The Joy of Warm Showers

Ties has used Couchsurfing for many years and is a big fan. Before this trip we had both heard of Warm Showers but hadn’t got round to actually singing up. This all changed when we experienced the wettest month of our lives in October 2016.

Warm Showers is a social media site where likeminded souls offer accommodation and more to passing cycle tourers. The site works on 100% reciprocal hosting and is totally free. Some hosts offer a place to pitch your tent in their garden, while some provide a bed, food, shower, laundry, lifts and tours of the local area.

Our first hosts – Alison and Bruce – were in Fort Bragg. We had a great time living with locals and being treated very well. We stayed an extra night and visited the Triangle Tattoo Museum. Alison made us incredible food and took us out in her car to visit the grocery store and thrift store. Bruce attends the world famous woodwork school and invited us to a bonfire and a tour of the incredible facility.

After that experience we stayed with Warm Showers hosts in Forest Knolls (near Lagunitas) and San Francisco. Margit and James let us enter the house while they weren’t even there! And they let us sleep in their house even though they are renovating and it wasn’t convenient. In San Francisco, Cyndi let us stay in the studio apartment at the bottom of her beautiful Victorian house. To stay somewhere like this for free was unbelievable and we really enjoyed sharing stories and cooking dinner for Cyndi on evening.

Our latest Warm Showers experience was in Santa Cruz, where Keresha and Chris cooked us dinner, walked us to the famous Boardwalk and gave us loads of route mapping tips. They even sent us off the next day with Clif bars and a bumper bag of delicious dates. If you’re cycle touring be sure to check out Warm Showers. You’ll meet lots of very interesting people and it will add a whole experience to the trip.