A long road to nowhere... and getting nauseous on the way!

Carmel-by-the-Sea Travel Blog

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After a lovely wood fire in our fireplace last night, today Charles and I set out for Cambria to see Hearst Castle. Since the online ticket booking would have added a $11 surcharge to each of the $20 tickets, we decided to go there and buy the tickets at the window when we arrived. But being the holiday season, there were lots of people there when we arrived and the entire day's worth of tours were SOLD OUT. Uggg..

We drove over 2 hours just to see the Hearst Castle movie.. absolute ridiculousness. The more annoying part was that they were in fact filling up empty spaces on the tour, but would not take count of who went early and then freeing up *their* seats. So basically we had no shot, even though we tried in vain twice to sneak onto a tour =)

So my advice here is to reserve spaces on the tours.
Mama elephant seal talking to newborn baby cub!
Not sure if there is a charge to reserve via phone, and then pay for the tickets at the window? I will never know. Charles and I ended up buying tickets for Friday on our way back to LA. The drive down the 1 was nothing short of beautiful, and excruciatingly painful - the road is so windy that I got carsick on the way there and on the way back.

It's approximately 90 miles from Carmel to Cambria, and about 50-70 miles of it are very sharp windy roads. I thought I was going to pass out from nausea. So if you go, take lots of time to get there, and stop frequently at the many scenic shoulders provided, get some air and take some pictures!

We stopped by a known elephant seal lookout on the way home. There was an educator who was answering questions here for free, it was great.
Look how happy the female elephant seals look!!
Apparently there was a mama elephant seal who just had a baby cub not more than 15 minutes ago. It was really wonderful to see all the healthy elephant seals without any scars or markings from motorboats. They were all so relaxed, rolling around in the wet sand and popping their heads up occassionally to talk to one another before sinking back to the ground and sleeping.

It was really chilly so we left and went to Safeway to get some hiking food for tomorrow as well as ice cream and attempt to find ingredients for S'mores. Sadly, they were fresh out of graham crackers, so we're using digestives instead! I'll let you know how they taste when we make our next fire and roast the marshmallows!

We came back to our room and the firewood was reset and old ashes were cleaned out for us.
Sunset on Carmel coast
We filled up the in-room whirlpool, added half a bottle of bubbles for some relaxation and then made some garlic shrimp for dinner as I tried to imitate a recipe I tasted in Hawaii earlier in the year. What a decadant night!

We're not sure what to do tomorrow since it's Christmas. I think we'll try out Point Lobos for a hike or wander around the actual town of Carmel (we're in Carmel Heights - better views but less stuff!) We're considering whale watching or kayaking the day afterwards, despite the fact that we don't know how to swim. =) Heck, I'll do anything as long as it doesn't involve 50 miles of winding roads - barf!!

glennisnz says:
Looks like a beautiful coastline, much like our Kaikoura Coast, we have fur seals instead of Elephant seals.
Posted on: Feb 03, 2008
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Mama elephant seal talking to newb…
Mama elephant seal talking to new…
Look how happy the female elephant…
Look how happy the female elephan…
Sunset on Carmel coast
Sunset on Carmel coast
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Carmel coastline
Mama Elephant seal calling
Mama Elephant seal calling
Afternoon mists on carmel coastline
Afternoon mists on carmel coastline
Big ol elephant seal!
Big ol' elephant seal!
Elephant seal calling from the sha…
Elephant seal calling from the sh…
Carmel-by-the-Sea
photo by: livelovelaugh87