There be hills in Big Sur

So after a good night’s sleep I woke in the beautiful Andrew Molera state park and spent the morning getting myself ready for the next stage. I was about to enter the heart of the Big Sur region and having heard so much about its beauty I really wanted to take my time and enjoy it.
Despite being a massive tourist attraction this area of the coast is sparsely populated by some essentials for a runner – shops and campsites. When shops do pop up they are usually very expensive and they know that people will pay. Not me… I visit each shop and check all the prices and then only buy when I don’t think the prices are too extortionate. Today this meant visiting three different grocery shops and buying different items to ensure I was fully stocked for the hills ahead.

And hills there were. I had known that Highway 1 was going to be testing and a longer route south but had reached the decision that if I was going to run the full length of America I might as well make it beautiful. Once I reached the coast line I was rewarded, not only by beautiful scenery but amazing weather. The hills were relentless but I just kept telling myself that for every up there was a down (try to forget the fact that downs can be hard as ups). After each hill there was a view point and every time you reached the top you knew why you were doing this.

I felt sorry for all the tourists that were driving along this stretch of the road. They seemed to fly along the road and take pictures by hanging out of the car window or doing drive by photo-shoots. It would take me about 3 days to complete this section of the journey and most of these people would do it in a couple of hours. My method of transport may not be as comfortable as a convertible Mustang but I honestly believe I am getting to see more and experience the adventure on a different level.

When it got to the end of the day I got into campsite finding mode. On my left there was scrubland that offered no shelter and on my right there were small patches of private land perched on cliff tops that soared above the ocean. I had no choice but the keep running and hoping that somewhere would appear before too long. As the sun started to make its retreat and the water bottles depleted a sense of desperation started to set in. The KMs were totting up and this was set to be another mammoth day, the third in a row.

The sun finally said good night and out came the lights, first the single flasher on the back of the hat and then as it became pitch black the head torch. I knew the map ahead and set my target on Limekiln Creek campsite. When I finally arrived I was turned away by the camp host because the camp was full – I told him that if anything happened he should feel semi responsible – I feel a little bad about that as this was all the fault of my bad planning.

I returned to Highway 1, a road which I was told was dangerous in the daylight let alone at night! Luckily after a few perilous KMs I arrived at another campsite called Kirkcreek. Tired and ready to collapse I stumbled in to the most amazing welcome. The friendly camp host had a free space and his friend was cooking fresh salmon, potatoes and asparagus, which I was invited to share. A welcome end to a long old day!

Written on my Nokia Lumia 1020

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