Driving down Highway 1

Our last morning in San Francisco, we went to the airport to pick up our rental car and start driving south along the Californian coast. I understand why Highway 1 is seen as one of the world's most beautiful roads, the environment is absolutely incredible! The road is designed so you can park beside it any time, very apt since you want to stop every ten meters because the view just gets better and better.

After a lot of touristing by fot in big cities, with blisters on our feet, it was such a liberating feeling to drive your own car and enjoy the nature. Later, we missed te walking in cities, but we'll get to that. You always need a bit of variety and this was a completely new experience in that big country.

We stopped as soon as we saw a beach. Breathtaking, I know. We took off our shoes and ran and jumped around in the sand for what seemed like hours. We also dipped our toes in the icy Pacific. It felt so strange watching the horizon and realizing that there is nothing else than ocean all the way to Japan and my beloved Tokyo, and now I have been from one "world's end" to the other.

At Big Sur we drove in to a forest and suddenly we were in the middle of huge tree trunks in a large camping area. We never explored it properly but we visited a typical american camping house to eat something in their restaurant. You have to take the opportunity to eat when you find food since there is really not much along the road, neither gas stations nor restaurants.

The sunset over the Pacific Ocean was also breathtaking. But I recommend watching it from where you've booked your motel. We had wrongly calculated the time. Although we had a lot of time to drive, we also made a lot and long pauses, and for some reason we thought of miles as kilometers, until we realized that it was almost twice as far.

This meant that the sun set 1-2 hours before we arrived, which in turn meant that we had to drive in the dark, where the car lights and reflections along the way is the only thing you see, and we had to drive really slowly. NOT FUN when you know there is a steep slope right next to you and the road only gets curvier and curvier. As if it wasn't enough, the fog came over the land like a tsunami. Do you see that thing that looks like a wave in the picture? It's the freakin' fog! In the end we drove 20km/h in darkness and fog until we arrived at our accommodation in San Simeon. Lesson learned.


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