HWY-1 and Big Sur or Hollywood or Bust

We left San Francisco and got on to HWY-1 at the earliest opportunity.  It was the first time that I would have Rob on board for a long journey and I hoped he wouldn’t get bored.  I figured the HWY-1 coastal scenery would keep him occupied, providing it lived up to expectation.  It did and how!

The winding coast roads of HWY-1 in Oregon had given me an idea of what lay ahead.  Cliff-edge roads winding up and down anything from hills to mountain ranges.  A bald eagle flew overhead. 

We stopped a lot for photos, so what I believed would be a 1 stopover drive from San Francisco to LA became a 2 stopover drive.  We stopped at Monterrey, which was the setting for Cannery Row by John Steinbeck.  It was very picturesque and a little touristy, but not overly so.  We also managed to spot a sea otter or two of the coast.

We had seafood again – there are times when you feel obliged to have local fresh produce and it’s a tactic that has yet to let us down.  We also got accidentally pissed.  They had free wine and cheese in the hotel lobby, so we thought we’d give it a try.  We then had wine with our meal.  We then got in a cab and went to an “English” pub.  It reminded neither of us of England, so we ended up in a wine bar having various martinis until we got a cab back to the hotel.

The following day was a much slower driving day.  But we did visit Big Sur.  Here’s a tip: if you have a bit of a hangover, drink plenty of water and hike up a trail or two on Big Sur.  We walked two trails, one led us to a waterfall and the other right the way up to a view of the valley that led all the way to the sea.  It was spectacular.  It knackered us both out, but we loved it.

Following our hike it was full blast on the air conditioning until we reached somewhere else to stay.  Places to stay gather around towns, which allows HWY-1 to remain a vast open road.  We found ourselves about 250 miles away from LA in San Luis Obispo.  A more comforting Italian meal and an early night was the order of the day, although we both agreed that it looked like a nice little town to have a few drinks in.

We had booked out hotel in LA on-line and we had chosen to stay in Hollywood.  LA is so vast, it’s difficult to decide on where to stay, especially as the guide books often tell you about where not to stay.  The drive to LA was just as good, although HWY-1 gives way to HWY-101 as it leads you into the city via a 6 lane freeway.  It was all a bit wacky races and, as expected we got caught up in a bit of traffic – something I have not really experienced, so far.

 Next stop: Hollywood

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