Cycling day 55 – Dana Point to San Diego
Having been lured into a cool bar showing the Saints vs Dolphins game at Dana Point we had a pretty long day ahead. We got up early to make up the extra 10km we skipped last night and added them to todays 90+ kilometre ride. We popped down to the Proud Marys at the harbour for breakfast based on a recommendation we were given at the Still Water bar last night.
We were on the road by 9am heading towards San Diego – the penultimate day of our ride from Whistler. Sam had rather helpfully put todays ACA route into our GPS so navigation would be easier through the various built up sections. We’ve tended to do this whenever there’s a lot of twists and turns as it saves a lot of time faffing with maps.
The route was a mixture of all sorts today from bike paths, beaches, main roads and military bases. It was slightly hillier than recent rides but still nothing like earlier in the trip. We made quick progress despite the heat and headwind and soon reached the Camp Pendleton military base. It took a while to actually get to the checkpoint but when we did they were pretty quick to let us through – we obviously look trustworthy individuals 🙂 It was pretty odd riding through a deserted military base with the sound of cannon fire pretty close. We stopped for a water break at the shopping centre (yes, shopping centre :D) in the middle of the base. Don’t think I’ve ever been in a McDonalds where 70 percent of the people in it are wearing camouflage – pretty odd. After leaving the base we carried on towards Solana Beach where Sam needed to pick up some post.
We stopped in Encinitas for lunch and then carried on with building excitement towards San Diego. As we approached Torrey Pines the road climbed pretty sharply – the first real hill we’ve had for days. The legs have definitely got stronger as we’ve gone along as we were up and over pretty easily. It was nice to see a glimpse of the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course on the way up. The hills continued around La Jolla but nothing too steep. We were rewarded with a great view at the top.
We debated carrying on to Mexican border as it was only 3pm but decided against it as it was a bit of a trek and we’d probably be putting our tent up in the dark. By the time we reached the campsite we’d racked up 107km – our biggest day. It’s probably a good idea we didn’t head to the border as that was another 50km! The Campland on the Bay campsite is the first private campground we’ve stayed in on the entire trip. Although it felt a little commercial it had reasonable facilities and ordering a Thai takeaway to our exact spot was surprisingly easy.
Tomorrow is the last day of our US leg of the trip – exciting.