Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sun 12 Oct - Belvedere Tiburon, CA

Hiking day for Hans. Through Marin Headlands.

But first breakfast. For the first time since Hans arrived in San Francisco, it was not overcast, there were no clouds to the south towards the bridge. It was clear, but it was also warm.

Al Fresco breakfast for Hans as Vineet was doing another exercise class this morning.

This was where Hans would be heading today. Up onto that mountain Mount Tamaipais (or Mount Tam as the locals apparently call it) that you can see from Vineet's balcony.

Hans hiking map, proudly created by Google Maps with Hans added scribbles. Looked like a treasure map in the yellow light.

This is how Hans hike was presented by a Runkeeper after completion. Reasonably accurate with the "treasure map" above... 22km and a bit of hiking in the end...

Vineet and Hunter gave Hans a lift to today's trail head, at the end of a suburbian street called County View Drive. The 2 boys joined Hans for the start of the hike before Vineet took the photo below and then they turned around.

See you in 5 hours time...

Hans was on his way. The hike consisted of 3 main trails whereof the first trail was called Miwok Trail. And it started very exposed and hot along cuts out of hillsides. It felt very Australian to Hans.

Some great views along the way. You can see the Tiburon peninsula below as we are looking southeast.

This is supposedly Muir Woods. Hans took this photo next to a guy who said he had been trying a good photo of it from that spot for a while. So Hans shot one too. Hmm...

The hike was very varied as there were many green and relatively lush and cool patches too. Hans first break was around here and he had a need to escape the heat for a while.

The next trail is named, you got it, Dipsea Trail...

...and here some 2 hours plus Hans had his second break. A cup of tea and a selfie.

The Dipsea Trail dipped in and out of an adjacent fire trail as it followed a line of telegraph poles for a while. Supposedly the maintenance trail can easily double as a hiking trail.

What looked like a Mount Tamalpais hill top on the map was nothing of the like. It was basically a clearing along a road with an information centre, a few camping spots, picnic tables and toilets. And opportunity to refill the water bottles which was a welcome relief.

Hans had his lunch here but there was really nothing photo worthy. A shot of the sign at the Pantoll Camp would have to do.

You see, from here there was another 4 miles to top of the Mount Tamalpais, meaning 8 miles return or 14 or so kilometers. Hans did not have that time today as Vineet was going to pick him up around 3pm at Stinson Beach.

However, the most scenic part of Hans hike was the Matt Davis trail down to Stinson Beach. The trail has received quite a few recommendations online and it was not hard to understand why.

The Matt Davis trail started off very much like the below. In the bush making it cool cut into the hillsides.

And then it opened up.

Some faboulous views presented themselves. Down there somewhere is Stinson Beach.

There were some amazing panoramas in the now dry and barren hillsides facing the Pacific Ocean.

The drawback with the Matt Davis Trail of course is that on a beautiful Sunday like today, it is very popular and it was quite busy at times. But who can blame them?

The Pacific coast settlement of Stinson Beach suddenly appears.

And would you believe it? As Hans finished the trail and today's hike, the very first person he saw was Vineet. As we had a before photo taken, here is the after photo.

In fact, Hans had a small welcoming committee consisting of 2 people and 2 dogs. Carrie was there too and Hunter and Reyland as well. The dogs had followed suit so that they would get their daily exercise. And at a part of Stinson Beach, that was possible.

Carrie, with Vineet in the background, enjoying the beach scene.

...and the two dogs having a ball running in and out of the water.

Carrie took this photo of Hans. Di thought that he looked "too happy" without her.

This is Reyland, Hunter's best buddy.

Of course, after getting himself muddy and sandy and sticky from saltwater, Hunter needed a wash up afterwards.

After a lazy late Sunday afternoon icecream, we drove off in Vineet's Mercedes.

This actually forms part of the famous highway number 1 so the road out through Marin Headlands winded back and forth and some great photo opportunities presented themselves. Here we are looking back north onto Stinson Beach.

Carrie had a dinner date so she took off not long after back at Vineet's place. Vineet and Hans again had frozen pizza for dinner (Di, come here and cook something healthier and tastier).

Hans, of course, had a few Laginitas IPA as well and after watching a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory, an early night followed.


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