Today’s blog comes to you from Morro Bay on the California coast. We left San Fran behind yesterday and are slowly making our way down to Anaheim. The sole attraction there being Disneyland. I expect it will be a crazy, rage-filled day for me, but I am open to being pleasantly surprised. More on that later.
We were off to a slow start yesterday when our Uber driver struggled to find the car rental pick-up place. After several laps of San Fran International Airport we finally made it, and picked up our wheels – a very snazzy Nissan Sentra. Not quite the ‘yank tank’ Dad wanted us to select, but far kinder on the budget. Plus, having managed to circumnavigate Samoa in a Toyota Vitz a year or so ago, we’re backing the Nissan to go the distance. Here is Campbell beside our hot wheels.
I was too chicken to get behind the wheel and hit the freeway, so Campbell stepped up and is doing an awesome job. I am chief navigator – ably assisted by a GPS, google maps and hard copy maps – and still managing to get us lost from time to time. Our first stop was Santa Cruz – a cool beachy town that smelt of weed and wees. Aside from being a surfer’s paradise (and one of the founding places for the sport), Santa Cruz is known for its amazing boardwalk and fairground amusements. We stopped for lunch and a quick go on the chairlift.
We carried on down the coast for a few hours and stopped for the night at a lovely little town called Pacific Grove. It’s lesser known than some of the other towns along the stretch, but was exactly what we were after. We found some of the other towns like Monterey were over-run with tourists and not exactly the break from the city we wanted. Pacific Grove was really quaint with houses that looked like luxe hobbit homes. Our motel was a bit of a downgrade, but San Fran kicked our arse budget-wise so it was time to make up some lost ground. Unfortunately, our room was right beside the lift, ice machine and vending machine and people seemed to have a desperate need to use all of those things late into the night.
We were up early this morning to take the 17 mile scenic drive to see Pebble Beach Golf Course and carry on down the coast. We couldn’t see a huge amount of the golf course itself, but what we did see was pretty impressive. We poked our noses into a real estate office in a nearby town and didn’t see a property in the area worth less than a million, and most were up in the 10-20 million region.
From there we carried on to the lovely town of Carmel (Mum – you would love this place. Dad – you’d want to hold the credit card if you guys ever visited!) and then onwards to Big Sur. The windy, single-lane roads of New Zealand have prepared us well for the more scenic stretches of road that we covered today and Campbell handled it like a pro. There is a huge amount to see on the drive, but we limited ourselves to a few key stops, rather than every scenic look-out on the way. Highlights included the McWay Falls (a waterfall that drops directly onto a beach – you can see it to the left of the photo) and a visit to an elephant seal nursery. I had my first encounter with squirrels at the nursery – it should have been a fun experience, but all I could think about was the fact that I backed out of getting a blood test to confirm that my rabies vaccine had worked. Things were going fine, until Campbell pretended to be a squirrel and tickled my leg and I totally lost my shit in the middle of the carpark.
We hadn’t booked accommodation in advance for tonight, and had a few false starts trying to find somewhere. We’re settled in now though, and looking forward to a few beers down the beach tonight. Tomorrow we carry on down the coast and will look to park up somewhere around Santa Barbara.