It took us some time to get out of Monterey. We’d gone for a look at the very pretty Pacific Grove area but true to form managed to end up going around Monterey twice trying to get on the freeway. Not far North of Monterey is the town of Santa Cruz. We arrived a little early to check in to the Knights Inn there, but as it was located near to the beach boardwalk we thought we’d have a quick walk down there.
There is something a bit sad and depressing about a seaside town in the off season. The roller coasters are not running, the doors are locked and the place resembles a ghost town. Even the once inviting bright colours of the buildings seem to mock. Santa Cruz boardwalk was very much like that. The only sounds came from the hideous cackling of an animated figure in the one arcade that was open and the arguments of a pair of drunk people on the bench at the end. It reminded me very much of Great Yarmouth in the winter. Despite having something that Great Yarmouth lacks in December, the sun, the mood was the same. A certain dissonant chord seemed to hang over the town, putting me on edge. I’m sure there was something bad in the air. On the surface Santa Cruz seems like a pretty good place to be, full of punks, surfers, skaters and hippies, but the atmosphere grated on me like fingernails being scraped on a blackboard. I hid away in the motel for much of the day, briefly venturing out again to the boardwalk to take some photographs to remind me of what had put me in such a dark mood.