. the gravitational pull of los angeles started about 80 miles out and our humble a-road-style dual carriageway became a six lane monster. part of our journey was on route 101 that followed the path of the el camino real as i mentioned yesterday. i had noticed bell-like lamps hanging from a metal pole when we were near san fran, but this time i saw that they had signs on them. turns out they route is marked with these bells all the way along . they are not lights it turns out. sorry no pun intended. lol
our motel here is in a very convenient location just one block from the beach and about 25 mins walk from the pier. the motel owner was very helpful in giving us details of places to rent rollerblades as well has helping arrange a trip to universal studios for us tomorrow. by the time we had checked in to our room time was cracking on and, unfortunately, the hire places were closing up for the night. never mind. reckon we won't have time tomorrow, but for def on tuesday. we walked along to the pier and watched the sun go down. the place was heaving with people. as was the beach. we had dinner at buppa gump's restaurant on the pier and then legged it back to our motel.
here we are safe and sound in santa monica. a fairly long day in the car. we left monterey just before 9am and arrived here just before 5.30pm. what a drive. the weather started off rather foggy as it appears to do here in the summer. while this limited our views of the sea as we drove down the coast road of route 1 it also made for very atmospheric scenes when the fog cleared slightly. from monterey to just before san simeon the road hugs the tall steep cliffs, and there are numerous bridges that go over rivers and canyons. one of these bridges is bixby creek bridge. it was built in 1932 and for many years was the world's largest single-arch span bridge. we stopped several times to take photos of this amazing coastline. i'm sure that we would have had even better views had the fog lifted, but hey ho. we came across an elephant seal colony on the beach at piedras blancas, amazing to see these seals just hanging out on the beach. after that the roads started getting wider, and fog lifted and traffic speeds increased