Tuesday 17 July 2012

And off we go!

Well, we definitely left our hearts in San Francisco, but it was time to collect the hire car and travel onwards.

Hmm, yes, collecting the hire car – that was fun! We were due to collect it at 10am at the depot about 10 minutes walk from the hotel. As usual, with me, we were ready early, so decided to make our way there, leaving our cases at the hotel to collect once we had the car. We arrived at the depot at 9.10am – all the desks were manned (5 of them) but it was SO SLOW!  We eventually got to the front of the queue at 10am, by which time the queue was out of the door. We were so glad that we hadn’t decided to arrive at 10am! Anyway, we completed the paperwork and went into the car park to collect the car. We knew it was going to be a compact, but it was TINY!

 It was a Mazda 2 and when we arrived back at the hotel to collect our luggage it wouldn’t all fit into the boot (trunk). We ended up with the two largest suitcases strapped onto the two back seats! Well, it ended up being big enough for the two of us and it was very economical to run and did us proud over the 2000 miles we travelled.

So, off we set, in an automatic car (we both drive manuals), with the steering wheel on the wrong side and driving on the wrong side of the road! Hugh did brilliantly! We had a satnav to help us on our way, but it didn’t help at the start as the first junction we came to we needed to turn right and the road was closed! We ended up driving round the block twice trying to work out where to go as the satnav just did the usual, ‘at the next opportunity do a u-turn’ which wasn’t very helpful!

Anyway, we were soon out of San Francisco and driving towards Monterey. Oh, the difference in the weather from the weekend! It was quite chilly and we kept driving through areas that were blanketed in thick fog/sea mist. Fortunately, at lunchtime the fog had lifted and we stopped for lunch on the beach at Pescadero State Beach.
 It was Father’s Day and the beach was full of families having barbecues, playing baseball and soccer and generally having fun – a lovely relaxed atmosphere.

We found a log to rest up against and ate our picnic and then took a stroll along the beach – I even paddled although the water was FREEZING!

Then it was time to get back into the car and continue on our way to Monterey.

On arrival at the hotel we decided to pay the extra $3 and have valet parking, so we just dropped the car off at the entrance of the hotel and went and registered. Our room was lovely
Hugh in our room and the view from our window
 Once we had settled in we decided, as the sun was shining, to go and explore the area we were in and then go for a walk down to Lovers Point.

There were some lovely shop windows to look in.
Mmmm, cake pops!
 And as we walked along the path we came across these lovely creatures lying down in a wildlife preservation area.
Having stopped and watched them for about 20 minutes (we couldn’t tear ourselves away, they were such fun!) we continued our walk, taking photos as we went!

On our way back we stopped to watch the seals again and Hugh spotted this sea otter much further out in the cove, so I zoomed in with my camera and managed to get a shot that I was really pleased with.

He is lying on his back with a stone on his tummy and smashing shell fish onto it to eat!

We were now hungry ourselves so made our way to a restaurant about 2 minutes walk from the hotel where we had been offered a taster of clam chowder on our earlier explore of the area. We got a table on the balcony overlooking the Pacific Ocean and ate clam chowder in a sour dough bowl and it was absolutely delicious.

And so ended our first driving day - 101 miles covered, 1,692to go!


Karen said...

Another of my favorite spots; so much fun to see your beautiful photographs.

Anonymous said...

Oh yumm - brings back memories of having clam chowder like that in San Francisco. Looks the hotel was really nice and handy to Cannery Row.

Alison said...

We stayed in a Hotel on Cannery Row, when we were in Monterey...and the weather was very different to what we left in San fact we left a few days early to get back to the sun! Monterey was very pretty though..did you go to Carmel?
Alison xx

Maria Ontiveros said...

If you drove from San Francisco to Pescadero, you drove right by my house! I live on the coast about 30 minutes north of Pescadero.
So glad to see that you made it to Yosemite as well. I love that place!
And so many international visitors never make it outside of the cities.