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UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 25 October 2015 | Views [172]

We had stayed in a studio apartment we found on Airbnb, just a bedroom with bathroom, but it was comfortable, and host, who we never got to meet, left us granola, milk, coffee and hard boiled eggs for breakfast. A very nice touch. We were woken at 7 by the bin men doing their rounds, just as noisily as back home!

It was misty and murky as we left, but it cleared as we approached Carmel-by-the-sea. A very pretty town with a great beach, lots of little shops, many of which cater purely for tourists but a lot of 'locals' shops too. We parked near the top of the hill on the Main Street, leading to the beach, to wander along and enjoy the town. Right on the corner was a shop selling beaded animals from SE Asia. Ruth just had to buy a gecko; something else to find room for in our bags!

We drove on to Point Lobos, a Californian State Park, for which we paid $10 admission (less $1 for being a senior citizen!). It was a lovely park, Monterey Pines and then the ocean. We could hear Californian seals honking away and then we saw them on the rocks furthest from the shore. We followed the trails around the shoreline, spotting a sea otter basking on the kelp, the drove to the far end where it was quieter and stopped for lunch. Ruth suddenly called out - a whale breached offshore, I looked up and just saw it falling back and seconds later we heard the slap sound. Wow! We kept looking but didn't see any other whales.

Drove back to Monterey, and the sea mist rolled in again as we were refuelling. The gas station attendant thought it would be here for the rest of the day but luckily, as we drove down the hill to the ocean side, the mist lifted and it was a beautiful day again. We drove the coast road - Ocean View Boulevard through Pacific Grove and back to Monterey, stopping at Lover's Point on the way, saw a few more sea otters. Headed back to our accommodation for a little rest before dinner.

We returned to the Monterey Fish House for dinner, as we had so enjoyed our last visit. This time Ruth had the seafood linguine and I had swordfish with scampi, all beautifully cooked and absolutely delicious. This time we each had a cannoli, still as good as last night.


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