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Simon’s Travel Diary

Sunday, 04 May 2008

Location: Carmel, California, USA

MapWhat a strange place ‘Chez Clint’ is! I must say that it does offer the best beach I’ve seen in many a year; sweeping sands, picture-perfect water and all sorts of activity going on.

After a long but uneventful drive yesterday, I found that my hotel was rather nice. It had proper cable (woo and, indeed, hoo!) and a HUGE bed decorated in the manner of the cover of ‘Proper Homes’ magazine. It was festooned with more cushions than a Bedouin’s tent and – with company – could easily have been described as a playground: it even had a mosquito net! Weird…

I spent the day pottering up and down the beach (sound familiar…?) and spotted a humongous house right at the crest of the bluffs that edge the sand. Carmel has a reputation as the summer getaway for the mega-rich, and this place must have been owned by the Sultan of Brunei’s more opulent brother.

I had a bit of a chew-on finding somewhere suitable to eat as the town is very posh indeed and, although I’ve tried not to make money too much of an obstacle on this trip, I draw the line at over $25 for a dish that would have cost less than half that in Santa Barbara.

Anyhoo, after 30 minute’s trawling, I gave up and went to Flaherty’s Fish Restaurant, a place that’s about as Irish as Alex Ferguson, the fiddle dee dee name notwithstanding. I’m very glad I did risk it, as I had the most sumptuous meal: crab ravioli with caviar, posh white wine, the works.

I wound up sitting next to an old guy and had a nice conversation. Well, until the poor sod started repeating himself with such alacrity that I had to assume he had Alzheimer’s: seriously. Rather sad, as he’d fought in WWII and had been stationed in Ruislip and wondered where rice came into it…many times…!

A nice night, to be sure…