margotim's Tuesday April 3rd, 2012
Carmel to Morro Bay (not as simple as it sounds)
We left Carmel at 9.30am and headed down Highway 1. Not far down the road the highway hits the coast and winds around the sides of mountains, offering stunning views of the Pacific's rocky shores and wave swept bays and inlets. There was ample opportunity to pull to the side of the road and take in the views and take pictures. There was some very ambitious architecture with houses perched atop high cliffs that overhang the ocean, some only accessible by dirt tracks that wove down the mountainside. We were traveling along with ample time to stop whenever the view took our fancy and arrive at our destination around 2pm. Ah, the best laid plans. Just before reaching Lucia the road was blocked with no possibility of passing and the only option was to return to Carmel and take the road through the Carmel Valley to Highway 101. Just before Carmel Valley Village someone in a BMW had done their best to write off their car and kill themselves at the same time. It took us 20mins to get past the accident scene. The valley road was equally as interesting and picturesque as the coast, though the road was more challenging, single lane in several places and very windy. We made it to 101 around 3.30pm with 60 mile ahead of before we could turn back to the coast and stay where we intended for the night. At this point we'd spent 6 hours on the road and were only 30 miles closer to Los Angeles. The west end of Carmel Valley is state park on one side of the road and cattle farms on the other. The east side is vineyards as far as the eye can see. We joined 101 at Greenfield and drove through Salinas Valley, not much to see, but very fast. Left the highway at Atascadero and headed back to the coast to Morro Bay. Made it to the motel at 5pm. Not quite the drive we were expecting.
Had dinner at Jasmine Thai, lovely meal and excellent value. Watched the sunset from the motel balcony. Oh! Morro has a rock. It's a biggin'.