Sunday, 4 October 2009

What a view!

One of my ambitions is to drive along the entire Pacific Coast Highway (PCH as the locals seem to call it). I've seen the pictures and heard the stories and last week I came a little closer to achieving this ambition although really it was just a sampler. I drove PCH for some miles north of Los Angeles and also investigated it south of Monterey, as far as Big Sur at least.

What an amazing drive the whole route must be and I'm now definitely set on discovering the entire highway within the next couple of years. It's hard to find the right words to describe how beautiful it is, at least the parts I was lucky enough to experience, although unfortunately I wasn't able to take any photos at sunset which is something I will correct in the future. The pictures here were all taken at the worst possible time of day for landscapes but they still look quite nice I think!

The visit to California didn't just involve driving the PCH - I spent a few bucks and paid for entrance to the "17-Mile Drive" near Monterey and Carmel. One of my other ambitions, as a teenager that is, was to play the second most famous golf course in the world - Pebble Beach - but I thought I'd at least be able to see it from this scenic drive.

Well, I saw the club house and a few golf carts but never got to see the course as the 17-Mile Drive turned into the Twilight Zone and we remained trapped in a never-ending maze of small roads that either led back to where we'd just been or into some rich person's driveway (I was careful to avoid running over the immigrant workers doing the gardening or cleaning the driveway gates). Still, the views were nice but not worth the money when you can get much more spectacular views for free on the PCH.


Andrew Cooper said...

Your post brings back some memories, I have driven all of the Pacific Coast north of SF, well worth the time to explore.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is definitely one of those things that I want - no, NEED - to do. You must tell me all about it when you get back!

Tom said...

Andrew - the plan for next time (I'm already thinking about it!) is to spend a few nights in San Franciso then head back down to Montery along the coast. I'd love to try the highway north of SF but that might require another trip!

Ant - I'm back and actually tried to find you today in the office but you were out. I wanted to ask about a free gift I got from some UK photography magazine I bought for the flight back to the States. I opened it up in mid-flight and nearly took my neighbour's eye out. You'll see what I mean when I show the thing to you!

PS. You'll love the PCH!