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Monterey to San Francisco

UNITED KINGDOM | Sunday, 25 October 2015 | Views [98]

Up early, though no bin men to disturb us, all packed up and off by 9.30 to make the 100 mile drive to San Francisco. We chose the ocean route - State Route 1 - rather than the freeway. A good choice, the scenery was fantastic yet again, although once again we started in a thick sea mist which lifted a little, but persisted virtually all the way up Monterey Bay to Santa Cruz. All the way around the bay was intensive agriculture, surprisingly a lot of cabbage or kale, but all of this only exists with irrigation.

At Santa Cruz the road headed west to the Ocean then swung north. The scenery was fantastic as the road wound up and down as the mountains closed in on the coast. Inland it was all very brown. We stopped at Davenport, a small collection of buildings; cafe, gas station, general store and a small hotel. The cliffs here offered great views of the ocean and whale watching, at certain times of the year. We looked for a while but no whales today. On up the coast, we stopped briefly at several beaches and cliff lookouts just to enjoy the views. At one of the pullouts, some Mexicans were selling fresh fruits; after sampling we bought dates and strawberries. Finally we stopped at Half Moon Bay and wandered down onto the beach for lunch. A few seagulls, the waves crashing on the beach, the sun was shining, it was all just wonderful.

We now headed on to San Francisco, as we had to drop the car before 4. We stayed on the ocean road for as long as we could before heading east to rejoin Route 1 to the Golden Gate Bridge. After 5,000 miles, and just shy of 6 weeks, we reached San Francisco once again. We pulled in to the view point on the south side of the Bridge. Parking took a while, but we parked and walked over to the viewpoint. A great view of the Bridge, a bit of history plus a few exhibits about the Bridge and then we drove across. Turned around at the other end and drove back, only this time there was a toll to pay, but no toll booths, it was all done online.

Through the toll area and on to,battle the one way systems to find our hotel. The bus boy was brilliant, took all our bags to our room while we drove on to drop the car. We walked back, enjoying the late afternoon sunshine and the buzz of the city. The hotel, the Rex was one of the oldest in the city, it was one of the first to be built just after the great earthquake of 1907, but very comfortable. We wandered down to Union Square, famed for its upmarket shopping and plenty of places to eat. After wandering around a bit we settled on John's Grill, an historic restaurant, the walls were lined with photographs of famous Americans. We were comfortably seated when the front desk lady came over and apologised that she had given us a table that had already been booked and asked us to move. Very apologetic, she offered us dessert on the house. The food was excellent, we had the seafood cannelloni, really tasty, followed by our free desserts!


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