Some time between 10th & 14th August

Trip Start Jun 04, 2012
Trip End Mar 04, 2013

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Flag of United States  , California
Friday, August 10, 2012


We left Santa Cruz, and headed down the highway 1 again further south, the aim was to find somewhere for the night somewhere along "big sur" before we had our accommodation booked in Monterey, and then another hostel about 45 mins from san fran in a little place called pigeon point, an amazing place in the middle of nowhere, on a cliff right next to a light house!

The drive through Big Sur was pretty amazing! Really windy roads and gorgeous views across the ocean (see pics) we stopped along the way a few times to take pics and we found a little stop off with a few shops and bars/restaurants. Had another delicious meal, think we both had a Cobb salad, but sooo yummy, and so was the bar tender! Heehee!  We chatted to the bar man, trying to find out if there was somewhere nearby to stay, but not really much luck as it was a Saturday! And most places were full or really expensive!! So we carried on, the roads started to become exhausting to drive round, and we were worried about finding somewhere to sleep for the night.  I was really up for sleeping in the car back at the stop with the bars etc., but Helen really wasn't keen! Ah well, I thought it might be funny, and a bit of an adventure! But Helen was really not up for it! She wanted a proper bed! Haha! I guess I have changed my perspective on travelling rough, I would never consider it either before I came on this trip, I liked my home comforts too much, but I’ve definitely changed.  I am more tolerant and happy to share bunk beds and rooms with strangers then I thought I would be.  Noises in the middle of the night and lights going on and off just don’t bother me at all!

After what seemed like we had driven all day! We headed into Cambria, a gorgeous little village, there was a hostel there, and we tried our luck, but fully booked! Shame cause the little town looked so lovely! A few little bars and shops dotted, old fashioned looking seaside village.  Getting a bit late we headed to Paso Robles, and were lucky to find yet another dodgy motel room! They had one room left, and although it reeked of cigarettes we took it!  A bed is a bed is a bed!

After a decent night’s sleep, we headed back up to Monterey, deciding to take the quicker route on highway 101 instead of the coastal road, just to make up time, so we could explore Monterey a bit more.  And glad that we did, Monterey again is lovely! Another seaside/holiday town! Gorgeous views along the water front, a little beach, the typical tourist souvenir shops and the Aquarium! It’s a pretty famous one too! The star trek IV film was filmed there, the one with the humpback whales in! Kieren will remember that!   A really cool aquarium! Again I took lots of pics! Especially of the sharks! Amazing creatures! I really want to go swimming with sharks in Australia!  Que the jaws tune!

The hostel in Monterey was another HI hostel (hostelling international) and they are lovely hostels, very cosy and well equipped, but again lacking in atmosphere we found! Too many rules! But just fine for our needs.  We watched the closing ceremony of the Olympics, and the 2 of us very excited the whole way through! Everyone else in the hostel didn’t seem that bothered! And we both nearly screamed when the spice girls came on! And got some very strange looks! But we didn’t really care! We were enjoying it so much!  And then nearly crying when take that sang! Poor old Gary Barlow!

So after a long but brilliant day at the Aquarium, we headed off back towards San Francisco to stay at our light house hostel, before meeting my 3rd cousin Lisa in San Fran and staying with Mum’s cousin Penny and her husband Tony.

The light house was such a cool place! If you don’t mind that it’s in the middle of nowhere and on the edge of a cliff!  It was gorgeous! The lighthouse is a working light house! And the hostel is right next to it! There are seals on the rocks just by the hostel, and the view is absolutely amazing! (see pics)  the hostel itself is like a bit old fashioned, but comfortable, a few people staying there, not many, and I think most people stay one night, just passing through. A few families were there with grandkids etc., so a nice homely feeling.  A great little find!

The next day it didn’t take long to get back to San Francisco, we dropped off our beloved car! And headed back to the hostel we stayed in at the beginning, dumped our luggage, and headed off for our Alcatraz tour!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

After a short little tour of the city, a foggy view from the twin peaks, and some info about various places that I’ve forgotten already! Haha! We jumped on the boat to Alcatraz!

Alcatraz is an amazing place! And the audio tour was sooo interesting! I know it’s a proper “tourist” thing to do! But this has been one of the best touristy things that I’ve done on my trip!  The stories are incredible, and the way the prisoners lived etc., it’s a pretty glum place, but so fascinating! Lots of pics taken! So check them out! HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!

After Alcatraz, we headed back to the hostel; ready to meet up with Lisa (my cousin) and for her to take us to Livermore were Penny and Tony live.
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