Day 53 – Refugio State Beach to Carpinteria

72km – 3197 in total

7am

7am

I woke up just before sunset and it was nice to be by the ocean to see the sun coming out from the distant mist. By the time I packed my stuff and had breakfast, things turned grey. It didn’t take long for the morning mist to burn off though and by 11 the sun was out again and the day was once again getting warm.

Leaving the Refugio Beach

Leaving the Refugio Beach

All five of us left together and didn’t take us more than a couple of hours to get to Santa Barbara. Half of the route was on the wide shoulder of 101, which is now getting busier the closer to LA it gets. By Goleta we moved to a smaller road within the town which took us right in to Santa Barbara. We got to Stearn Wharf and the pier and we said goodbyes as the guys wanted to move ahead.

The fluorescence gang

The fluorescence gang

I wanted to spend some time in Santa Barbara and ideally stay for the night as it looked like a rather vibrant place. Unfortunately the private hostel was asking a little too much for just a bed. I went off to see us much as possible, before heading to the next campground in Carpinteria 20km south.

All I knew about Santa Barbara, was the TV series my grandmother used to watch, but it is in fact a very beautiful place. It has a very nice historic center, right next to a beautiful beach full of tall palm trees. There is a big pier with various restaurants and the beach was busy with people of all types enjoying the sun. Some were there to expose their muscles, or synthetically enhanced body parts and others were just showing off their wheels. I had lunch on the grass by the beach, not far from a skate-park.

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Lunch spot

Lunch spot

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Easy money

Easy money

At the pier a man with his wife started a conversation with me and we talked about my trip. Mike and his family were visiting from the other side of the mountains. He wanted to help me find a place for me to crash in the area and he made a couple of calls to some of his friends in town, but without any luck.

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State is the central street of the city, with several old Hispanic buildings, restaurants, theaters and bars old its length. I wondered around for a bit and had a short visit in the Art museum near by. There is also a big mission, but that was a bit further out, so I didn’t make it there.

State street

State street

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In the afternoon, I got a response from a possible host from WarmShowers. Unfortunately he was in Goleta half way to the campsite I stayed last night further up north and I turned down the offer. At the time I wasn’t feeling like cycling negative kilometers and I thought I wouldn’t be able to spend the night in Santa Barbara anyways. Later in the evening I regretted it a bit, as I realized it is Halloween weekend and maybe it would have been fun to be with a local. Oh well… I am sure LA and Athens have loads of fun to offer in the next few days.

I had an ice-cream and left the town so I can make it to Carpinteria before dark. The route took me through some nice bike paths via Montecito. A high class neighborhood and a popular destination to get married. I saw at least 3 weddings in various resorts by the ocean.

Leaving Santa Barbara

Leaving Santa Barbara

Bike path

Bike path

Wedding #3

Wedding #3

The route continued on the old coastal highway which runs in parallel to 101, but barely has any traffic. I went through Summerland and an hour later I got to Carpinteria, an old surf town. The campsite is right by the ocean again and within walking distance from the town center. A decided to take the day off there tomorrow, possible the last one before arriving in Los Angeles.

Summerland

Summerland

Carpinteria

Carpinteria

 

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