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Old 3 May 20, 09:09 AM  
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juliab
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The 260 Mile West Coast Wander - August 2019 - Day 16 - California Dreaming - PCH

INDEX

Monday 19th August

Whilst it wasn’t drizzling this morning it was really cloudy but we still dressed for a hot summer day. Maybe wishful thinking but mainly because we only really had summer clothes with us.

Went to get some breakfast but the room was full, mind you it only needed around 16 people to do this so we weren’t too surprised.
The kids sat at a table and Scott and I lingered around getting toast etc until another table came free.

The couple from yesterday were there and we chatted about what we’d been up to yesterday. They too had been to the 17 mile drive yesterday only to find it closed but they said they were going to revisit today as the husband really wanted to visit Pebble Beach. It was lovely chatting to them again and we wished each other a happy rest of holiday.

After filling our bellies up we set off on our drive, it was 10.30. There was a gas station near to us so we filled up first then set off on our way.

Has soon as we started driving I could feel that this drive was going to be something quite special. Even with the greyish skies the coastline was so dramatic and we stopped off at the beach for a stroll and a look at the beautiful beach.






Whilst we looking we saw some dolphins swimming out in the ocean. I can imagine this is a lovely beach to spend the day at but we had more places to look at today.





The sky was starting to clear now and it was starting to feel a lot warmer too which was most welcomed. We were nearly at Bixby Bridge, around ½ mile away when the traffic came to a standstill. We weren’t sure what was happening but thankfully we had the fantastic views to keep us occupied as we waited there.



Guess what we saw a pod of Humpback whales, yes they were out in the distance but we could see them swimming along and quite a few other people got out of their cars to watch them too. We really didn’t think we would see Humpback whales again, what a joy that was.



After what seemed like ages, probably about 15 minutes, we started to move along. We realised the delay was down to some kind of road works happening near the bridge. The traffic was down to 1 lane going across the bridge. What we then noticed was everyone going straight over as you weren’t able to use the pull in the right side to view the bridge it was blocked off. I couldn’t believe that we’d not get a picture of this iconic bridge.

As we got closer though I saw some kind of dirt track/road on the left side and I told Scott to turn off onto it. We had to be quick but I could see there was another car there so I assumed it would be ok.

Turned out to be a great little spot to take a look at the bridge and we watched all the cars going over before rejoining after we’d took a few photo’s. So glad that we had done this and had been able to take a closer look at this famous bridge.





We then rejoined the traffic as it was still going in that direction - the tailback must have been so long!

Carrying on down Highway 1 we kept stopping off for photo’s of the rugged beautiful coastline.









Our next stop was Pfeiffer Beach we knew it was a little tricky to find and we first stopped at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. As we drove in we saw a sign that stated this was not the entrance for the beach! I did think we’d come to the wrong place, it would’ve have been lovely to have explored here because of the beautiful Redwoods but we didn’t have enough time. We turned back around and headed a little further down the road until we spotted the small turn off.

There was a manned booth and we were told that the car park was full and we wouldn’t be able to drive down there. Moments later though he received a message to say there were spaces and we could go down. We paid the fee, I think it was $10 then went down the 2 mile narrow bumpy road.

At the end it opened out to a small car park area and we were pleased to see some rest rooms there! Once we used the facilities we walked along the path to the beach. It wasn’t far and wow what a stunning beach it was.









It was lovely and quiet here even though the small car park was full. We found the purple sand and we walked along the gorgeous beach and dipped our toes into the Pacific Ocean.







The beach is no good for swimming or wading as the currents are too strong but there were still plenty of families enjoying the beach and the little rock pool’s. We spotted more dolphins too whilst we were here.

Of course we had to take a look at the Keyhole Rock and we were hypnotised watching the waves crashing through. I can only imagine how amazing this would look at sunset with the glow of the sun through the keyhole.









It felt so warm here too we could’ve stayed longer but we still had lots of other places to see and explore.

Back on the Big Sur and our next stop was Nephenthe restaurant. We had originally said we would come for some lunch but we were still pretty full from our breakfast. We parked up, the car park was tiny but luckily we found a spot, then we headed to the outdoor terrace, café Kevah and ordered just drinks instead.

The views from here were fantastic and we could understand why people would want to eat at this place. We enjoyed our smoothies and chilled drinks which were much appreciated as the day was getting a lot warmer.











Continuing our drive down the Big Sur we stopped numerous times to take in the magnificent views. It's great that there are so many lay-by's to easily to pull into.










Next stop was McWay falls which was just so beautiful, truly a picture postcard. I liked that the beach isn’t accessible so you can observe the waterfall and beach with nobody on it.




