I set off nice and early this morning to reach the Botanical garden in time for free entry (between 7.30 and 9am). It all started swimmingly leaving the hostel with plenty of time, finding the correct bus stop and not waiting to long for the bus to arrive. I was happily riding along looking out the window for the park and looking down to check my map sporadically. Then the bus reached the Golden Gate Bridge. I figured I must have missed the correct stop as the bridge is no where near the garden. So, I hopped off the bus, kicking myself for managing to mess up.
I decided to make the best of a bad situation by walking along the costal trails to get to the gardens. They were absolutely stunning.
Being early in the morning no one was around. I passed a couple of people walking dogs or jogging. The path began along the top of the cliffs, then wound down nearer the sea, until eventually I was walking on the sand watching the waves crash in. I will never get bored of the orange bridge in the background.
Two hours later I made it to the gardens my detour, although highly frustrating, enabled me to walk along the beach and talk to various characters along the way in order to find the gardens. The park guard was particularly helpful giving me a better map and directing me to the rose gardens too.
The Botanical gardens themselves were nice. To begin with I was not too sure they were worth the hassle. I strolled along, looking at the plants not really taking much in. I ended up lieing on the grass in the sun to rest for some time.
As I was about to walk out, I noticed there was a free walk occurring in 5 minutes so I figured why not. Moments later an elderly man, wearing a floppy hat approached me, asked if I was ready and we set off. He was rather slow and began by explaining to me the basics about the park. It had many sections hosting plants from different parts of the world. The cloud forest region was my favourite. Here, there was a species growing that had been made extinct in Mexico (it’s natural home). The New Zealand section was also great, with some very pretty plants. San Francisco has a mild climate enabling all these different plants from across the globe to thrive.
We slowly roamed around the different areas of the garden while Sid (the volunteer guide) taught me a little about the species. Two hours later the ‘short’ walking tour was over. It was great, I learnt a lot and saw more than I would have if I got there as early as I was meant to. Maybe I was meant to get off the bus at the wrong stop after all.
When I got back to the hostel, my plans for my departure tomorrow started to fall into place. Yesterday I met a girl who wanted a road trip to Las Vegas, I had no plans of where to go next and decided this would be the best bet. Tomorrow we will begin our road trip to Vegas baby. It is just as well I have made no plans – this way I can meet new people and club together to reach a new and exciting place.