The amazing places we are seeing are flashing before our eyes, and whilst we are savouring them while we are there, I am a bit worried they will fall into the recesses of our minds unless we keep a good record.
That’s what this blog is partially about, but with the lack of internet (and even phone reception) in many places it’s been impossible to blog over the last week or so. As such I’m going to make this a highlights-of-the-last-week post.
Incidently, Mr Hotford is recording this trip via a diary that just has a couple of lines for each day, which makes me feel better that we will at least remember what we did each day. And he also takes A LOT of photos. So many photos that I worry he might meet his maker standing in the middle of the road to get that perfect shot with the mountain and waterfall and rainbow and the girls both smiling and looking at the camera (you can imagine how long you have to stand in the road for a shot like that). He also has a Go-Pro, which he has fixed to the front window of the van on the driver’s side. He has some amazing footage that I’m really glad he’s taken, but once again it is a risky business. It always seems that the moment the scenery is best and requires him to take a hand off the wheel to hit the “Go” button, is also the moment we are on the hairiest of bends with the craziest of tourists standing in the road ahead taking photos.
M. Hotford is flat-out refusing to keep a diary. She has cottoned on to the fact I’m slightly anxious about her missing school so as soon as I say something like: “Shall we write your diary?” she hears the over-keen note in my voice and she knows what I mean is: “Shall we practice your writing like the teacher said we should?” So far her diary has one entry from LA and that is it. Good job her Mum and Dad are onto it diary-wise.
Anyway, back to those highlights.
In chronological order since we last spoke:
1. Morro Bay – a beautiful coastal state park which is mostly an estuary/wetlands
It also made for amusing conversations like: “Shall we go to Morro?” “Oh I thought we were going to Morro now?”
2. Elephant seals along the coast towards the start of Big Sur. These are just the mummies and babies in the picture, the daddy ones have gone to Alaska at this time of year so they don’t have the big trunk-like noses, but what a treat:
3. Big Sur. If you have always wondered what it actually is, it’s a 50-mile (ish) stretch of coast that is a bit like the Great Ocean Road but with higher cliffs, less houses and more hippies. The best and main bit is around the Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, which is stunning state forest on the coast. We camped right next to a pristine river in the best campsite yet:
We also had a proper coffee, a blueberry muffin and strawberry scone at the Big Sur Bakery where we rejoiced in our first taste of a proper flat white since leaving Melbourne.
4. Monterey Bay. I wish we’d had longer here. It is an old and beautifully maintained town that used to rely on fishing and canning sardines from the bay, but now the bay is a marine park. It has the best aquarium I’ve ever been to and the kids absolutely loved it. Their favourites were the giant octopus and the talk about Great White Sharks (did you know no one has any idea where Great White Sharks go to breed?) There are also seals on the beach just outside in plain view if you wanted to save your pennies and still see some sea life.
5. Yosemite. I like the way you work it, Yo-semite, I wanna bag it up… It seems a shame to reduce this to a dot point and a reference to a mid-nineties classic. The pictures say it all:
I think the girls are finally coming around to the idea of scenery in small doses. They definitely feed off us and could be heard to yell: “Daddy, I see a waterfall!” and even: “Wow look at the cliffs!” We had a few successful strolls as well (I wouldn’t say hikes as such) but the best was a night walk, where we took the torch and a lantern and went on a bear hunt. We were actually really hoping we would see a bear but we didn’t, much to our disappointment.
The kids weren’t disappointed though, because we saw plenty of squirrels.
This entry was posted in Coastal California