After a good night’s sleep and a quick breakfast at Starbucks I set my initial target on Monterey, 15km south. The run was amazing – there is a bike path all the way between the two towns and it is along the beautiful coast. Each time I looked right I could spot dolphins breaking the surface – truly amazing.
Once I arrived in Monterey I set about stocking up for the next leg of my journey and finding out about potential campsites, something that seems to be sparse in this part of California. The first job was easy with a quick visit to Trader Joes – without a doubt the best supermarket I’ve visited so far. Camping was a different matter. With 15km already under the belt it became apparent that the first camp site wasn’t for nearly 45km. I decided to throw caution to the wind and see how far I could get but not until I had refueled on as much food as I could get my hands on.
It is really interesting how small things can make such a difference to how you perform. Yesterday it was a phone call with a friend and today it was generosity and kindness from a stranger. When I was leaving Carmel I knew it would be a long while till I got luxuries like Starbucks so I decided to pop in, grab an iced tea and use the facilities (both loo and WiFi). While away from my stroller a random customer bought three cereal and placed them on top. When I returned this small act of kindness lifted my spirits no end and when combined with the support from all the staff behind the counter (and the sugar from a blackberry, mojito iced tea lemonade) I was all systems go!
The road south from Carmel is utterly stunning with the road meandering along the rugged coastline. Despite some long hills, the scenery managed to capture the attention and the kms ticked by. Without noticing it (too much) and with the support of lots of passers-by I finally arrived at Andrew Morela State Park.
I have stayed at a lot of state parks and this has to be one of the most beautiful so far. It is set just off highway one and is guarded on one side by looming hills and the Pacific on the other. The camp itself is not sophisticated; there is a bench and a fire pit per site and some loos tucked away at the side. The impeccable weather helped but what mane this park so amazing was the wildlife that mingled but didn’t interfere (not like the raccoons). There were deer grazing a matter of feet away and goffers popping in and out of holes. While not completely roughing it you really did feel like you were sleeping in the wild with nature co-existing right next to you.
Written on my Nokia Lumia 1020