Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Big Sur

After two full days of driving on all the twists and turns of the California coastline, I’m feeling a bit woozy! On Tuesday I drove from Cambria to end the day at a small place called Felton just north of Santa Cruz. I drove on the stretch of coast known as the Big Sur and it was, if possible, more spectacularly beautiful than I could have imagined. It makes one stretch for superlatives – and not find one that can capture what the eye sees.

I drove slowly. There is no other way you can drive this twisting stretch of coast – signs announcing 15 miles an hour with scary looking curves are posted regularly. I stopped in Carmel-by-Sea and poked in the shops and soaked up the atmosphere. I treated myself to a nice lunch at a little café. I ate gnocchi with a pesto sauce created especially for me! The gnocchi came with a gorgonzola cheese sauce which I thought would be too strong a taste. My server disappeared and came back to say the chef would be happy to make me a pesto sauce. It was the best gnocchi and pesto I’ve eaten since I used to eat it with my eldest daughter at John’s in Toronto.

On Wednesday, I drove right through San Francisco sticking to route 101 along Van Ness past the gilded City Hall and eventually across the Golden Gate Bridge. Is there a city prettier than San Francisco? I could have stayed there but I have visited it before and will again so I contented myself with driving through. As I entered Sausalito, I immediately headed back to coast and ended the day in Bodega Bay, on the Sonoma coast.

This morning I have cleaned up the van – with all the twisting and turning even my carefully stowed gear had shifted – and done some laundry. I will be leaving here shortly and will head inland and up the 101. I need a break from 15 mile an hour signs and I want to pick up the pace of my journey back home.

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