This post is part of the YAY IN THE USA series. Big Sur is the sixth of seven legs in our travels.
@handmadelove carved a part of the trip for something special - it was either going to be Yosemite or Big Sur. In the end, we choose Big Sur - the number of roads that were closed in Yosemite in winter put it back on the "To Do Later" list (except... Big Sur didn't fare much better thanks to #rain).
Apparently though, this is what Yosemite would look like from the top.
We arrived in San Francisco (but not really) just a little past 6pm, and picked up our new rental... Which has a side story of its own:
So I "upgraded" our full-size Nissan Altima to a Toyota Prius... Which from a size perspective is a downgrade. Needless to say, @handmadelove was not impressed, and the Hertz chick laughed at the face of my stupidity... But was nice enough to give us a proper upgrade - to OMGONCEINMYLIFEIWILLDRIVEAVEEDUB - a Volkswagon Tiguan
And in the borrowed style of
prolific Melbourne author: That was our TIGUAN start to the TIGUAN journey in our TIGUAN with heated seats, rain sensing wipers, automatic headlights, electronic mirrors, 360° safety sensors, turbo etc etc much luxury very wow so TIGUAN.
But I must be serious though - by this stage I had driven an entire day, was sleepless on the plane (thank you annoying kid who kept kicking my seat)... and there was a long drive ahead to Big Sur's famed Highway 1.
After many miles and a very valiant effort to stay awake, we arrived at our destination - Deetjen's Big Sur Inn... at close to midnight (surprise surprise).
I'm not even going to repeat how the next morning started.
Cabin amongst trees, I miss you even though you were terribly small and had no internet.
I somehow lost all photos of the interior of the cabin, but picture this: lying in a warm, comfortable bed, looking up through the skylight, staring at giant oak and pine trees.
Each cabin also hold volumes of guestbooks, and it's part of the tradition to leaf through the pages - stories mostly hilarious, some sleazy, a good number heartbreaking.
@handmadelove was terribly moved in particular by an elderly widower who revisited our cabin to find the pages written by his beloved late wife. I can only imagine the bittersweet sorrow he must have felt in that moment (being the person I am, I know if I could that's what I'd one day do, too).
Anyway... On to happier thoughts...
Big Sur is just one of those beautiful destinations you need to go once in your life. Photographs do not do it justice. You need to be there to experience the breeze, hear the crashing waves, and fall asleep to the rustling away of the dense rainforest.
Above: Spectacular views of the coastline along Highway 1 Below: Some other spots we loved
Like a village stuck in time.
Remember I mentioned the #rain? Well, it followed us all the way from Palm Springs through to Joshua Tree and back to Big Sur, and closed all the beaches and trails we planned to visit. Leaving Big Sur was also a massive drama, with a window set for us to make the drive out (or be potentially blocked in by landslides.
Maybe it isn't obvious, but that's how bad the weather looked as we made the drive out.
Maybe next time we'll have better luck.
Places we loved
Deetjen's Big Sur Inn
48865 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Big Sur Bakery
47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park 52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
....and pretty much the whole of Highway 1 (even if we had to miss the majority of the sights) - if you go in wet weather or bad weather season, check the ranger station before you travel. www.bigsurcalifornia.org
Postscript: Time spent in Big Sur, California - 3 days, 2 nights.