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NASA

Apologies for the lack of updates recently, after reaching Pier 39 and meeting with Google, we all took some time to rest and recuperate from the cycle.
Until we reached the boat, I don’t think any of us had realised how much the cycle journey had taken its toll on us all, both physically, but also perhaps more so mentally. As such, it has been good to have a few weeks out of the saddle and sleeping bags, to rest, get ill, get better again and start preparing for the next leg of the trip. In this time, Dario was also able to help the Prince William Sound Science centre in Cordova develop their education program.
Shortly after arriving back at the boat, Salina and Andri travelled with Erik and Sorren; who had joined us on the final cycling leg, back to Cordova, where they will go to school for a couple of months. Thank you so much for joining us Erik and Sorren, thank you also to all in Cordova who have been so kind and generous to our family – it really is so greatly appreciated.
Yesterday we hit the ground running, thanks to Steve Hipskind, Chief, Earth Science Division at NASA Ames in Mountain View, who invited us to give a presentation to some of the employees on the campus, as well as giving us a tour! We were introduced to Steve and his wife Cathy through friends in Aptos, and were fortunate enough to meet in person whilst in the mountain view area when presenting to Google. Thank you for this amazing opportunity and for welcoming us into your home.Continue Reading →

TOPtoTOP meets Silicon Valley

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What a busy couple of weeks it’s been. Once we had arrived back in Pier 39 we then immediately turned around and headed south for a week of meetings, school presentations and talks!
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First up was a long awaited meeting at Google HQ in Mountain View. This was set up thanks to Pascal, a friend we met whilst in Red Rocks which was super – and good to catch up with Pascal again. Without Google maps I have little idea how we would have made it through the cities cycling, so it was a big day for us to meet the minds behind it all!
We all know and use Google a huge amount, but aside from owning half of the internet, they are also paving the way for green working; amazingly having been carbon neutral since 2007! You can read more on their green policies here. (I would…it’s pretty impressive!).Continue Reading →

Big Sur

Wow… what a couple of days. Apologies for the radio silence – we haven’t had internet all week!
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On Sunday we left Santa Barbara and our lovely hosts Jim and Shari – thank you so much for having us. You were wonderful hosts and it was super to spend time with you and your friends Bob and Mindy.
In Santa Barbara we also said goodbye to our teacher Corina who had been with us for a few weeks – thank you so much for teaching our children!
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From Santa Barbara we then cycled some of the most beautiful 475 kilometres I think we will ever cycle. We were also joined by Eric and his son, Sorren, good friends we made whilst in Alaska – Sorren (13) is cycling with us for a couple of weeks which is great.
Our route this week has brought us through Pismo beach, then along the beautiful Highway 1, through San Simeon, Big Sur and now to Santa Cruz; where we are staying with Jim and Shari’s Son and Daughter in Law, Tyson and Shanda- Thank you so much for having us also!!
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Just north of San Simeon we went past Piedras Blancas lighthouse and the beach which flanks it; where 17,000 Elephant Seals now call home. It was amazing sight (and sound and smell!), and we were lucky to be passing at the tail end of mating season so the beach was a hive of activity.
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Heading further up the coast, spring very much looked like it had sprung! It was beautiful with rape seed plants lining the streets with yellow flowers, and with the roads quiet and with the occasional migrating grey whale spouting keeping us on our toes it really was a stunning couple of days.
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Just outside ragged point we found a state beach to camp on for the evening, after an incredible sunset and then a blanket of a thousand stars to bid us goodnight it was all set to be a lovely evening…. only to be awoken by the most almighty wind storm at 1am – with all the tents trying their hardest to fly away!
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After a peaceful sunrise and a further 120kms cycling north we hit Big Sur for the evening and then onto Santa Cruz today for a busy week ahead.

Hope School in Santa Barbara

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We arrived in Santa Barbara yesterday after leaving Thousand Oaks and the Campbells lovely home – thank you again for having us!
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We then made a short hop over to Ventura for a night and then onto Santa Barbara. En route we passed a great solution which we’d like to share. (see below)
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It’s a super system, specifically targeted to schools and homes, for growing salad with very little space needed!
Here we are staying with friends we met whilst in Hawaii a couple of years ago – Jim and Sherry Towells. Since meeting us in Hawaii, Jim and his wife have visited Switzerland and stayed with Dario’s parents and we have become close with his son, Tim, in San Francisco! Thank you for having us and setting up the lovely Hope school presentation this morning.
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As I said, this morning we visited Hope school in Santa Barbara, to give a presentation to a selection of their k-6th graders. Afterwards the older years joined us on a clean-up of the school playground – we collected a really impressive amount of plastic. The kids seemed to really enjoy it and we hope that this will be the start of a new habit for the school!
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We also finished the film covering out journey from the highest point on the continent, Mount Denali, to the lowest point, Badwater Basin.
Check it out!
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Finally a little plea for help;

Any solar panel/wind generator/ electrical experts out there?
TOPtoTOP member Matteo is sailing non-stop around the world with just with wind and solar power from Rome to Rome.
He is about 2000 miles W from Cape Horn on about 54 degrees: https://web.uniroma1.it/eco40/rotta-eco40/rotta-eco40
Here his website: http://www.matteomiceli.com/ and https://www.facebook.com/micelioceanworld
He’s having major problems with the current flow from his solar panels which is leaving him without nav, comms and autopilot.
If you think you may be able to help PLEASE get in touch – dario @ toptotop.org or Jenny @ toptotop.org and we can give more info
Thank you so much in advance.