Heading down the Coast

Trip Start May 31, 2009
Trip End Jul 01, 2009

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Flag of United States  , California
Thursday, June 25, 2009

We left San Francisco at 9.00 am, with fog hanging around the place, and the likelihood that it would continue to follow us down the coast.

We had decided to drive to Monterey today and stop, on the way down to visiting Hearst Castle, also on the coast. Interesting driving out of San francisco at that hour. Traffic was heavy, but progressing at "reasonable" speeds. The speed limit on the inner city freeways is 55 MPH, but was tending to travel at least at 65 MPH - the fast lane going faster. I eventually decided I was sick of people driving past me and caught the flow of traffic, only to have a Highway Patrol car weave his way through us all, and head away at about 70 MPH - he certainly had no interest in slowing anybody down.

As we made our way our of SF the fog disappeared, as we were tending inland, but as we turned to the coast and Santa Cruz the fog was back, and the temperature was down to about 60 - quite cool. Initially I liked Santa Cruz, but when we started to make our way around the town (around lunch time) there were heaps of beggers (well half a dozen - which was probably more than we saw in SF for two days). They were young, and white, and saying things like "I need a drink", or "returned serviceman". Some people shouted at them to "get a job", most (like us) just ignored them. But we were surprised at their numbers, and couldn't wait to get back on the road. We had intended to stop there for lunch, but decided to get to Monterey instead.

So we travelled down the coast to here. There are a few towns that run together on the Monterey Peninsula - Sand City - which we later discovered was mainly a "warehousing" area. Used to be the main area for providing sand for cement factories. There are sand dunes everywhere there - would hate to live in any houses there! The dunes hide the sea from the road.

Then you run into Seaside, which appears to be the "workers" homes area for Monterey. Monterey itself is the weekend holiday area for SF people by the looks of things, although the cost of accommodation isn't out of the way (mid week being a key). You add $20 per room for Friday/Saturday accommodation. However, the shopping is expensive - exclusive, classy type shops - even in the malls.

Clearly they expect to get high temperatures here much of the time, but it ain't happening at the moment. The fog has hung around a lot today, and even when it wasn't here, the wind from the sea was cold. No shorts and t-shirts for me today!

After booking into the motel we had a good look around the three town areas, and then came back to the motel for a break. Whilst there, discovered we could take a drive around the Pebble Beach golf resort area - for a cost of $9.25. They provide maps and a route to travel (17 miles in length). We did this and Malc got a real thrill out of it. The home of many successful tournaments by Jack Nicklaus, and of course we have seen the course on TV on many occasions. It is to host the US Open next year and they are promoting it now. He got to crawl over one course (and found a golf ball!!!!) - the Spyglass course. We also took pics around the clubhouse and 18th hole as we (the general public/plebs) were allowed in that area. Made his day for him. As we were heading to the area the fog started to come in and I was wondering if we would see anything. Unfortunately couldn't get pics of the coastline from the top because it was pea soupy, but as we progressed, it had moved on again - quite flukey like that.

We came back to the motel and had a chinese takeaway for tea, and have just had a quiet night. Looking forward to heading to the Castle tomorrow - will take about a couple of hours to get there from here, and the rest of the day will be spent in and around there. Hoping the fog disappears, so that the temperatures warm up again. It is supposed to.
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