Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Dolphins, pelicans, blue sky and a bit more geography

One thing you notice as you lose your way around the undulations of El Granada is that most of the avenues are so broad they look like two one-way streets with a forest up the middle instead of a white line - not quite a forest, but a strip of ground up to 70 feet wide filled with towering pine and eucalyptus trees. These routes have the names of Spanish palaces and royalty and are mostly trafficless and silent apart from birdsong and the rustle of fallen leaves, especially on Labor Day Weekend (equivalent of UK Bank Holiday but a week later) when all of San Francisco, it seems, descends on the coast at Half Moon Bay.
I imagine the city bereft as Highway One becomes a molten stream of glinting metal, occasional surf-boards topping the cars and rap emanating from open windows. It's been hot this weekend - 80°, as they say here - and the usually-empty sand became crammed with extended families and their excited dogs, at least on the stretches near to vehicle access points. In between you can still walk long stretches with only the foam-foraging curlews for company, and a clamber up to Pillar Point radar station followed by a steep scramble down the cliff takes you to a soft-sanded beach always near-deserted except for pelicans.
I've been doing a lot of bird-observation on my long coastal walks: gulls and terns by the shoreline, finches along the paths, raptors circling overhead. Mo and I walk up on the bluff to see whales beyond the reef, and midweek drove down to Bean Hollow where we watched dolphins and seals playing round the rocks.
We've done jaunts, too. A local 'Book Faire' where I found a collection of General Ignorance full of fascinating data (it's a myth, apparently, that Eskimos use fifty words for snow, they actually have only four) and today we all went to the amazing Kings Mountain Art Fair in the middle of a forest - a real one this time - with over 200 mini marquees filled with art & crafts and a brilliant camp kitchen where early visitors get a 'mountain breakfast' of eggs with jalapeƱos, pancakes with maple syrup, and coffee with refills.

And on Saturday we  took in a show:
The Half Moon Bay Shakespeare Company performing The Tempest as outdoor theatre in the local park, a lovely place to picnic at sunset. Here's Stephano the drunken butler when he discovers Trinculo and Caliban hiding together in a comic scene which was the highlight of the play.  O Brave New World seems a good quote to end this post. 

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