Thursday, May 15, 2008


Wednesday- Big Sur - Carmel - Monterey

A glorious end to a glorious day ... Went to Big Sur and Carmel today, then looped back to Montery to witness one of the most glorious sunsets ever. That photo is largely unedited. The color was actually more intense than that.

The PCH drive from Monterey to Big Sur was so beautiful-- but you have to experience it North to South, because the return trip, while pretty, doesn't begin to compare to the series of jaw-dropping vistas that you see as the road twists and turns between the coast and the mountian ridge... but be warned, your cell phone service will probably drop out shortly after you leave Carmel, and won't return between there and Big Sur. Not a day trip to take if you're waiting for an important call.

On the other hand, what you should make time for is a meal or a drink at Nepenthe-- a cliffside jewel that melts into the landscape as though it was formed by wind and rain--- but was actually designed by one of Frank Lloyd Wright's proteges, Rowan Maiden. Redwood, glass and adobe, the top level restaurant boasts a killer wine list (alas, since I am my own designated driver and the road demands your full attention, I stuck to iced tea) a small but respectable menu (you're not really here for the food) and an "oh, my, lord!" view from the terraced galleries. It's relatively pricey, but don't be scared off by the price tag. There is a more-affordable deli/bakery on the second level called Kevah, and the view is the same. On the first level is a gift shop named Phoenix, which has everythig from elegant to fun and funky things.

If you're planning on exploring Big Sur State Park, dress for serious hiking. This is a very rugged park with limited auto access, and trails are not for those who are looking for a casual nature stroll. Also (and this is the first time I've written this, even after hikes in Muir Woods and Sugarloaf in Sonoma County) make sure you have some insect repellent on hand. I've always carried it in my camera case, but on this trip needed to surrender it at the airpoint checkpoint, and I was forced back to the trailhead because I was being eaten alive.

Stopped in Carmel to see the mission on the way back-- the gates were closed, but the gardens are lush and diverse.

Wanted to be back in the Monterey area by sundown, because I'd read online that Sunset Rd. and Oceanside Dr. were the best places to watch the sunset. So, there I was, Nikon in hand--- and Mother Nature delivered up a sunset that locals said was extraordinary even for the Monterey Peninsula.

Checking out of my Monterey hotel this morning and drifting back north so that I'll be closer to the airport on Friday. Saw some things on the drive down from San Francisco that I want to explore on the return trip.

Click the title link or click HERE to see the pictures.
Posted by Picasa

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?