Verfasst von: rbontour | September 8, 2010

Highway No. 1, Pneumonia & Other Challenges

Traveling is 24/7 fun and California is always sunny and warm… that were some of our expectations before we left on our world trip. Well, not really… but what would traveling be without mastering certain challenges.

We arrived in Frisco (San Francisco) late at night, still used to the 33° C in Belize and Mexico, the bright sunshine and the sweat. Fortunately we checked the weather before we left Cancun so we knew it would get a bit chilly when we arrive. BUT did we have to experience another “ice age”? It was terribly cold with 16° C (felt temperature was like 2° C due to the freezing winds from the Pacific… maybe Brigitte slightly exaggerates Robert says…). At least we had warm clothes in our backpacks, but who would have thought we need our long skiing underwear in one of the United States sunshine states?!

In addition, Robert felt worse with every minute passing by and his fever increased. He wasn’t feeling well when we left Mexico, but obviously the cold Pacific winds (which were even stronger on the convertible sightseeing bus in Frisco!) didn’t really contribute to his well-being. We made it through the tour and are happy that we saw the city’s main attractions: Fishermen’s Warf, Lombard Street (the “crookedest” street in the world), and the famous cable cars, Alcatraz, the 24 block labyrinth of Chinatown or the Golden Gate Bridge. It was an inspiring city tour and both of us agree that it would be an absolute lovely city to live in (if the weather would be warmer and the famous Frisco fog would be less). All the different districts are unique and exciting – each has its own flair. Some parts also seemed somewhat European… yes, cosmopolitan even… and that definitely was one thing why we loved Frisco so much. (Unfortunately no Bavarian pretzels we are constantly craving for, but still a really nice European atmosphere). It seemed as if there is always something enjoyable to see or do and it’s definitely not as busy or hectic as in New York City.

Well, the convertible bus ride was about it as the rest of our 2 days, we spent in the hotel room, trying to cure Robert’s fever. Nothing helped – no cold towels on his forehead, no stinky onions in his socks (a secret fever medicine of our dearest grandmothers). Well, but we still had to start the journey all the way down to Los Angeles, where we would depart in 2 days to the Cook Islands (Rarotonga) – a flight which only leaves once a week from L.A.

Robert sleeping at Muir Beach... feeling sicker every minute.

After a quick stop in Muir Beach and Sausalito – a beautiful and artistic little town next to San Francisco that felt more like Cannes or St. Tropez – we started our long awaited drive on the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway Number 1). Now we know why it is outrageously expensive to buy property in California – the views are stunning. You not only get to see coastal forests and the amazing ocean cliffs, but you can also discover natural stone bridges, wind surfers waiting for the big wave in the impressive, formidable Pacific! Nevertheless, Robert’s sickness didn’t seem to get better and of course we couldn’t enjoy the ride as much as we could have. Hence, we decided to stop in a motel in Santa Cruz and next morning our patient was forced to the hospital. Well, as if we hadn’t enough trouble getting Robert healthy again, in the morning we realized that we forgot our passports in our hotel in Frisco. Great!! Our flight is tomorrow in Los Angeles… what now? Okay, we had to eat the sh… for the moment and concentrate on Robert’s health. While HE was in the emergency room for over 2 hours, SHE got more and more nervous because she didn’t know what to do, besides trying to arrange that the hotel would send our passports to Santa Maria (for which SHE quickly booked a hotel via our best buddy HOTWIRE, just to have a postal address).  Unluckily, things don’t always turn out as planned… it was Saturday and neither UPS, nor FedEx could do a same day delivery and our flight was on Sunday! And now the big shock… Robert was diagnosed with (early stage) pneumonia!! At least we were in the US and not on some remote island or so… he received a thorough health check-up, antibiotics and some other medications in the hospital (and most likely a very expensive one as well… we are still waiting for the invoice).

Okay, after an intense pharmacy visit and lots of Vitamin intake for Brigitte, we drove all the way back to San Francisco to pick up our very important documents and then down to Santa Maria. Robert slept, which was a good thing, Brigitte drove. Well, all in all our days in California could have been better, but at least the antibiotics helped our patient to recover and after 1 more day Robert started to look like a human again… finally! We still did take it easy before our departure in L.A…. so we just stopped for a quick coffee or some hot tea in Santa Barbara, Monterrey, Malibu and Venice Beach – mainly focusing on the warmth of our rental car as the “long underwear” weather followed us down to L.A.


Due to the circumstances, we actually would like to “erase” our stay in Cali, but at least we learned from that trip and everything has its positive side.

  • First, we learned not to leave passports in hotel safes.
  • Second, we developed a checklist for the remaining months of our journey, which is called “What to remember when we leave hotel rooms?”
  • Third, it’s better to get seriously sick in the US rather than on some remote island or in Asia (we are speaking of experience).
  • Fourth, we learned that traveling is not always fun and easy. There are unpleasant situations or circumstances, which you simply cannot change. You have to accept them and be prepared for nearly everything…
  • And fifth, we learned that we always misjudged California’s climate and the landscape of the inland… but that will be our next story.
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Responses

  1. Hallo ihr beiden,
    bin vor einer Stunde aus Zell zurück gekommen und hab mir jetzt in Ruhe eure Website angeschaut – ich finde es absolut super mega geil – echt spitzenmäßig. Freu mich schon auf die Fortsetzungen.
    Bussi


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