Sunday, March 02, 2008

Visiting Santa Cruz Beach

Last week we visited California to attend the volunteer meeting of Sankara Eye Foundation. After the meeting was over we decided to take in some of the most beautiful sights of Bay Area. It was revisiting old favourites for Padma, but for me it was a vast and beautiful new world. One thing that is strikingly different in California in comparison to Texas is a significantly smaller roads and much higher traffic.

We started off in the morning towards Santa Cruz, the beachside township going on the busy and hilly highway 17. Though the road passed climbed up a steep slope through an undulating and curvaceous stretches, it didn't feel that way to me. I presume it is due to two reasons, one we were travelling in the car and second on a four-lane road, unless it is a hairpin bend it is difficult to feel the curve. It took us about 45 minutes of driving through choc-a-bloc traffic on the highly scenic highway 17 to reach Santa Cruz.

Highway 17 to Santa Cruz The quaint tourist town is the first and only place in America where a fuel station widely advertising and selling BIO-DIESEL. Most of Santa Cruz is located on a high platform above the water level, but locals say that when the sea is rough, waves rise up to the road level, which is at least 50 ft above water level. Santa Cruz is a great place for chilling out, one can bicycle along the coast, enjoy water skiing and wave surfing, walk along the sea for long distances.

Seaside at Santa Cruz One of the notable features here is the natural bridges formed by sea eroded rocks along the coast. Natural beauty aside the beach is quite dirty and full of trash, which was quite disappointing to me because I expected clean, litter free beaches. Among the interesting sights in this town are the Surfer Memorial monument, Museum and a BMX biking track in which people perform stunts. I would say it is a pleasant aberration from the busy rat race of the cities full of corporate executives rushing from place to place. I would like to return back in Summer and when I am richer to take lessons in surfing and try my hand at this new and thrilling adventure sport. Several surfers in thermal suits were enjoying in the relatively calm seas.

Surfer memorial

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