San Francisco: Hiking, nudism and a Jacuzzi

San Francisco: Hiking, nudism and a Jacuzzi

Much like my university city of Brighton (England), San Francisco has vibrant hippy and gay scenes, as well as being a hotbed of cultural and ethnic diversity. Being on the Pacific Coast, it’s had a lot of immigration especially from Asia. Also like Brighton, the city is cut into steep hills and has excellent public transport (for the US). However, unlike Brighton, San Francisco is a big city with a large tech/law/business side to it these days, which has given it a more serious, professional edge and had two unpleasant consequences. First, the rent prices are the highest in the US, having now surpassed New York (average rent for an apartment is $3,871 per month as of January 2017). Second, some say it has diluted the hippie glory of 60s San Francisco. Something is still in the air; there is a sense of freedom and curiosity that you can see from the hub of innovation that is Silicon Valley to the wild S&M hedonism of the Folsom Street Fair. Nevertheless, San Francisco is now the hippie that grew up and got a serious job. More than in most other cities, my time San Francisco was very much coloured by my Couchsurfing hosts; thanks to them, I saw three distinct sides of the city. So, who were they? Roger: The hiking My first host was Roger, an older man who has hosted hundreds of people and now lives in Larkspur (Marin County), which is north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Roger was kind enough to pick me up from the airport, and what ensued for the next three days was...