The Rock

This morning was difficult. James and I woke almost

simultaneously this morning after a very good night’s sleep, most definitely helped by the alcohol consumption of

last night. The alcohol also assisted one other thing which was our hangovers. Basically Caz and Caroline (our

‘roomies’) offered to get us our beers (due to certain silly restrictions here we can’t get a drink) and despite

only buying three to start with (a chilled Saturday night) we all ended up getting hammered.

We headed over to

the other USA hostel on Sutter and met up with a load of people in the basement including Ben & Neil

(Doncaster), Debbie (High Wycombe), Neil (only bloody Carricktoole – just up the road from Ballycotton in Cork),

Paul (Edgbaston) and Tim (Australia). Despite being in San Fran, we havn’t actually done any socialising with


It was a good laugh, the ‘Hawaiian Punch’ was flowing and there was some drinking games and

fussball going on too until the early hours. A good night.

So this morning we gathered up our stuff, left a

note for the girls and headed back over to the Commodore (where we are staying for a second night) after some

breakfast. James once again managed to make his pancake look like roadkill, but it filled a gap and the coffee

helped clear our head. We bumped into a scouse couple as we washed up who were friendly and gave some advice about

Vegas and the Strip. There had been a large amount of destination-info swapping last night, although that is fairly

hard to recall.

Another cable car ride from the main terminal and we arrived at Pier 41 just in time to catch

the ferry to Alcatraz. I was having trouble focusing (not entirely sure why) so we got a hotdog and some liquids

inside and by the time we got to the island I was fine.

Alcatraz is a fantastically brooding monstrosity and

the audio tour is very comprehensive. The main highlights included Al Capone’s cell although one of my personal

favourites was the exhibition called Prisoners of Age exhibit which consisted of about 30 or so large (well

designed) banners with some stunning portrait photos of convicted murderers, traffickers and kidnappers with personal

accounts of the incidents. A five or six year kid next to me read one of them out loud "Sex Crimes" and

turned to his mum asking what "Sex" is? Amusing.

The island was fascinating and I took quite a good

number of photos. When we finished we headed back to the dock and picked up shrimp and chips for food. On the way

back there was a visit to the cable car museum which had the added surprise of being the cable house as well so we

watched endless loops of cable being recycled around the city.

Tomorrow we are off to Yosemite and the likes.

Organised travelling here we come…