Yesterday, I finally had to prize myself away from gorgeous La Jolla and headed north to San Francisco to start the next (and final) phase of my trip. I felt a bit overwhelmed and confused by SF at first, but spent a productive few hours today walking around and getting my bearings. My key discoveries are that (a) the city is highly walkable in size, which is good news, given the somewhat congested nature of the public transport system....this is tourist season, after all; but (b) that San Francisco is really hilly. My legs don't know what has hit them after a day of tromping around the streets.
But the highlight of the day was meeting up with Suzie Dods for my first introduction to the Dolphin Club at Aquatic Park - a splendid wooden structure which is home to a boathouse, club rooms, and impressive changing facilities .... including a sauna! Anyone, like me, who has spent their summer weekends on the beach in Dover, shivering in the wind and trying to hold on to a towel (and a final scrap of modesty) whilst changing before rushing off to a car / cafe to warm up with a faint moustache of silt still clinging to your top lip will understand just how luxurious this sounds. And it is utterly spendid! These people really do swimming well.
We went for a shortish swim (just under a mile, I think), pausing at the mouth of the harbour mouth. Suddenly clear of the pier, right in front of me was Alcatraz, and off to the left, the Bridge, looking amazing in the late afternoon sunshine through the mist, hills in the background. I couldn't help but think how lucky I am to have had the chance to visit all these amazing swimming spots, and meet all of these fabulous, water-loving swimmers. Life is good.