July 20 - 21.
Time to hit the road again after time spent working out where we head to next. Yosemite, Big Sur, Yosemite, Big Sur, do we go to LA or miss it altogether. It takes a lot of time and energy to work these things out.
Finally we decided to drive down the coast to Monterey and join a HAI camping weekend in the Los Padres National Forest, inland from the Big Sur coastline. We would then head to San Simeon for tours of the Hearst Castle before going to Yosemite and beginning our journey back east. Driving south we stopped at a couple of viewpoints to see the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a glorious afternoon and perfect to see the city in the background and fog rolling in further south.
From here we headed to Santa Cruz for an evening walking the boardwalk, looking at the rides and eating garlic fries and sweet potato fries. A special moment for Amy was to watch a little of Top Gun at the beach cinema. This over shadowed her feat in beating me at air hockey. During the drive south we stopped to watch a group of kitesurfers enjoying themselves in the surf.
One of the places we have been encouraged to go to is the Aquarium at Monterey so that is what we did. Unbelievable...very different to any other I have seen and most definitely a recommended place to go. The exhibits ranged from sharks, octopus, coral scenes, pink flamingos, penguins, starfish, otters and more and more and more...We spent 3 hours and could have spent more time if we arrived earlier.
From here we took a drive to Carmel by Sea, following the 17 mile drive through the gated Pebble Beach community. This drive takes you through forest areas and beach plus along side many golf courses, the most famous being Pebble Beach which hosts many US Open Tournaments. Carmel is a lovely town and we spent time walking around looking in gallery windows, sweet shops and Clint Eastwood's restaurant.
As we were there in the evening we did not take photos so if you are interested please go to Neil's FB page and look at the Carmel photos from the 2009 trip. As we are not driving the Big Sur coastline you can also check out the 2009 Big Sur photos on FB as well.
To set ourselves for the weekend camping we drove to Salinas for the night and set up camp in the K Mart car park. We're looking forward to a couple of days in the bush with about 30 people connecting, hiking and hopefully swimming in the creeks.