Monterey - West Coast of California

Trip Start May 05, 2008
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of United States  , California
Sunday, May 11, 2008

I am currently sitting in a hotel lobby at 8am in the morning watching the last day of the Premiership football on the internet - pressing refresh every five minutes - whilst Lou is still in bed recovering from a knackering week, not sure who is missing out, but come on Everton.

The week has been brilliant, but exhausting - we seem to be walking everywhere and probably have done 10 miles a day minimum at the moment. We arrived in San Francisco after a pretty cool flight on BA from terminal 5 - thankfully the luggage turned up but ours was one of the last so we had a bit of a panic - terminal 5 is fantasticly smooth (Dave you would have loved it - cheers for the lift again, I hope the house is still standing). We got to our hotel via a really rough part of the city - I don't think Lou was looking forward to it at first but we ended up in a great location right in the centre - on the first day we went to Alcatraz - a bit touristy but we went before the rush which made it better and the fact that 1 0f the 10 remaining people who served time on the island was there that day (apparently very rare) - unfortunately he only did a bank robbery and was not a mass murderer as that would have been cool.
After Alcatraz we walked the city of San Fran - sounds easy but if you have seen the film Bullitt (Steve McQueen) with all the famous car chases - it has some of the steepest inclines - good views but the legs take a beating. We also walked the Golden gate bridge in San Fran and visited some excellent places - it is one of the better Citys I have been to in the US - but we moved on to visit Yosemite national park. The start was bit scary as we rented a car - not only was it huge, but I had not told Lou that I had never driven an automatic or really driven in the US - so the first few meters in heavy city traffic were interesting to say the least - especially the emergency stop with nobody in front ( those breaks are really good) - luckily no one hit us from behind and after several sweaty minutes we were off and running - nearly having our first marital fall out in the process due to the stress. After 4 hours we arrived in Yosemite - it really is beautiful and words and probably pictures could not do it justice - loads of waterfalls - two of the highest in the world - amazing views - and within the first hour we had seen the giant sequoas - (Redwood species) and a black bear cub - on its own as someone had run over its mother apparently the day before. Loads of mule deer, Racoons etc. We decided to go on walk here early the next morning -just a gentle one apparently - anyway to cut a long story short we got lost - we saw a sign saying Mountain Lion country and decided as you do to go looking for one - unfortunately as we had only gone on a leisurely walk before brekkie we had no food, no suncream, no hats and half a bottle of water - 10 miles, 3 and a half hours later we got back on track - having nearly run in front of a bear and an unnatural stop where the bear didn't shit in the woods but Rob did. A few lessons were learnt there - but it was exciting, for me anyway - unfortunately no lion though. From Yosemite we are now in monterey - another 4 hour drive - a coastal town which again is beautiful - loads of seals, sea lions, sea otters (some great pics), albatross and we just did a boat trip to see about 15 hump back whales, risso dolphins and pacific white striped dolphins - i didnt really have my sea legs on though and felt sick as a dog. So far so good though, loads more has happened but my brain is not working too great this early - and the football has gone horribly wrong as Im writing. Next up is the drive down the Big Sur towards LA - with elephant seals and elephants sized breasts on the menu.I will hpefuly get some pics up soon - I hope everyone is well and looking forward to work tomorrow - see you laters

Rob and Lou
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