Once we reached San Francisco our route suddenly became a whole lot more difficult. Rather than “let’s ride down the coast to San Francisco”, we now had a whole map of places we fancied visiting but no simple or set route to get between each one. We spent some time sat in the Cheesecake Factory on the top floor of Macy’s (my favourite is the Key Lime Cheesecake), looking at our lists, maps and random websites to try and decide which roads would lead us to the most places without too much circling around. To be honest our heads hurt a bit and it was all a bit confusing. I think this holiday isn’t helping with our decision making skills!
In the end we decided we would continue to head south for a couple more days. We did this part of the Pacific Coast when we did our Eagle Rider tour a couple of years ago and it’s supposed to be the best part of the coastal route. It also offered the best opportunity to see some more sea wildlife, and would allow me to more days of sea views before we headed in land and away from the sea air for a while. We had no intention of riding all the way into Los Angeles, we’ve done that and to be honest it wasn’t fun, way too busy for my liking, but the couple we met in the Avenue of the Giants said we simply must go as far as Morro Bay. Done.
Pescadero State Beach, California.
The ride to Monterey was very pretty but unfortunately also very busy. It was a lovely sunny Saturday and everyone else also wanted to be by the coast. I can’t blame them one bit so sat back, relaxed, and just went with the flow. We had a quick stop at Pescadero State Beach before stopping at Whale City Café in Davenport for lunch. If you’re ever driving passed definitely stop by this one, this is our second visit and the food is really great (especially the apple pie). We thought we saw a whale in the distance as we left there but can’t confirm the sighting, we know there was one in San Francisco Bay the previous day so maybe. We had an afternoon stop at Moss Landing State Beach which was rather beautiful before heading into Monterey.
Moss Landing State Beach, California.
The Jazz bus in Monterey is useful if you’re staying in any of the motels along the main road into the town; we left the bikes at our lodgings and hopped on it right outside the door to get into town for a wander. We watched Harbor Seals from Fisherman’s Wharf before eating at Rosine’s Restaurant, an Italian we saw on Diners, Drive Ins and Dives about a year ago and added it to our list. I know I have mentioned our list – it’s long and contains everything we’ve ever thought would be cool to see/do while we’re on our trip. Hundreds and maybe thousands of things. Anyway, the TV was right and we had a great (huge and good value) meal followed by a ginormous slice of cake. Mmmm cake, it was very good cake.
Fisherman’s Wharf, Monterey. Just beautiful. Monterey is famous for the Aquarium, which we visited last time.
Harbor Seals in Monterey Harbour. They like to show off.
The “yellow fudge” cake at Rosine’s. Enough for four.
Our final day along the Pacific Coast was a lovely ride along Highway 1, slow in places but it was another sunny weekend day. We stopped at Big Sur State Park, learning more about sneaker waves and tsunami risk, both demonstrating the power of the sea and how you really need to be careful along the coast. Next up was the Elephant Seal viewing area, which was teeming with pups pounding about and “bathing” themselves in sand. At this time of year they have been left by their parents and are waiting for their pup fur to malt away so they can head into the water themselves. Much smaller than when we were here a couple of years ago but so big and so loud!
Elephant Seal Pups.
I don’t fancy a bath in sand.
Morro Bay, where we spent our last night by the sea, is famous for its sea otters, and while the wind was strong and blowing the sand everywhere, we loved watching the little critters play and hunt in the water. Another animal bucket list item ticked off – Sea Lions, Elephant Seals, Harbor Seals, Californian Condor, Raven, loads (and loads) of Bald Eagle, Sea Otters, probably a Whale, and more. Fantastic.
Morro Rock at Morro Bay, California.
I promise there are sea otters in that photo. We watched them play for ages, but they were very camera shy!
PS We try and avoid fast food in general, preferring diners and cafes and delis, but have ended up in McDonald’s once or twice this trip. Well it is a road trip so it’s part of it, right?! I wanted to comment… You get 10 chicken nuggets in a meal here. TEN?! And the sodas are just huge. So much food. I’m going to need gym membership when I get home!