April in California... I loved it here in Autumn so I'm back for a month to write and to walk. The writing's up to me; for walk routes, my friend & host Mo has drawn me a sketch map of El Granada and its environs. We're about 400 yards from the Pacific here, with a coastal path all around Half Moon Bay. The snag is Highway 1, which also hugs the coastline, lies between me and the sea.
Mo's map shows two options: I can take the back roads to the harbour, where traffic lights allow the (nippy) pedestrian a chance to dash across the 6 lanes of ceaseless traffic, or I can creep through the (nearly dry) drain under the road at El Granada.
And then I have the freedom to walk for miles with barely a sound but birdsong and the rolling breakers. And the wind - this wind would skin a goat, Mo warned me before I came, but the sun is strong and the sky so immensely high, so densely blue. I see only a few other people on these paths, but they greet me like they've been recruited by some Californian 'Let's make visitors feel cherished!' campaign, offering smiles, handshakes, even names.
After a week of retreatful days & early nights I went along with Mo to a music evening - a gentle event but pleasant. I can't play guitar or sing so I offered a couple of me pomes.