Saturday, 17 November 2012

California dreaming meets Hawaii Five-Oh!

Hey folks,

We are in Micronesia at the moment and have now posted our photos from the past few weeks, but I wanted to give you all a quick skinny on what we have been up to since we last posted.

One of the people we met in Red Rocks was Brian, a legend of a bloke that has done 6 years down in Antartica and now lives on a 36ft Catalina yacht in San Diego.  He offered to take us sailing if we were ever down there, so we did what we normally do, we rolled on down and took him up on his kind offer.  We had a great couple days hanging with him, sailing, chilling out, drinking Green Flash beer and climbing.

A brief side note here on one of my favourite topics: BEER!  Eleven years ago when we were in the USA their beer was not fit to drink.  They were into their Budweiser (the watery kind, not the real Czech kind), Miller Lite (low in calories don't you know) and Coors.  Now, they have woken up to the fact that beer can taste better than water and have a real trend forming of IPA's (India Pale Ales), golden ales, and a whole range of tasty lagers.  It is a complete change from where they were 11 years ago, and one that makes travelling the US a much more pleasant experience!  I can recommend Green Flash, Lagunitas, Kona Brewing Co, Metolius and Mahena but there are so many more.

After this we visited our mates in Venice Beach again, and then cruised up along the coast road to Morro Bay where one of Cor's online friends lives.  Those two just started chatting like they had known each other for years (which I suppose they have) and I was given cause to wonder just how much our world has changed in the last 15 years.  Those that know us wouldn't be surprised to know that Peggy and I got on just as famously, and we swapped names of many sci-fi books and authors over a cracking seafood lunch.

We then went via amazing Hearst Castle (if you ever get a chance, check it out) to Monterey Bay to see the aquarium.  It was fan-fricking-tastic.  So many things to see, and our favourites included the rays, the seahorses and their mola-mola.  Check out the pics on the link to the right for a tiny slice of what it is like.

Next stop, San Francisco, and another friend we met in the Australian outback, the gorgeous Sarah.  Sarah arranged a day out in Napa for us touring some wineries, including one where her friend Zane worked.  This guy was knowledgeable about so much in relation to wine and was a top guy to boot.  We had an amazing day there and leaving after drinks with these guys was so hard, I could definitely hang with them a lot more.

And so after San Fran we flew to Hawaii.  We caught up briefly with our mate James from Costa Rica before he went out for another week of work on the Aggressor, and we did our manta ray night dive.  Only a couple of manta rays and no really close encounters, so fingers are crossed that we see them here in Micronesia.

We hired a convertible in Hawaii (a Camaro) which was fun, and then we added to the fun factor with a helicopter ride over the Big Island.  It was sensational to see the lava flowing red hot down the fields up close and personal, and getting into the valleys to see scores of waterfalls on the wet side of the island was breathtaking.

Another note, in Hawaii cops drive Mustangs, Chargers and Camaros.  They get a stipend to their salary to drive their own cars and the state gives them money for the safety bits and pieces.  It is strange to see a bright orange Charger in the rear view mirror with a cop light on top, real Hawaii 5-0 stuff.

A final thing to add, see the links to the right for our latest pics (I have even updated the Costa Rica ones) and I have now done a video of our climb of Frogland here on Vimeo.  There is one instance of bad language in there towards the end (just a warning for the parents) but check it out anyway.  My first ever video!

Palya!