric greeted me as if he knew me. He ushered me into his home, showed me where the washing machine was, where I could sleep, where the shower was and set about cooking me dinner. The great thing about this stay was that at no time did Eric make me feel that I was imposing on his life. He was genuinely interested in what I was doing and I was equally interested in his past sporting experiences (this guys has done 28 mile swims, Iron men and over 100 marathons!!!). In the morning he made me breakfast and off I went. A great man and a great stay.
The second was very different… I had arrived in Santa Barbara having come over the San Marcos pass on highway 154. I was tired and realised that there were no campsites for another 20km and having searched the internet found that there were no available hostels. So I turned to Warm Showers. I emailed a bunch of people asking for help. I got one reply from a chap called KG. From this moment on nothing was normal. First of all KG didn’t live in a house. He lived on a dive boat… At seven o’clock I made my way to the harbour and sought out a boat called “Truth”. As I got closer I could hear the sounds of a party on board. I was then greeted by the larger than life KG and all his friends/work colleagues. After about 1 minute a Johnnie Walker and coke was thrust into my hand – that kind of set the tone for the night. With Keisha blasting from the speakers, beers flowing and some curious drunken antics (best not disclosed) I found myself enjoying a rare night of partying.
A fantastic network that I would encourage any cyclists to sign up to either to enjoy similar experiences or provide safe havens for people like me.
Thank you to everyone who has taken me in on this trip. You have all been so kind and welcoming, providing me with a touch of normality that is very much appreciated.