I was woken up at 6 by Christina as she was heading to work super early. She bid us farewell and let us sleep in and leave when we were ready. I kind of rolled out at 7 and decided to get b’fast again at a cafe. Cities are spoiling my budget.

But then again, when I can get a large portion of potatoes, eggs, fruits and a big hit of French toast with raisins, I can’t really complain. I couldn’t eat it all and packed a bit for lunch. The route out of Lompoc was supposed to climb. It did, but at a extremely gentle slope of 2-3%. I just put on a low gear and made my way up gently. The day seemed like it was going to warm up considerably and I had to hydrate often.

We got to the 1000 ft summit after 25 km (duh) and then the route descended quickly to the ocean. We hit 101 again. 101 is like this relative that one does not like to meet, but you occasionally bump into at family gatherings. You tolerate them, but get the hell away from them as quickly as you can. This time 101 was to stay for a while, but luckily it was well behaved with really wide shoulders and not too much traffic. Though there were a couple of asses along the way.

We wanted to stop for lunch at one of the state parks, but the park warden was a bit snooty and after asking a few times, gave us a 15 minute pass to enter the park to fill water. We decided to sit outside the park and eat instead. I also finished the oranges I had picked up from Christina’s tree. We are in orange season now and I have been spotting ripe ones pretty much everywhere. Nice.

The day had been extremely hot and combined with the dry spell, it was hard work on the saddle. I spotted a few dead birds on the road and a few of the monarch butterflies succumbed to the heat too. The route however was rolling gently and we made it to a starbucks in the outskirts of SB. After a good rest, we headed towards the UC Campus which was pretty neat and had some lovely bike lanes and rode along the bike path for most of the way into town. A couple of loops later we ended up along a nice route to Chris’s home.

Oh, yes, Chris. The one I rode with for many months in SE Asia. His folks live in Santa Barbara and his mum, Maureen, had invited me to come over and stay.

We reached the place and after a short while Maureen was home and she had bought tons of food and veggies for us. I was delighted to meet her, like I was with meeting Andres’s mum. It’s like I am going from one home to another. Maureen was utterly sweet and she made sure we had everything we needed (more than what we really need) and made some dinner for us. We chatted a while and Marty and Maggie came in later.

It was lovely meeting the family that I have heard much about from Chris and it was also funny when every one went, ‘Oh, That Raj’! He hee.. Its like I am meeting old friends after a long time. We seem to know a bit of what’s happening in the other’s lives, but we would be very interested in picking out details and finding out more.

I guess the next few days are going to be a lot of rest, relaxation and tons of fun for sure. Don’t expect me to be writing!

Route: Lompoc to Santa Barbara
Distance: 101 Km
Ascent: 2700 ft
Descent: 2400 ft
Expenses: $21.38
Comment: A severely hot day, but lovely to be home.

Track Notes