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Simon’s Travel Diary

Monday, 05 May 2008

Location: Carmel, California, USA

MapAlthough still warm, it was a bit overcast today, so I decided to have a stroll along Scenic Road, a residential street that flanks the coast.

Once slightly away from the houses, the sandy beach gave way to spectacular rocks that I recalled from our trips to Northern Cornwall and I spotted some wildlife, not least Californian Sea Lions and, best of all, a Sea Otter. These little critters are an uncommon sight even here in their home territory, and this one was simply lying on its back, smashing a plethora of unfortunate clams on its chest with a stone. It was mesmerising and, not for the first time, I wished t’wife had been there to see it too.

I grabbed a sarnie and made my way back to the sand, now that the sun had come back out, and read my book for an hour until I realised I had committed the cardinal sin of The Englishman Abroad: I had no sun cream on. At all.

I thought it prudent to quickly drive back to the hotel and grab the greasy bottle of factor 30 from the depths of my sock bag. Sadly, as I entered the room, the cream walls were lit as if from within by the glow emanating from my lobster-red face. Oh, and I did I also have sunglasses marks causing me to resemble some sort of aging red panda? Of course…

With my baseball cap pulled way down low, I managed to get in and out of the local store without too many stifled laughs from the guys behind the tills and got the beers in. I waited until the sun had gone down before worrying the locals as I searched for some food and, as this was a Monday night, I’d almost left it too late as everywhere seemed to shut by 9pm.

I did find a very nice place just in time that - mercifully – was strung with low wattage red bulbs, so everyone looked as if they’d just come back from a holiday on the surface of the sun, not just your humble scribe…

Kids, slap on the sun cream! You know it makes sense!