U.S. Road Trip: Chapter IV

Another night in the car; this time on the side of the road in Big Sur

Another night in the car; this time on the side of the road in Big Sur

YOSEMITE TO SAN DIEGO

It was just before lunchtime when Ale and I (sadly) left Yosemite.

We were naturally a bit upset we had had such a short time there, but we were also excited about the road trip ahead us: a stretch in the countryside until Monterey, and from there all the way down to San Diego along the famous Highway 1 (Pacific Coast Highway). 

The first part of the route was not really that impressive; or perhaps we were just looking too much forward to seeing the Big Sur area. Ale took her occasional naps, and I kept myself focused on the road while listening to Pearl Jam and some of our other favorite bands. 

After a couple of hours, we made it to Monterey, where we stopped for a bit to get some food. We went for a pizza. We were both starving. Time was again a concern, as we knew we would spend quite a lot of time along the Pacific Coast Highway (too many stops for pictures, I mean), so we quickly made our way out of Monterey once we were done with our pizza (which turned out to be too small, and expensive, by the way).

Sleeping in the car again was also in our plans, so we wanted to find a good, safe spot before sunset. The scenery soon became to impress us after leaving Monterey

A little hike to the top of this hill so we could get some wider perspective of Highway 1

A little hike to the top of this hill so we could get some wider perspective of Highway 1

After that, our drive got a quite a slow pace due to the wonderful landscape we were driving through.  

We saw moustache-groups cruising on Harley Davidsons, couples speeding on their Mustangs, and groups of Chinese tourists driving on their buses; all of them, pretty much like us, stopping here and there for pictures of that amazing scenery.

Light was going away, so we started driving even more carefully, this time not to enjoy the view but to find a spot on the side of the road where we could spend the night. We even thought about staying at a proper campground we found, which looked very cool, by the way, but we thought it was a bit expensive (U$63 a night), so we kept driving.

After a little while, when we had stopped at a potential place, a friendly local traveller came to us and gave us some precious suggestions of spots a bit further, so we took his tips and drove a bit more.

The scenery kept amazing us all along the way

The scenery kept amazing us all along the way

Pretty soon after that we found a spot that seemed perfect.

We prepared our little dinner and as soon as the Sun went down, we were off to "bed".

Ale preparing our bed

Ale preparing our bed

Room with a view

Room with a view

Once again, nobody disturb us during the night, so it was another good , and free, night of sleep. And how awesome it was to wake up right there at that beautiful place...

Early morning

Early morning

Breakfast Burritos

Breakfast Burritos

Morning view

Morning view

After some delicious burritos for breakfast, we started making our way to Ventura, where Saskia and Dash are living now, and where we were supposed to leave her car. The scenery once again was something truly spectacular.

What a view!

What a view!

Early, golden lights shinning over the mountains

Early, golden lights shinning over the mountains

"Details"

"Details"

After a little while, it was time for a good black coffee to truly wake us up, so we stopped at what seemed to be "just" a charming little place on the side of the road, but it turned out to be a wonderful place with hotel and restaurant facilities. 

A big cup of coffee, singing birds and that amazing view all to ourselves

A big cup of coffee, singing birds and that amazing view all to ourselves

We were soon back on the road, and when we were approaching San Simeon we saw the signs indicating a Sea Lions viewpoint. We had to stop there. 

It was great to see those amazing animals interacting with each other in their natural environment. 

It was so much fun to be there watching these incredible animals that it took us quite a while before we were able to leave and carry on our journey. 

We soon arrived in Santa Barbara, where we had lunch, and then from there we made our way down to Ventura

We got Sas' car cleaned and then drove it to her Sarah's place (one of her friends), since she and Dash had not yet made it to Ventura.

Waiting for the train in Ventura

Waiting for the train in Ventura

We were happy everything had worked out perfectly and we were giving back the car in perfect conditions. Our trip was awesome, the scenery was just wonderful, and there are actually many things we missed along the day due to our lack of time.

If you are interested in taking this road, National Geographic has recently put together a travel piece exactly about the Yosemite - San Diego trip, and you can find it here

Sarah was kind enough to drive us to the train station so we could get the train to Huntington Beach, where we would meet our good friend Juliana and her fiancé soon-to-be husband Matt

From there, again by train, we would get to San Diego, where I would finally meet my mother-in-law. 

I met Juliana in Cape Town, South Africa, back in 2009, and we soon became friends. And it was thanks to her I met Ale, now my fiancé. 

Ale was preparing for her trip to Thailand in 2014 when Juliana told her that she had a friend living in Cambodia...it was the beginning of our story...

Back to our trip, we got on the train and after a few hours we arrived at our destination, tired and sleepy, but both stoked to see Juliana and Matt. And this is where this post ends, and the next one begins, the last one from this series about our time in the U.S

I will see you in a week or so, saludos!

Bernardo Salce