Friday, January 06, 2012

Train train bus automobile

This, and about 26 hours, is what it took for me to be able spend new year's eve in Oakland.

Remarkably almost all 26+ hours were on the transport vehicle. The first train arrived early - leaving me just enough time to fight with the "info" booth attendant, try to find the right platform and then call directly to Amtrak to get my reservation changed.

It means I left Los Angeles Union station over two hours early to arrive one hour earlier at my final destination.

The third connection was scheduled to leave five minutes after my train was scheduled to arrive. The conductor, who had become my best friend on the ride, assured me the bus isn't allowed to leave before the train arrives.

Technically this way is longer. In a car or in a train, but it is also more scenic.

I took the ocean side portion off to watch for whales. No whales today. But a few dolphin. Plenty of majestic pelicans and hawks. And a considerable amount of deer standing around looking perplexed. I just like how deer look up at people and cars - and apparently trains - as though aliens have just landed and are ruining the vista from their porch.

There was no time to browse in Olvera Street - not sure what would have been open at 7:15 am - but had I stayed there until my bus was scheduled to pull out at 10:45 am I guess I could have browsed some stores. But with almost no sleep on the train overnight from Albuquerque and very little sleep the three nights preceding, jumping onto another form of transport seemed better than trying to find a quiet corner to read and/or nap.

I actually waited til the long bus ride to nap - only to wake to the bus driver announcing we were taking a ten minute break. Not at a station - which is very loosely construed here as we dropped people from the train on the beach seemingly in the middle of nowhere. No, not even there. We stopped at an offramp where there were various fast-food restaurants and a little mini-mart.

The rest was easy 101 N until San Jose where we took the freeway that goes right into San Francisco. Apparently it is much more hip to go to SF for NYE because I was the only one on the bus to Oakland.

My own private chariot to the east bay. It was almost perfect... Except the bus driver started to talk and he was a tad reactionary. Ah well... I was almost home.

I have more from the train... hoping I get the time to write it.

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