We woke up to a gloomy and grey day, not quite raining but the weather was more like Scunthorpe in autumn than California in summer. We ate breakfast at Denny’s and then hit highway one to begin our journey along the coastal road, through the big sur eventually ending up in Monterrey bay.
Mainly photos today as i’m writing this 6 months after we have got back and from memory !
So first off we headed towards San Morro where we briefly stopped to watch sea otters playing just off shore and then onto Cambria where the weather finally picked up so we stopped for coffee.
After refreshments it was back on highway one driving some fantastic sweeping roads past beautiful cliffs and beaches. We eventually came to San Simeon and Piedras Blancas Elephant Seal Rookery. You could hear the seals before you got to the cliff edge which overlooks the beach and we saw around 50 elephant seals basking in the sand and dipping in and out of the sea. It was a magnificent sight to see them in the flesh as it wasn’t that long ago that they were almost hunted to extinction.
In the weeks preceding our road trip California had some of the worse Wild fires of recent years meaning a few of the places we had wanted to visit such as Hearst Castle and a lot of the Big Sur weren’t accessible. Every now and then we would see remnants of the fire and you could still see smoke in the distance over the hills and helicopters scooping up water from the sea to take to douse the flames. We continued up the coast, stopping at various coastal view points and beaches before reaching the Julia Pfeiffer Burns state Park where we left the car behind and went for a short hike down to a waterfall and beach.
Back in the car we headed to the Big Sur Bakery to grab a late lunch and then it was back on the road to drive over the Bixby Bridge, through Carmel and into Monterey Bay which was to be our base for the next couple of nights. We were staying at the Monterey Bay Inn – more about that tomorrow !