Today, the world is packed full of wonder. The Californian coast is gently drowning in thick, lazy sunshine, and I’ve just driven through a small town called Oceano, on the hunt for a place called Pismo Dunes. This slice of the Cali coast is exactly how you imagine it. Once you’ve slithered down from the identikit clapboard and breeze-block ‘burbs, past the RV parks and outlet stores and into the main parts of town, you could be in a million TV shows that teleport clean dreams into damp suburban UK like wormholes into perma-sunny fairyland. It’s a sea-bleach colour palette, there are surfboards propped in unlikely places, and the traffic lights are strung above the four-way intersections exactly as the movies promise.
There are low-rise buildings clad in salt-warped boards, selling the American equivalent of the seaside tat international law dictates must be sold in such shops: taffy, pails and spades, ice cream and fudge. Tourists are an aimless throng, coated in sweaty polyester and clutching gallons of iced-
brown something. The sun beats down, and it’s warm, simple and slow.
Words: Tom Ford
Pics: Justin Leighton
This feature first appeared in the October issue of Top Gear magazine