San Diego was primarily for paragliding. There is a gliderport in La Jolla called Torrey Pines that’s for hang gliders, paragliders, rc’s (radio controlled), and powered toys. The cliff they launch from is 320 feet above sea level and you need a P3 rating to fly solo here. Marc got that a while back so his main objective was to get some more time on the new wing. Mine; once we discovered the only way to get back to the launch site if you land on the beach is climb the cliffs; was to get some more color in preparation for Hawaii. I think we both easily reached our goals here.
The first day I watched him launch and then gathered all my gear before asking someone how to get to the beach. I should have known when they pointed to the left and said, “well, that side is a little safer.” I started the climb down (and oh man it was a climb) carefully, letting people pass me on the way up and the way down. By the time I got to the beach, my legs were sore and shaky.
The second thing I noticed upon arriving at Black Beach was all the naked people. Mostly guys but some women too. This made it much easier on subsequent days to just get changed on the beach rather than the scrungy porta potties. Everyone was really nice and laid back and you do get used to the nakedness, even though it’s a bit disconcerting at first.
While the air was warm, the water was freaking cold there and so I didn’t jump in past my knees. Hey, the surfers were wearing wetsuits if that gives you any idea of water temps. Actually, the air and the sun made it perfect for laying out as all the naked people can attest. While I loved it down there, the pilots sure don’t like to land there. Marc told me a story of landing on the beach the first time to the applause of two teenage girls. Internally he’s thinking , “no, you don’t understand! If I’d done it right, I’d be landing up there!” I helped him pack up his glider and followed him up the cliffs. Legs quivering and heart pounding with many brief stops to rest along the way. It takes about 20 minutes to climb back up without gear. A bit longer when you’ve got a 35 pound pack on your back. Marc told me amother story of landing on the beach later the same day in front of a slightly older naked couple and the woman said, “ohh! just like James Bond!” just before she asked him to take some pictures.
Saturday I took him to the gliderport before going my own way. I went to Old Town in San Diego for an Art Festival. I had an awesome meal @ the Cosmopolitan Hotel after heeding the recommendation of Carlos, a wandering guitarist.
The festival was great with all kinds of media from photographs, paintings, pottery, furniture and jewelry. Really reminded me of the Boardwalk Art Show I used to attend in Va. Beach. I got a beautiful pair of earrings made by Marrise and just really dug all the stuff on display.
It was really neat to see how San Diego started too and get a peak at how the cultures came together to make San Diego what it is today. I also accosted some resting Mariachii guys for a picture. Everyone I met was really nice. Unfortunately, Marc didn’t get to fly after all that day. He ended up calling ground support for a ride and we drove into the Gaslamp Quarter for dinner. All I have to say…. good gods what a cacophony. This constant wash of humanity steaming down the wide sidewalks while pounding base pours from open doorways and cute young things stand in front of the restaurants and clubs trying to bring people in. The ladies flowing past typically have short skirts and long hair while their dates are in the ubiquitous jeans and T-shirts. What is it about men in the US and their clothing? Ssriously all, you don’t have to be gay to look nice. Ya know?
Ok, so San Diego was awesomely good and we really enjoyed the laid back attitudes and the tattoos on the women at Whole Foods. Marc’s already thinking about coming back and I sure wouldn’t mind hanging out on the beach again. Course, I may have to train for those cliffs.