Day 5 - San Francisco, Monterey, Big Sur, Hollister

The Plan (the whole Plan)
Day #5 : Tue 13 May : Down the coast to Big Sur (140 miles). Aim to stay somewhere round there?

Big blue wet thingThe first of the drives.  After Rupert had continued the journey of our MUNI tickets by giving them to a bemused German couple at breakfast, David went to fetch the car from the garage.  And for some time after, the rest of us stood in the hotel lobby wondering where he had got to.  It seems he had come out of the wrong exit from the car park, discovered he was therefore lost, and had explored most of San Francisco in trying to find the way back.  But finally we were all aboard and on our way.

We found the Pacific Coast Highway at its source, and wandered gently down the seaboard, watching surfers riding the waves next to large notices telling them how many people had drowned in the spots they were playing.  In spite of the potentially lethal combination of David's driving and Mark's navigating, we found our way to the Monterey Peninsula for lunch.

Lunch at Monterey - David and Rupert try not to shiver as Patrick takes a photo and Mark hops over rocks somewhere out of shotGrey skies and a wind blowing off the sea meant that Monterey was on the cold side, so after a bit of desultory rock-hopping on the beach, we decided to move on.  David, Patrick and Rupert walked down the road to the conveniently-located but very smelly cludgie, and waited for Mark to catch them up in the car .. and waited ... Mark was, however making no progress as he wrestled with the controls so as to lower the seat so that he could see out of the windscreen, and then gazing in a baffled manner at the automatic controls.  The recently-relieved trio gave up waiting, walked back to the car, and explained the intricacies of the vehicle technology to the hapless driver.

We went to Big Sur, but it was closed.  Well, not strictly true - the park was open, but we were running a bit short of time, and so a proper wander around the woods was out of the question.  The road to the lighthouse was barred, with a sign informing us that you could only visit it by appointment on the eighth day of alternate weeks, provided that this coincided with a blue moon and the return of Godot.

But the sandstone scenery of the coast provided some marvellous views.  Regular readers will be aware that Mark's normal reaction to sandstone scenery is to stand terrifyingly close to the cliff edge in order to take photos, and cause the rest of the group to reflect that at least the rest of the holiday will be slightly cheaper with only three people on it.  Here are some of the pictures.
One of the many bridges built in the space of a couple of years in the early 1930s, presumably as part of the New Deal.
Surf's up...
It's a long way down to the rocks, and Mark seems to be trying to find the most rapid way there.
Mark tries to reduce the size of the party by 25%....
... while Rupert takes it easier - one Morrish on the rocks, please.

Hollister - road to nowhereThence inland to what was, to judge by all the signs, the artichoke centre of the world.  We headed towards this alarming territory in an attempt to make as much progress as possible towards Yosemite and reduce the length of the next day's drive.  We reached Hollister (which is pretty much in the middle of nowhere, unless you go by the Artichoke-breeder's Gazette), and had a rather expensive motel, but a perfectly good restaurant that served suitably humungous portions (portions of artichokes, in Patrick's case).  A series of uploads was done, and e-mail was picked up, while Patrick remarked on the number of spammed e-mails offering penis extension services he seemed to be receiving.  Rupert commented that this was his own fault for letting girlfriends use his computer, as it only tempted them to take steps to deal with such deficiencies.

Strange are the ways of the Heesom,
for the web says his knob is too small.
His details, in e-mails
are sent out by females
whom he hasn't pleasured at all.

Right, that's quite enough of that.  An early night beckoned, in anticipation of the long drive ahead.

231.7 miles