The Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco

San Francisco Travel Blog

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The coastline on Highway 1, just north of Big Sur

Today I had a real fun day of driving, but also a very long day. I set out from San Luis Obispo at 9 and made a mistake by taking the 101 and not the 1, not knowing that 101 has no exits to the coast from there until Salinas, which is opposite Monterey. So after two hours of driving through a valley and not seeing the sea, I wisely turned off at Salinas to ask for directions. From there, after being preached to by an evangelical christian (yawn!), I got back on the right track and at Monterey turned south, because I sure as hell wasn't going to miss Big Sur after dreaming about it for so long! It didn't take long to reach that spectacular stretch of coast that makes the route so famous, and as I was going south and driving on the ocean side of the road, it was easy to pull over quickly for photos.

It is breathtaking. I got to Big Sur a little short of petrol and got deservedly shafted at the petrol pump (3.50 USD per gallon!), before heading down a narrow little lane to get to Fyffer Beach, which is very pretty.

Deciding that Big Sur restaurant prices were a bit steep, I headed back up north and settled on lunch in Monterey after driving to Pacific Grove and keeping along the coast. Then I made the final push and drove the two or three hours up to San Francisco, trusting GPS to get me to the Hertz drop-off in downtown. From there I got the bus out to Golden Gate Park, where I met my couchsurf hosts Drew and Lisa. They were cooking up a feast of vegetarian indian food for some friends who came round. Wonderful start to the San Fran experience.

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The coastline on Highway 1, just n…
The coastline on Highway 1, just …
My hire car wasnt too great at ha…
My hire car wasn't too great at h…
Looking along to Big Sur point.
Looking along to Big Sur point.
Fyffer beach, Big Sur
Fyffer beach, Big Sur
Monterey. A future generations fes…
Monterey. A future generations fe…
Monterey harbour
Monterey harbour