Day 14 Yosemite National Park to Carmel

Trip Start May 16, 2008
Trip End Jun 03, 2008

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, May 30, 2008

Up at 8am and finished packing the cases. We went down to breakfast at 830 and were told there was a 25 minute wait. 35 minutes later we got in. It seemed a bit chaotic in there even though all the tables were not in use. They must have been short staffed or something.
We checked out, our total for our stay including dinners and the dinner we had at Yosemite Lodge (the advantage of all the park facilities being run by one company is you can show your room charge card at any of the other hotels and charge it to your room) was about $1100.
The weather leaving Yosemite was an awful lot better than when we arrived. Blue skies and warm. We stopped off in Oakhurst and topped up with petrol/gas. Although it is available at Wawona it is about 65c a gallon more expensive.
We followed the TomTom directions along the 41 and 145 towards Madera, up the 99 and across the 152 to Gilroy, 101 down SW to 1 and into Carmel.
Along the way we past loads and loads of areas growing fruit, vegetables, even garlic (you could smell it, I'm not sure what the grapes growing near the garlic will taste like!) There was certainly no shortage of roadside stalls selling fruit & veg. 
As we passed round the San Luis Reservoir (which seemed to be quite low compared to where the marks that show where it normally is) there was an area with signs by the road which said for a section it was mandatory to put your headlights on. It was out in the open road with no need for any lights in the blazing sunshine. Maybe they were testing to see how many people would blindly switch them on if they were told. Probably some Government experiment on motorists - seemed to work! (update, good old Google gave me the answer)
We duly arrived 1 hour before the TomTom had estimated; I must be learning how to speed on Freeways like a local. We were booked into the Wayfarer Inn. It is located on the north side of Carmel but close to the shops. We checked in and they duly ran up a Scotland flag outside. They have a dozen small flagpoles on which they fly the flags according to the nationalities of their guests!
We went up to our room (12) which had a view out over the street. It was a nice enough large room with a fireplace (which, given the heat in the place I doubt we will be using). There is a TV with VCR, small bathroom and queen size bed. There is a fridge for guest use, coffee and cookies are available downstairs all the time so there are no facilities in the room. There is off street parking for about 8 cars round the corner.
We went for a walk into Carmel and walked the length of the beach (we needed our walk fix since Yosemite!), it was a bit breezy but warm in the blue skies and sunshine. The beach is clean but with a fair amount of seaweed. A few hardy souls were trying to surf but the waves weren't that high and the water was freezing!
We walked back through the town. Carmel seems to be big on artsy and upmarket shops. They are not very big on nationwide chains, fast food etc. It looks like they have a very strict planning department that means people can only build traditional low rise, traditional style housing and buildings
We went back to the Wayfarer and sat down with a plate of cheese & biscuits and a glass or three of wine. The Inn serves this to guests each afternoon as part of the facilities. It is a good chance to sit out on their nice patio and chat worth other guests.
In the evening we walked down the road to the Mission Ranch restaurant as owned by Clint Eastwood (unfortunately he did not make an appearance tonight).
It was a first come first served place. They were busy and we thought we would have to wait a while but we got a table within 10 minutes, mainly because most people wanted tables outside and we were happy enough to go inside.
For starters we had a complimentary dish of garlic bread which was nice and hot. The first course we both had Mission Ranch Clam Chowder soup. The soup was nice and tasty and creamy but it could have done with being a bit hotter - the bows it was served in were also cold.
For main we had Prawn Tagliarini with tomatoes, garlic, shallots and white wine and Short Ribs (Ossobuco Style) with zinfandel glaze, mashed potatoes and asparagus. The prawns were tasty and well cooked. The pasta seemed a bit overdone and the sauce was flavourless. The rib was not really what I expected, it was basically more like a lamb shank cut of meat (except with beef), the meat was extremely tender but round the bone was a bit sinewy.
We finished with Bread pudding with chantilly cream and Bourbon sauce and Chocolate Mousse Pie with chantilly cream. Total cost was $90 with tip.
Overall the meal was OK but not exceptional. Service was good given they were busy.
We walked back up the street to the Inn. Carmel seems to have an aversion to pavements (sidewalks) and street lighting. We did pass the only street light that we seen - and it switched off as we passed it. Maybe its to discourage poor people from roaming the streets. At the Inn we sat and watched the season finale of Lost season 4! I still have no idea what the hell is going on on that show. Updated the blog and uploaded it using the Inns free WiFi.
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Where I stayed
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