We walked down the path and through the tunnel to get a closer look and this picturesque view.







On our way back we used the restrooms and who should we bump into whilst we were waiting but the lovely couple from our Monterey hotel. What a small world!

Back on the road we kept driving down and looking out to those magnificent views. We kept stopping for photo’s and for a little stretch of the legs, we also had some snacks too but still didn’t feel like we needed a full on meal.








I was a little worried beforehand about how I would feel with the twisting winding roads and some of the hairpin turns. We all felt good and I was fine too looking down at the drops at the side of the road. They didn’t seem too bad at all and the views were pretty spectacular. The Big Sur was a spectacular amazing drive, a Californian dream - I was so glad we drove this road.



Our last stop was at San Simeon as we wanted to see the seals. There’s plenty of parking at beach and we followed the crowds to where the Elephants Seals were sunbathing.



We could hear and smell the seals before we saw them lol and we were surprised at how close up we were to them. Spent a bit of time watching them the kids really did enjoy all the seals funny antics!







The last part of our drive wasn’t as scenic and it was mainly flat but still lovely to see the sea. We arrived at our hotel in Pismo Beach around 6.30 and once we checked in we took our cases to the room.
It was actually quite a lovely room we didn’t have air conditioning though but it didn’t feel warm or stuffy in the room.



We had a little walk around the hotel grounds we wanted to see the sea so we headed over there to see the views and the Pier. I’m sure there were steps to walk down to the beach but we couldn’t be bothered as time was getting on a bit.








Looking at Google maps we found a family restaurant nearby, we were super lazy though and drove over even though it was only ½ mile away.

We had a little wait for a table which was called the Flagship but once seated the food came out promptly and it was really good.







The views were fab from here but we were located in the middle of the restaurant but in an elevated position. We could see the sun setting which looked stunning but I wanted a picture so I quickly nipped outside to sneak a quick pic.



We finished our food and headed back to our room for the night. We were going to sit round the fire pits for a little while but it was quite breezy and it felt cool so we decided against it and just chilled in our room once we’d all showered and changed.



Lights out for us at 11pm after what had been a truly amazing drive, we had seen some absolutely stunning scenery.

Thanks for reading

Steps – 9,390

Edited at 07:09 PM.
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Old 3 May 20, 09:57 AM  
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Stan1805
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I am loving reading your trip report and it always makes me smile. It was read with a wee bit sadness today as tomorrow we should have been flying to San Diego to begin our road trip 😢 I’m glad you managed to find a place stop at Bixby bridge and get some photos, fabulous memories. I also loved the picture of the beautiful sunset at Pismo beach.
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Old 3 May 20, 10:25 AM  
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mrsdjh
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Sounds like you had a lovely drive today with some beautiful views. It was a beautiful sunset in your photo.
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Old 3 May 20, 10:29 AM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by Stan1805 View Post
I am loving reading your trip report and it always makes me smile. It was read with a wee bit sadness today as tomorrow we should have been flying to San Diego to begin our road trip 😢 I’m glad you managed to find a place stop at Bixby bridge and get some photos, fabulous memories. I also loved the picture of the beautiful sunset at Pismo beach.
I'm so glad that you enjoy reading our trip report. What a shame though about your trip especially as you'd be leaving so soon. I do hope you can reschedule it all and enjoy your own West Coast Adventure in the near future.

We were watching the sunset through the window which was incredible but i couldn't get a photo from where we were sat so I had to nip outside! It was a lovely way to end the day.

Thank you for reading
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Old 3 May 20, 10:31 AM  
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juliab
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Originally Posted by mrsdjh View Post
Sounds like you had a lovely drive today with some beautiful views. It was a beautiful sunset in your photo.
One of the best drives we've done with some incredible scenery.

Thanks Diane it's one of my favourite photo's of the day
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Old 3 May 20, 10:40 AM  
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So glad this day is up, thanks Julia. Your whole trip is so beautiful.
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Old 3 May 20, 11:28 AM  
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Wow, just wow, what a lovely day.
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Old 3 May 20, 08:39 PM  
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Beautiful day! How lucky you got to see the whales and I had never heard about the purple sand before! X
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Old 3 May 20, 09:18 PM  
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Another beautiful day! I may be wrong but is that bridge in big little lies?

Glad you got to explore every where you wanted to.

Wow what a sunset! X
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Old 11 May 20, 01:20 PM  
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Originally Posted by ely3857 View Post
So glad this day is up, thanks Julia. Your whole trip is so beautiful.
Aww thank you that's so lovely of you to say
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