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Published: August 6th 2016
Lone Cypress Tree
The not-so-alone tree on the 17 mile drive.
For reasons that I will not go into we only had enough to breakfast tokens for one of us to go to breakfast today (Mugged-off #5) so my son went down for a sad, lonely meal-for-one, albeit with strict instructions to come back with some fruit and some pastries for the rest of us.
We had got a response from the San Francisco Transit Department, so we sent off the tickets to hopefully rectify Mugged-off #2.
We were leaving San Francisco today, but we thought we would get in one last walk before the car journey. We walked down to Ghirardelli Square, which turned out to be a chocolate factory, much to the pleasure of our son and daughter.
We also drove to Baker Beach for some alternative views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Again, the weather was not on our side.
On the way south, we passed a shopping centre, the Stonestown Galleria, so we stopped for some token shopping - the first of this holiday so far.
We were heading for Los Angeles, but our plan was to stop for the night at Carmel-By-The-Sea as we had heard that it and the nearby Monterey
The Golden Gate Bridge viewed from Baker Beach.
Peninsular are stunning and worth a visit.
We needed to fill-up with petrol, which of course led to the usual confusion and chaos as the system is to pay for the fuel that you need in advance. After a guess that was along way short of what we needed, some confusion over not pressing the button to select the fuel type needed (despite there being multiple pipes for that as in the UK), severe reservations as the pipe colours are the opposite to the UK (Diesel is green and petrol is black) and forgetting which side the fuel-cap was on, we eventually got on the coast road to Carmel.
We had heard that one of the best roads is the 17 mile drive just north of Carmel on the Monterey Peninsular, so when we saw it sign-posted we thought we would do that straight away as we were passing. There was a ranger station at the start of the drive and it was $10 per car to enter. The ranger gave us a map, showing the route and the best places to stop for a view, although the signposting was excellent so there was no chance of getting lost or missing anything.
The views seem to be the second attraction of this area, with the first being golf. There appeared to be a golf course on every single spare square yard, even what looked like mini courses squeezed in every little space they could find.
One of the best views is of the Lone Cypress Tree, which actually didn't look to be that alone anymore. We got there just before a large coach arrived, so it was a bit of a rush to get some photos and enjoy the view before the viewing area was completely swamped.
We then headed for Carmel and after getting lost because the satnav seemed confused over where Junipero Street was, we eventually found our hotel. Talking of the satnav, we knew one was going to be essential when we collected the rental car so we had accepted when offered one at extra cost. We later however discovered that the car had one built-in already, albeit with no obvious buttons to indicate that that was the case. Mugged-off #6.
We had a walk around Carmel itself, which seemed like a charming little town, although very touristy and with every other building appearing to be an art gallery. Apparently Clint Eastwood used to be the mayor of Carmel.
After a walk along the beach, we set-about finding some where to eat. That was harder than we expected as everywhere was either very full, very expensive or very closed. Eventually we found a nice pizza place slightly away from the main centre.
Back at the hotel, we had a minor rebellion on our hands as the wifi was not up to the speed that is to be expected. Middle-class, modern problems and a big let-down for this charming little town in our son and daughters eyes.
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