I woke up on Friday morning and thought “maybe I should walk across SF today. I wonder if I can”.
Twenty-three kilometres later, I did.
Here’s the furthest west point I reached – Ocean Beach, on the Pacific side of the SF peninsula. Photoset is here, or read on for more.
This is a long entry… you might want to open up the route map in another tab and follow along. If your browser doesn’t support tabs, get one that does.
First stop, at the 2.5km mark: Japantown. The heart of Japantown is actually a mall – pretty much the Metreon for anime fans. Anime DVDs, performance car parts, gadgety phones, a Kinokuniya bookstore, and an 8-screen theatre that specialises in Japanese films. It’s pretty cool. The ‘pagoda’ in the photo is in the Peace Park, right in the middle of the mall area.
A bit further down, at the 3.5km mark, is Alamo Square, which is right in the middle of a well-maintained residential district. Lots of well-kept Victorian houses, and some spectacular views of downtown. Looking the other way, toward the Pacific, the fog line is clearly visible. The ocean side of SF tends to be blanketed in fog; the inland (bay) side of the peninsula tends to be a lot sunnier and warmer.
At the 6km mark, in Golden Gate Park, I stopped off at the Conservatory of Flowers… they had a butterfly exhibition that sounded interesting. Plus it sounded like a great excuse to mess around with macro mode on my camera.
They had some carnivorous plants – they lure insects in with sweet-smelling nectar, then the unsuspecting insects are lured to their death!. Yep, just like Little Shop of Horrors. If that’s too gruesome, here is a hibiscus and a water lily.
The butterflies weren’t at all camera-shy, and didn’t mind me shooting in macro mode two inches away.
I had lunch at the Japanese Tea Gardens (7km mark)… cheap and surprisingly filling. However, my fortune cookie was a bit of a dud… it didn’t tell me what tomorrow’s lottery numbers were going to be.
It was a long hike through the Golden Gate Park, but I eventually reached the beach, just after the 11km mark. It was cold, windy and foggy, but picturesque – have a browse through the photoset to see some more photos around the area.
There’s a well-hidden trail around the hill to the Legion of Honour Museum (14km mark), which is best known for the replica of Rodin’s The Thinker in its courtyard – and there are some great views of SF from the carpark.
Back down the hill, through the golf course (where I was nearly beaned by an errant golfball), and you arrive in the Richmond district – primarily residential, multi-ethnic, and home of some really nice-looking little restaurants.
By the time I got back across town, I was kinda hungry – Pizza Inferno caught my eye around the 21km mark, and I stopped off for a small Hawaiian pizza. Yum.
One last bonus photo – a Porsche Carrera RS that was in the window of a dealership, whispering ‘buy me! buy me!’.
There’s one more big walk I want to do before I leave – 15km across the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito. Watch this space.