A goodbye dinner, the last breakfast together, goodbyes done, backpack in the car, a last bye from the car windows: it’t the goodbye sadness and the thrill of the start of a new travel. Today we go to the Big Sur!!!
We hit the road on another hot and sunny californian day and we drive southbound, right to the nice and famous Big Sur. We get onto the Route 1 and don’t even think about the big Highwat 101 which runs some kilometers inland, we want to enjoy every single turn and creek of the coast.
The first stop is for some grocery in one of the hundreds of farms which sell fresh products near the road.
We drive the first kilometers down to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-sea, really easy and slowly, stopping here and there in the endless countryside. At once, we have the feeling of being back home, in the italian countryside, if it wasn’t that everything here is huge and endless: the fields runs almost up to the horizon.
Up to Carmel-by-the-sea, Route 1 doesn’t run along the ocean and after a while the non-stop contryside gets a little bit boring. But then we overcome the cape of Carmel, the amazing scenery of this land appears.
We finally get into the Big Sur, this land we have heard so much about and we have seen so many pictures of and from which we expect so much.
The first stop is in Garrapata Beach, one of the many places on the edge of the cliff. The view from up here surely doesen’t let us expectations down.
We hit the road again, but it doesn’t last long. Another bend and the view opens on an amazing bay, we have to stop again. Then we leave and another kilometer after, here it comes another not to be missed place and we get out to have a walk.
It goes on and on like this for some hours. We jump in the car, drive some ten minutes and then stop all over again, to have a glimpse of some stunning place, a hidden bay with amazing colours, a rock on the edge of the ocean where the waves crush harder than usual; it’s a continuous discover of a place more beautiful than the other.
One of the many stops is in a very crowded pull-over: we do stop, there has to be something interesting!
We quiclky discover what’s the attraction: fat squirrels – they seem marmots from the size! – are used to be fed by human hands. We get infected by this activity, so deadly for the little rodents but so cute and nice for us who end up having a whole lot of fur-balls walking on our legs.
But it does not end here. Right here, at a random pull-over, we pick two fellow travelers up, Heidi and Alba, a swedish and a spanish girl who met during their travel here in California and have decided to continue their travel together. They will be with us till tonight to reach what has just became our destination for today: we will go to Morro Bay.
We arrange the car so our new friends and their little backpacks can fit, then leave again. But the stops don’t end at all, rather they become even more. We stop somewhere just to stretch our legs – it’s not even an hour we are in the car – a ridge with an old abandoned building. We try and reach it, walking in the short dry bush, but we never get to it.
Then we leave another time, always southbound. Our travel buddies are totally nice and funny and they have so many travel to talk about; we chat a lot, then we finally reach the Piedras Blancas natural reserve, more exactly the Elephant Seal Rookery, this place in the reserve where very noisy and stinky elephant seal have decided to claim their home.
We stay here a while, walking up and down the boardwalk from where is possible to watch these huge animals in their natural habitat: we read they always come here, both to breed and to grow the cubs and the big males get respected by the others by fighting with the big and sharp fangs. We can witness one of these fights: a few seconds are enough to end it and the young braggart run away.
It’s then time to leave again, the last kilometers to Morro Bay are waiting. We stop just another last time, not far from our destination, to admire the slow and relentless whales which are swimming up the coast, signaling their passage with big sprays of water.
A little before entering in Morro Bay town, we leave our fellow travelers friends on one of the huge beaches where they will probably camp for the night. We, instead, cannot pitch our tent on the beach because of the car parked on the road which will clearly signal our presence – it seems they are quite rigorous about camping on the beach, better not to try our luck, We get towards the only one campsite around, the Morro Strand Campground, where we do pitch our tent basically on the beach, right here!
We let ourselves have a dinner in a mex restaurant near here and end the long day with a relaxing walk on the beach, between the evening surfers and the dolphins jumping around them. Then we head straight to bed, it’s the first of a long list of days spend sit in car or walking on amazing trails and admiring stunning landscapes, we got to be well rested for tomorrow!
Goodnight Big Sur