Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Lighthouse family

November 27th, 2011

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"I’m more of a landfill person" I explained. The woman had asked if the hostel, a delightful affair comprised of a series of cottages besides Pigeon Point lighthouse, did recycling. She seemed unimpressed with my teasing reply. It’s not that I’ve anything against dolphins of course, or that we shouldn’t do more to protect the environment for future generations.

But I do struggle to grasp why vendors frequently leave their organic vegetables caked in mud. And where I do have a problem is that whilst everyone is doing their little bit, laudable though that might be, there’s a danger that this engenders a false sense of progress and a failure to address the real problem. Industrial pollution.

Time, I thought to retire for the evening. Decent distance to ride the next day, close on eighty miles. In part because I’d chosen to stay at a second lighthouse hostel, a little on thirty miles from the previous one at Point Montara. Fantastic locations. Friendly staff. But at Pigeon Point things didn’t seemed to have quite gelled with my fellow hostellers in Dolphin cottage.

Rustling the map in the cosy common room had raised a few eyebrows. Silent tutting. I’d ignored this. Tapped a little harder on the computer. A late arrival had asked what one did for food – did you just help yourself? Someone politely pointed out you had to bring your own. People like that scare me. I’d found myself wondering if I was the only one not afflicted with OCD.

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Two go down to the lighthouse

November 27th, 2011

Ken, together with trusty steed Emma, spend the night at Pigeon Point lighthouse. Hoping for clear skies, for he’s spotted the fog horn..

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Halloween healthcare

November 27th, 2011

She was swathed in clean white bandages, shades and stilletoes. Quietly amused myself as to whether this was simply for Halloween or a statement on healthcare provision. A friend sat opposite her. Conversation punctuated by frequent phone calls.

I’d headed off Highway One along California’s central coast, a few miles inland to Pescadero. Small town distinguished, in my mind at least, by the fact that it was the only place around with chance of a coffee before my next overnight stop. Pigeon Point lighthouse hostel. Short day and I didn’t want to arrive before it opened at five.

Pescadero seemed pleasant enough. Expensive looking bakery. Small cafe cum village store. My choice for refreshment. A bank that appeared to do the most brisk of trade.

Healthcare was the one thing I didn’t get. But then neither did a lot of Americans. Even those with insurance often bemoaned the extensive exclusions, the unaffordable premiums, the pitiful payouts. I’d seen the odd poster in shop windows, groups campaigning for reform. Growing groundswell? I wasn’t sure.

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