We had a lot of ground to cover for our next day on the road. An early start it was. We said goodbye to Phoenix and Sadie and made our way to the 17-mile-drive between Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea. This 17 mile route set out through the forest and along the coast is beautifully serene. From the small sandy beaches you could watch over the water and see (in our case) a sea otter swimming. The road meanders through a golfer’s paradise. When we finished our route we continued to Point Lobos.
Point Lobos is one of the many State Parks in the US. The difference between a National Park and a State Park is whether it is governed and managed by either the state of a national body.
In Point Lobos, you can hike on one of the many trials which show you the local flora and fauna. Animals that can be found in Point Lobos are cougars, sea otters (they can grow to be 1.60 meters long), sea lions and several species of birds.
We spent some time on the coastal trials, seeing many seals. Once again we found out the water in the Pacific is freezing.
From Point Lobos we made our way to the Big Sur. The Big Sur is a big area along the coast that consists of two state parks: Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park. While driving on Cabriole Highway (California 1) the loveliest views even though some of the turns are very sharp.
In the Big Sur we made a pit stop to buy some souvenirs and a delicious ice cream (Rocky Road!!). Even though there isn’t much in the Big Sur (not even cell phone reception), several lodges and inns can be found on a select part of the route.
In Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park we went to see McWay Falls. This waterfall doesn’t come from a bit river. This small stream makes such a rapid decent, it flows down on the beach like you opening the tap to get water; a singular stream of water descends to the beach to flow to the ocean. It’s beautiful to see. Combined with the blue ocean water it looks like an exotic lagoon.
From this wonderful bay we continued to our last stop before today’s inn in San Simeon. Just a few minutes away from our place for the night, there’s Piedras Blancas. A collection of several small beaches are the homes for several hundreds of sea elephants. Hundreds isn’t an understatement. Almost every inch of the beach was covered with these sea animals. It was like watching people interact. They were ignoring each other, fighting, using each other as pillows. It was quite a sight to see.
Bonus: there were also squirrels and I didn’t get bitten this time!
After this stop, we went to the Sea Breeze Inn. This is a wonderful motel with a huge bed and a splendid breakfast. For dinner we went to a restaurant across the street where I ate a plate of Mediterranean chicken and fries.