Monday, March 27, 2006

CA-1 and Santa Cruz

Day Two of Spring Break. At 2am, we sauntered out from the cinema hall after watching "Inside Man" (the 2006 one with Denzel Washington, Jodie Foster, Christopher Plummer, Willem Dafoe, Clive Owen... not to be confused with previous flicks with similar names), animatedly arguing over whether this was a good or a bad movie (I enjoyed it, btw). To all my desi friends, please please please watch this flick :P. I swear you'll have your money's worth in the first five minutes, and I refuse to tell you why. Just trust me, and don't read the reviews in case of spoilers. Again, GO WATCH THIS MOVIE!!!

Since I am nocturnal these days, I stayed up the night doing nothing, planning to crash in the afternoon. Afternoon arrives, and I find myself packed into a car heading off to the beach. "We'll only be there a few minutes," I'm told. Oh well. Since it's best to be prepared, I have armed myself with a polariser and a car charger for the camera batteries.

CA-1 is the classic drive in California. It runs parallel to the coast, with mountains on one side and the Pacific on the other. To get there from Palo Alto, you follow CA-84 as it winds through the mountains until you run into the sea. Unfortunately, the night-out takes its toll and I am fast asleep inside the car as the rest of the party check out our first stop at a lighthouse. The view from Stop Two is so stunning, however, that I somehow jerk off the sleepiness and waddle out with the camera. Here's what we saw (CA-1 is the sliver of road to the left of the picture, running all the way down the coast).


So we drive on and on and on down the coast, checking out bikers and parasurfers and kite-flyers...


... until we discover we're 11 miles from Santa Cruz. Seems a shame not to go all the way, we opine. So southwards and onwards!

This, by the way, is Santa Cruz...


... which has insect life, bird life, inscribed benches and a casino.


The crazily dressed women were having their photo taken, btw. We had snacks from a stall on the beach, where there was a rollercoaster and this crazy thing that was like a seat that bounced up and down 50 feet or so vertically. The sort of thing that makes your tummy hit the top of your head in free fall. There were people sitting around...


... and people winding up for the day, such as Shaheen, a caricaturist, and Kara, who sold juice or icecream or something.


Samantak is to be credited with spotting Kara, who is by far the cutest (though not necessarily the hottest) girl I've seen in some time (if certain people are reading this, "some time" does not include pre-yankland days), and bringing our attention to the matter with the words: "I've just seen a girl who looks exactly like Natalie Portman". So I went up and asked her if I could take her pic, and she grinned and said yes, and I was probably so kicked that I blurred the first shot, and overexposed the second by a stop (without noticing it until later). The second was salveagable, though.

Long drive back, followed by homemade chilli chicken and much-needed sleep.

17 comments:

DD said...

nice shots! and no yellow.

kara is sweet :D.

Teleute said...

Lovely pictures. :)

expiring_frog said...

@dd, teleute: Tenku. Yes she is

Rapid I Movement said...

Thankfully, no yellow! Portman seriously is super cute.

expiring_frog said...

@r-i-m: I still disagree about the yellow, but we must bow to public opinion.

The original or the lookalike?

Kele Panchu said...

I like the 1st, 3rd, 4th and the last pictures. The first one is very theoretical, like dravid's batting. Just one question, was it a overcast day? The sky doesn't seem very blue.

I admire your courage! I never could ask an unknown cute girl to posé for me (particulalry, when I'm with panchuinni). :)

BTW, I don't like yellow tint too!

expiring_frog said...

@Panchu-da: The sky looks that shade because I used a polarising filter. It cuts out glare, haze and reflections, brings out detail and makes colours a little richer. It also makes skies darker. The contrast of blue and white in the water, or the rich green and blue of the Santa Cruz picture, are due to the polariser.

Nishit said...

All said and done, Kara is really cute.. :)

~Nishit

hutumthumo said...

great pics. btw, natalie looks good even with her head shaved. probably even cuter.

expiring_frog said...

@nishit: Hehe.

@hutumthumo: Looks suspiciously like Sinead O'Connor, though.

Anonymous said...

Pucchis my love!

The entire thing sounds bloody exciting, especially the Hashbury affair :D..reading the blog in the office which translates into not seeing any of the photos :((...

And yes, our friend madhur, the mad has started blogging. Chk him out at
http://madhurt.blogspot.com/

Kohli

Potash said...

Sid,
tui ekti asto bal.

A Hairy Snail said...

CA - 1 is beautiful. Nice pics.

Shreyansh said...

Hey Sid,
Discovered ur blog accidently!!

The pics of the crazily dressed women and the one with Caricatures in the background came out real good.

And of course , Kara is cute. :)

expiring_frog said...

@Kohli: My dahling wherevah did you disappeah? I miss our nites together soooo much. I had observed the mad one's blogging debut earlier.

@potash: Mmmmmwwaaaahhhh!

@quincy: Tenku.

@shreyansh: Nice to see you around, kid :). How're things?

Rapid I Movement said...

Btw, did the polariser do any good at all?
I mean, unless you're facing the sun, I think it trims the rickness and contrast actually.
Check the 3rd snap (Pbgh. street) on my blog. I think the sky came out just as I wanted. I wasn't facing the sun though.

expiring_frog said...

@r-i-m: The polariser definitely helped with the water (white foam on blue wave, or the blue of the bay with the surfers). The sky didn't come out as well as I would have liked, it became a little murky.

I'm not very clear on the exact funda but when there's a lot of glare around I find it helps (glare tends to flatten a range of tones, the polariser reverses that effect). This page has some very neat illustrations.

In the mountains it's priceless because of all the glare from the snow. E.g. in this pic, where the sky has actually darkened favourably.