Monterey, Carmel and The Big Sur

To show just how little I had researched about this trip, I honestly had never heard of The Big Sur before until Seb started talking about it around the San Francisco trip. My attitude to travel has changed so much since I was doing it full time as a tour leader and I think that is probably why. I spent so much time researching and focussing on every aspects of everyone’s trip I react strongly to having to do this. I still love to travel but I tend to pull back when it comes to making decisions about what is where and how we are going to do it as I get overwhelmed. Luckily though, Seb loves this stuff and organised nearly every part of my trip from visas to creating the most amazing itinerary and budgeting spreadsheet (which was pretty much spot on actually) that blew people away when we shared it with them (so they could see where we would be). I am so grateful to him for making the bulk of decisions regarding logistics. Thanks Seb! 🙂 If anyone ever wants to have a copy of our travel budgeting spreadsheet, drop me a line.

So Seb said that this was one of the best coast trips in the world, (“yeah” I thought… “You haven’t done the Great Ocean Road”) and I have to say that it is simply stunning. I told Seb to “MAKE IT HAPPEN!” in nearly every town we passed through. Here’s Maija account of this part of our trip.

Still, we had to get to the start of The Big Sur from Yosemite. Departing our campsite it took about 90 mins to actually leave the park and after a short amount of time we reached Groveland, a small, but cute rural town with some cute cafes that we visited and a saloon that looked like it had come straight out from a Western movie.

Mountain Sage Nursery and Cafe, Groveland, CA

Western Style Saloon

We finally got to Monterey at lunchtime. We spied a park and had vegedogs.

Vegedogs in the park

After getting sorted out at our campsite, we walked down to the water and walked a long for a couple fo clicks or so. Monterey is a haven for marine life and we even saw seals playing in the water.

The Seawall at Monterey

The Seawall at Monterey

The jetty, Monterey

How is that gulls are always so white?

We headed down to Carmel-by-the-Sea which was about as cute as a Cotswold village. Every house and shop had something unique about it.

Cute!

Not more architectural cuteness…

Stop with the cuteness…

Seb!! Make it happen!

Heading back to the tent we opened our Guac stash. Guac was definitely a reoccurring theme of this trip.

Setting up camp. Happily a bit warmer in Monterrey

This only lasted 1.5 sittings.

The next morning we headed south and started The Big Sur proper. I’ll let the pictures do the talking! It was jaw-droppingly awesome and we were so fortunate with the weather.

Seriously. These are elephant seals. Mental.

After Big Sur we had to step up the pace a bit as we’d never arrive otherwise. The approached the outskirts of LA and there still seemed to be another 2 hours of driving. Suburban sprawl it most certainly is.

After checking in to our AirBnB accommodation we headed to the closest Veggie Grill. We were pleased to see that it wasn’t just us that loved Veggie Grill. Jack and Maija thought it was the shiznit too. We had an early night in readiness for LA madness!

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