Day 108 To Refugio Beach State Park Campground

Of all the cyclists on the campground we were last to leave today but to be fair most of the US cyclists stop almost immediately and buy coffee and breakfast, whilst we had ours before we left.

It was just street and road riding to begin with, some 10 miles of it through the suburbs of Carpinteria towards Santa Barbara. As we neared Santa Barbara we joined a seafront cycle path winding it’s way along the seafront  (as they do). It was very busy with joggers and walkers and we followed it to Stearns Wharf, here our map ended and we did manage to overshoot a little (getting carried away with the nice flat riding methinks).

Stearns Wharf

One thing very noticable was the number of homeless people who instead of pushing a trolley around full of plastic bags they had a bicycle covered in plastic bags, they were all along the beach front.

As we now have no map to guide us a quick look in town was on the cards, first call to REI a national outdoor retailer who did not have them but luckily they had a nice pair of socks for Janet! a couple of local bike shops were no help either, oh well.

We started what is the map 4 route, we do have a guide book and a few pictures of an old map plus a garmin route and of course it is signposted. For some reason the route given always avoids town centres but in this case Santa Barbara as a very lovely main street packed with shops and cafés one to see not avoid.

It was then another run out through the suburbs this time they were full of very large lovely expensive looking houses. A little way along we had a choice, follow the cycle route and avoid yet another town or carry on down Hollister Avenue, whilst umming and ahhhing two other cyclists stopped and kindly directed us to a cafe where we had a latte and cake, always good for better thinking.

Coffee stop

Continuing down Hollister through Goleta and Ellwood we eventually joined the Freeway (101). Some sections where there are no other routes available cyclists are allowed on the freeway (our equivalent would be the motorway).

The freeway

It was nice if noisey riding next to the traffic, it had recently been resurfaced so had none of the usual debris. In total today and tomorrow we have 19 miles to cycle along it.

A quick 10 miles today and we arrived at Refugio State Beach Campground, the site is in an amazing position right next to the sea, when I say next to I mean so close you could throw a stone in it from the tent.

One shower and some food later and we just sat and watched the sunset (we did have a paddle but the sea is actually very cold so no swimming for us wimps).

Refugio Beach

The noise of waves and a beach replaced the incessant road noise and a welcome change it is as well.

An oil rig twinkles

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