6 Mar

I am truely behind in documenting our travels, and we have done so much too. That is why I am behind, plus no internet connection.

Before leaving New Brighton beach, we took a bus to Santa Cruz, we had heard of the boardwalks there but didn’t know what it was, so thought we should visit. The bus dropped us at the interchange and we caught another one down to the Public Wharf, walking along here we had our first close up view of a pelican. We had spotted some, very briefly flying past us in the opposite direction, so were thrilled to find one swimming around and chasing a sea lion who was fishing. There were loads of sea lions under the wharf, thankfully not smelly like the ones in San Francisco are, but noisy and looking very lazy. The boardwalk itself is a stretch of fun fair, all very nicely kept, not a piece of litter to be seen, but closed and deserted. We wandered a while and made our way back to the bus interchange, spotting some lovely historic houses on the way. It may be hard on the feet but you do see far more than whizzing by in a car.

Friday 27th Feb, we arrived in Monterey, to lovely sunshine. We parked haRVey up and took a walk along the beautiful bay area, the waves were crashing in again but bathed i sunshine it was all very picturesque. We were hoping to stay slightly inland at a campground called Carmel by the River and headed off to find it. The main road was great and initially the access road was OK. It was however getting narrower, here we go again.. part of the access road was a narrow, single lane bridge, for those of you who know the Ovingham/Prudhoe bridge, it wasn’t much wider, and we had about 4″ clearance either side of haRVey to cross. Just down the lane after the bridge the campground owners had put a sign ‘WELL YOU MADE IT!’ Hmm.

We didn’t get the river view we expected, we did get sung to sleep by a chorus of frogs though, and each site was labelled with a different frog picture, ours had a beard and moustache, I wonder why she put us in that one! (See pic on Web album – click on web album in top right corner, then go to Elaine’s pictures and view 2009 album)

We had a nice walk not far from the campground on Saturday and with Wi-Fi access found a cheaper spot at the Laguna Seca raceway, so decide to move there to allow us to stay in the area a while longer as we wanted to go to the Aquarium in Monterey.

Sunday was wet, very wet, we took a ride into Monterey and parked up by the sea on Ocean View Boulevard. We walked back to the retail outlet shops as we wanted to look for summer walking shoes, it was fairly deserted and we got a bit soggy. We had lunch a bit further along the shoreline and sat watching the sea otters playing and swimming, just out of range for decent photos unfortunately. Monday started wet too, but we were off to the Aquarium. We arrived just after 10am and left 5 hours later, having had a great experience. They have huge aquarium with mainly the fish and creatures you find in the Bay area, also a fantastic display of jellyfish, a group of Sea Otters, and a display about otters around the world, connected to this were fish from other countries which form a part of the otters world. We enjoyed the splash pool area where you could see the creatures we had seen in the tide pools in shallow ‘tanks’ with staff on hand to tell you all about them, the staff were very knowledgeable and easy to talk to, and we were able to ask questions about things we had found and did not know what they were. We had a pizza lunch in there cafe which looks out over the bay, and spotted some wild sea otters just out on the rocks, probably wishing they were living the high life of those inside, getting well fed and entertained by all those funny humans!
Tuesday morning we set off for our next leg, which was to be Big Sur, however still hunting the sun and avoiding the rain, we decided to go a little further to San Antonio Lake. Highway 101 took us pretty well down, with approx. 10miles of absolutely straight road through the ‘salad bowl’ area of California, it was interesting at first to see the fields which were being prepared for this years crops and spotting the young seedlings in some of them, but 10 miles on we were glad to turn off towards the lake. As so often happens the landscape changed again and we were in an area with no houses,no farms or livestock, quite scrubby and barren looking. When we arrived at the Lake campground entrance we were really not sure whether to proceed or not. A fellow RV’r was emerging from the other side of the entrance so I popped over and asked what it was like. With his reassurance that the site area was fine we went and chose a spot overlooking the huge lake. Unfortunately not long after we arrived the heavens opened and it poured all night. There were only 3 RV’s on a site for around 160, it was quiet! We did have deer grazing close by lots of birds and a couple of bald eagles too. We felt this was a little too quiet for us, especially as there seemed to be no trails, good if you fish or have boat or want to just sit and watch, we need a bit more stimulus.

All this time we have still been struggling with our fridge, it doesn’t work on gas which we need while on the road and whilst plugged in to electricity only the fridge is cool enough, we cant use the freezer at all. We have been in conversation with the manufacturers on and off and finally arranged to get it looked at again in Paso Robles, which fitted in with our plans. We arrived at Wine Country RV Park on Tuesday just before lunch. It’s a very nice campground with all the facilities you might want including a fitness room. We liked the laundry best, next to the Wi-Fi access that is, and have caught up on our washing. We have had some diagnostics on the fridge and today have to go back and get some more temperature checks done. We hope then to head back to the coast, probably having to come back here if we need parts for the fridge next week.


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