Monday morning we started our journey down the west coast of California heading for Big Sur. We followed the coast road (Highway 1) to Monterey in preference to the interstate in order to take in more of the scenery and to call into Santa Cruz – as it turned out this was not worth it as the fog was heavy all the way and Santa Cruz, as Kerrie put it, was a copy of Blackpool (cheap and tacky) so we were not allowed to stop.
Luckily the stop at Monterey got things back on track and we had lunch at the Monterey’s Fisherman’s Wharf – seals everywhere, good food and not as tacky as Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. Monterey was confirmed as a favourite when we went back there Tuesday evening for their monthly farmers market. Molly spent her birthday money from the Hobson’s on a Native Indian Flute which has been nicely carved out of local hardwood. She spent the rest of the week, when we were in the car, learning to play – it has a pleasant sound and she was getting very good at it by the end of the week.
We spent Monday and Tuesday night in a cabin at Riverside Campground at Big Sur. The cabin was very basic, especially for the price of US$130 per night, but it seems that most of the campgrounds and cabins only have basic facilities. Most likely the number of people at these places means that there is no pressure on the owners to renew their facilities and competition is limited due to space restriction of the National Park areas (Yosemite included). We did get to light a campfire each night which added to the ambience.
Big Sur is about 40 miles from Monterey and is an area on the coast with a number of campgrounds and lots of forest and coastal walks. We spent Tuesday morning doing some of the walks and then went back to the campground for lunch where the girls spent most of the afternoon floating down the river on an inflatable boat.
While there we also did the 17 Mile Drive which takes you around the coast at Monterey. It passes some amazing properties as well as a number of top golf courses including Pebble Beach Golf Links. We stopped at the club house at Pebble Beach and took some pictures. While there we had a look at a local real estate agency and noticed that most properties were between US$5,000,000 and US$20,000,000. We set aspirations with Molly for a retirement house there – once she becomes famous of course!
Wednesday was a great drive down the coast back to Santa Monica and LA – very foggy in parts but the views still showed a coastline of extremes.