Across Continents

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Fields of dreams

Beyond Santa Cruz vast open, flat fields of artichokes. Largely flat save for a few gently rolling hills, neat rows of strawberry plants. Dotted about groups of labourers, moving in irregular lines, picking the crops. Wide brimmed hats and scarves to shield them from the dust as much as the sun.

Mostly women I thought. I’d expected Mexicans, illegals, but they reminded me of the Gobi desert gravel sweepers. Chinese. Wondering how they came to be here, who they really were. What dreams they must have had. Still held.

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I’d left Pigeon Point earlier in the day, riding steadily for thirty or so miles into the University town of Santa Cruz. A little lingering sea fog along the coast, but largely clear and bright. Pleased with progress, but failing to appreciate how tediously slow it would be to navigate out the other side.

I’d a guide book, but it was mostly textual descriptions rather than diagrams, and I’m very visual. But my frequent efforts to consult it at the roadside often drew help from passing cyclists, of which there were a few.

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