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Elaine and Peter’s Travel Diary

Friday, 05 Oct 2012

Location: Monterey, USA

MapOur last day to ourselves started cloudy here and we were really peeved to see a cloud!
The sun soon shone and we were on our way south on scenic highway 1 to drive the Big Sur. We were a little apprehensive at first as Monterey is quite an ordinary place but the first stop at Carmel just a few miles away, was a nice surprise. It's a lovely little town but the suburbs are quite extensive and very upmarket. The scenic beach drive was lovely and we ogled the designer houses before heading for the 300 year old Mission Basilica.
The highway then hugged the steep and rugged coast and we stopped at all of the recommended places which offered superb and panoramic views:-

Point Lobos State Park was a delight. We walked the south trail, the sand and sea lion trails, very picturesque about 1.6 miles in all, passing egret, cormorants, and the very noisy seal lions and sea otters basking on the rocks.

Bixby Bridge was a dramatic structure

Point Sur Rock Lighthouse was closed to the public but made a good photo shot

Andrew Molera State Park..we walked the 2 mile beach trail but couldn't find the beach although the walk was pleasant enough...our highlight here, we spent a very happy hour chatting to Mark and Dee from Sacramento who parked next to us.

Big Sur village was just a few lodges and campsites so we didn't stop

Nepenthe Cafe ..a lovely place, we had our lunch sitting on a patio high above the cliffs surrounded by stellar jays, woodpeckers and pelicans. The tables are benches round the edge of the patio so you have a full view of the coast as you eat. And a fabulous shop full of crafts and unusual gifts
We recommend a stop here.

And then the best of all, the lovely Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, known as the jewel of the Sur.... and it lives up to it's name. The first time we have seen a waterfall dropping straight into the sea. Beautiful vivid colours...wild pink lilies and pale pampas grasses on the cliff side, falling down to the White sands and surf of the cove, the water was such a pure blue, a heavenly place.

On our return to Carmel, we took the 17 mile drive. There is a 10 dollar fee to enter this area. It is a private residential area on the Pebble Beach peninsula, the sunset over the beach was again lovely but we left it too late to get here as we only saw half of it in light. You couldn't miss the exclusive golf courses which no doubt serve the palatial mansions here, Buckingham Palace size! Some serious money here...we couldn't find Clinton Eastwood's house!
All worth seeing but who gets the entry fees!!!!

And so that brings us to the last entry of the blog for this holiday ..thank you to all who have shared our journey with us.
Tomorrow we drive highway 1 to the north to take the flight at 7 pm USA time.
Looking back, the time has flown as we have done so much .. The fabulous weather has been a real bonus.
It's only by writing it down that we will be able to remember it all..it's a magnificent place. We have found the people so spontaneous and polite, we have numerous memories and funny moments.
America is well worth a visit, such diversity