Saturday, 25 August 2012

Day 62: Monterey to San Luis Obispo via the Sur Highway

Evening all
Hope you are all still there. Whoever you are. :-)
We had a pretty cool day today. We were up relatively early knowing that we had a shortish run today and headed off out of Monterey towards San Luis Obispo. The plan was to ride together today so I headed off, then D&D got stuck at a traffic light and Karen promptly took me onto the beginning of the freeway on 101 via Salinas direct to San Luis Obispo. Oh no .... this is supposed to be the magical coastal route through. So we rode separately again today. But it was fine.

First opportunity I took an off ramp to the right and asked Karen to take me to Carmel. Which she did! Down a lovely zigzag of country roads (John Denver, where are you?), rural landscapes and great scenery onto the Sur Highway just south of Carmel. This is the famous Sur Highway, which for some reason I had always thought was the Sewer Highway and had assumed there was something stinkie about it. But it was great. Much better than the Australian Great Ocean Road, right up there with the Paekakariki Coast Road, only much much longer. It was great.

Along the way Kiwi and I stopped, as we do, to have a look around and take photos. I thought this view was a bit grotty really.

But I was ready for a bite to eat so sat there and had a banana and watched the swell roll in. We then headed on up the road and soon came to a "vista point" and pulled in to have a look. It was much better so I reached for Kiwi to put him in the frame and reached for Kiwi to put him in the ..... Oh no! No Kiwi! His little pouch on the tankbag was empty. I realised at once what had happened. I had left him behind. Bugger! We can't carry on without Kiwi!
I u-turned and went back down the road looking for the place where we had stopped. When I thought I had gone far enough, I turned again and went slowly looking for the spot. No joy. I turned and went back again, not so far this time. And back. No joy! Oh dear. So I turned and went back yet again. I remembered that when I had sat eating my banana, I had rested my boots on a barbed wire fence. Yes, this looked likely and in we went. And there he was. Waiting. Patiently?

Man, did he give me a telling off! I didn't know he had learned so many swear words! Who from I wonder?

Back in his little pocket we rode back to the vista point where the other visitors there were beginning to give me funny looks. And took some cool photos.

We went back on the road and rode a little further. Stopping just past some road works when this huge group of bikes went through.

I followed them for a while. And then left them to take some more photos along the way.

I then pulled in to Big Sur for a break. Just as I was parking the bike, I heard a voice behind me say, "is that you Ken?" It was Angus Duthie, a Ulysses member from Wellington. Gus was part of the group, some of whom we had met in McBride ages ago, a group of some 40 kiwis who had been to Sturgis and were now riding back to LA and home. This was the group i had photographed earlier! They were in the process of pulling out of Big Sur so I only had a brief chance for a chat. Gus has collected a Harley trike for his daughter (?) and was in the process of delivering it to NZ, via Sturgis and many of the national parks that we had also visited. Amazing.

A bit up the road there was another view point, this time with chipmunks.

Kiwi went in to check them out.

He wasn't all that impressed. Nor were they!

Back on the road I was taken by this sign. High surf? Yeah right.

I then stopped at the Hearst Pier near the Hearst Castle. I could have been in Oz!

Somewhere out there is Aotearoa. Just past the tourists! :-)

I took a little side road down to the beach and parked for a while. A woman there told me that there were whales out in the sea. She was right! They were a long way away so you'll have to trust me. :-)

Here is a spout.

And here is a tail. Honest!

And this could be a hump, back.

There were also some gorgeous pelicans. I love these birds.

A wonderful bird is the pelican,
His bill will hold more than his belican,
He can take in his beak
Enough food for a week
But I'm damned if I see how the helican.
(Dixon Lanier Merritt)

And that was about it. We are now in San Luis Obispo (Bishop Saint Luis?) an ok motel with free beer from 530-700 and a six dollar BBQ. Not bad. :-)

Today's run: 285kms
Cumulative: 18,383kms
Tipovers: 2

Location:San Luis Obispo, California, USA


  1. I love pelicans too, and that little poem was one my father used to recite when I was a kid! Great pics. Heart stopping read that you left Kiwi behind - eeek that hardly bears thinking about.

  2. We always say that Highway 1 (The Pacific Coast Highway) is proof positive that God loves motorcycles. Cool weather, breath taking scenery, and thrilling curves, thank you God. Of course, the RVs in the way are also proof that he has a sense of humor. Good one God, well played.