juliet: (round the world)
Arrived in San Francisco this morning. We came under the Golden Gate Bridge just after 4am -- which I did get up for, and it was all very exciting. We came right past Fisherman's Wharf, as well, and I could see Grace Cathedral all lit up on the hill as we came into the bay. Docked just before 6am, had a nice chat to a very friendly, helpful Customs & Immigration Official, and was on US soil by 7am. I then hiked about 2 miles to the nearest BART station, which may have been an error (my knees hurt now), but after 24 days of no exercise at all, it felt good at the time.

Other things that are good: the TRULY ENORMOUS vegan burrito I had for breakfast (black beans and tofu!); free interwebs and squashy sofas at the youth hostel; being in contact with people again.

I am bloody knackered though (didn't sleep much at all last night, and haven't been sleeping well for a while now, possibly due to lack of exercise) and hanging on in there for another couple of hrs until I can legitimately go to sleep.

The ship was an interesting experience, about which I may write more anon. The diet (they're not really set up for vegans or even vegetarians; I ate a lot of boiled potatoes, although the cook was kind enough to cook veg separately most days for myself and the other veggie passenger) & lack of exercise I found really fairly tough. Being out of contact for so long was quite good in some ways (can't keep hitting F5... and I certainly found it a slightly stressful shock to get back online today and have an inbox full of 90% crap to deal with); and not good in others (no way of contacting people I actually want to talk to!). And of course it did the thing I wanted it to: I got from point A (Australia) to point B (the US) successfully, if slowly.

More excitingly, I saw DOLPHINS in Mexico & then on our way up the coast. And flying fish nearer the equator! I also came to the conclusion that the Pacific is really very, very large indeed.

It might be nearly dinnertime. I am going to make lentil bolognaise. I am looking forward to this quite a lot.
juliet: (Default)
I am in Adelaide, on the ship. Which was due to leave 0700 today (this involved an 0600 Customs visit[0]), then 1100 today, and now 1300 or later. I am getting a little antsy; it's a bit neither-one-thing-nor-the-other, waiting to have left but not actually being gone.

I have just spent ten minutes trying to write things about one or more of:
- Australia in general
- the last fortnight in particular
- people I care about
- the waiting-room feeling of being sat on the ship, here but not quite
- the feeling of having a brain overstuffed with Things that I can't quite get a handle on right now
- [a whole bunch of complicated emotional stuff about going and leaving and people that I can't even manage to write clearly about in this kind of non-specific summary form]

and yes, have basically failed to be able to say anything that is not one or both of trite or uninformative (or something else equally unhelpful), so I am going to give up for now.

ION: my cabin is enormous (sitting room, bedroom, bathroom), my window looks forward towards the bow, and I've been watching big cranes loading containers since I boarded yesterday. I am right up top just below the bridge (which apparently I can visit whenever I like as long as I keep out of the way etc). Have met the Captain & Chief Engineer (both v friendly chaps), and a couple of the crew - I'm the only passenger until we reach Auckland on Saturday night.

Due into Oakland (SF) on the 16th, at present. It should be an interesting 3 wks; I am hoping that my belief in my immunity to seasickness proves to be correct!

[0] They asked me more questions than I'm used to getting from passport control - were you on a work visa, when did you get here, were you also working in Mongolia/Vietnam/etc (after looking at my Extensive Visa Collection), why are you boarding at Adelaide when you've been living in Sydney - and then had to hunt through their bag of passport stamps to find the right one. "We don't have to do this much - I've only ever stamped 4 regular passengers out!" one of them said.

September 2017



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