Trip Start Jul 05, 2012
Trip End Aug 01, 2012

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Where I stayed
Quality Inn Monterey - Fremont Street
Read my review - 3/5 stars

Flag of United States  , California
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 7- Weather is foggy early morning. Very chilly. We are still wearing shorts, but with sweaters and jackets. Hope to have some good views today!

We leave Pismo Beach and head north along the coast. We know it is a long drive to San Francisco and we aim for an early start.  We first go through San Luis Obispo, one of the oldest communities in California and get a quick lunch. Then we move on through Morro Bay, a beautiful little town on the coast and then to Cambria, which is the last town for gas and food for some 90 miles. The further north we go, the cooler it is getting.

About 10 minutes into the drive we run into a slight problem (a major problem for ME!). The cigarette lighter stops working, which means no way to charge the GPS, our cameras, my phone (which is only lasting about 6 hours on a charge due to constant signal searching and picture taking). We also realize the laptop didn't charge the night before. We head back to Cambria to check on getting a fuse, which we learn is not the problem. We lost about an hour of time and we head out without a solution, hoping for the best.

We continue our drive up Highway 1 and stop to take a picture of Hearst Castle, high on the hill. It is probably comparable to the Biltmore house and we do not plan to tour it, although if time allowed, we would have done so.

As we continue our drive, the fog settles back in. It is very common in the summer months and we hope it burns off as we go.  We eventually reach Ragged Point, the beginning of the BIG SUR drive. We climb higher and higher.This drive is one of the most beautiful in California. It is a high road that runs along the edge of a mountain that drops off down to the coast. There are spectacular views. In several places we find it a little scary. The rock slides and places where the land has dropped off make it feel not the safest place to be. A couple of places the road was gone or damaged and there were crews working to rebuild the roads, sending us into one lane. I don't think I would want to drive this stretch of road if it is raining.

We find one campground and picnic area along the way and are happy to have found a bathroom. The afternoon goes quickly and we finally get to a beautiful location called Nepenthe, which is a restaurant and shop high on a cliff. Although one of the prettiest views we have ever seen for a restaurant, we move on when we realize the dinner prices are over $40.00 an entrée.

Many of the pictures you will see are hazy from the fog.

We eventually get to Carmel, the first town since we left Cambria earlier in the day.  It is about 6 PM and we are starved. We wanted to shop here, but find Flannagan's Pub and get fish and chips, the best I think I have ever had! 

We continue to Monterey, the coastal town I have been looking so forward to visiting. Since it is so late in the day, we decide to spend the night here and enjoy Monterey the following day. We locate a hotel with a laundry service and wash clothes for the first time since we left.

Motels here in California are not like the ones we have back home. The first thing I learn is that there is NO air conditioning in this motel. They leave the windows open! The clerk brought us a fan to use instead. It will turn out to be OK since the nights are so cool, but it really threw me for a loop when I asked how to turn on the air and the clerk told me, there is no air! The other thing we find is that they do not keep coffee or half-n-half in their kitchen or receiving area.  We are a little spoiled I think.


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