North Park to Ocean Beach

1/12/22

What a beautiful day!

I started out slow, relaxing in the morning, then venturing out for brunch. One of my longtime favorite restaurants in San Diego is Ranchos Cocina, very close to my Warmshowers hosts in North Park. I visited this place on my first-ever trip to San Diego nearly ten years ago. I’m pretty sure I ordered the same dish then (veggie scramble with tofu) and sat on the same patio, and was served by the same waiter. In a topsy-turvy world, I bask in such consistent institutions, especially a family-owned, vegan-friendly Mexican restaurant with delicious food.

After brunch, I pedaled over to Balboa Park once more—the northeastern corner this time—to appreciate the special place that it is.

Then it was time to hit the road. I packed up my things and headed out for about a two-hour ride to Ocean Beach.

The first part of the ride was not very pleasant. (Luckily that 15% grade was downhill! Even so, with a trailer it can be a bit scary to descend like that, especially on a busy road with two left-turn lanes at the bottom of the hill that I needed to get over into from the bike lane on the far right.)

Then a bit later, I had to cross a busy freeway overpass with not much bicycle infrastructure. I snapped this chain-link pic to give the feel of that segment of the ride.

Fortunately, soon after that I arrived on the car-free bike path that took me almost all the rest of the way. But I did make a strategic stop in the charming area of Old Town, so that I could enjoy some chocolatey goodness at another of my San Diego favorites, Nibble Chocolate shop.

Thus fortified, I continued on my way. I arrived in Ocean Beach just as the daylight was fading, which was the perfect time to catch gorgeous views at Sunset Cliffs. I had heard about these cliffs for the past ten years, but somehow never seemed to make it there. But my friend-of-a-friend host (thanks again, Mimi and Nicole!) lives right near this spectacular area.

And, it turns out she’s also a Warmshowers host, and she even has other guests tonight! It’s a family of four from France, who have been bicycling all around Europe and Mexico, just arriving in the US a couple of days ago, with their two recumbent tandem bikes. They are camping in the backyard in their tent, while I have an indoor room.

I’m looking forward to my last full day in San Diego tomorrow. I have two tentative coffee meetups with people I’ve met locally. And I plan to visit Plant Power, a local vegan burger chain, and probably also Peace Pies, an all raw dessert place. I’ve enjoyed both in the past. I already visited People’s Co-op this evening for dinner; it is San Diego’s only co-op, which is unfortunate for the rest of the city since it’s not at all centrally located, but lucky for the folks in this neighborhood. I got my dinner from their deli tonight.

I’m happy to be here, and looking forward to tomorrow!

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