Tuesday, August 14

Big Sur Magic

Wow! Big Sur delivers! We've just finished an incredible day driving California's Route 1 coastal highway. The views were truly spectacular; soaring cliff faces, rugged, storm-beaten headlands and a surprising array of wildlife. At times these magnificent scenes were interspersed with feathery shrouds of seasonal fog.

The wildlife was definitely today's highlight. The first encounter of the day was a beach covered in sun-basking Harp Seals and lumbering Elephant Seals. We stood mesmerised along the shore watching these sand-coated mammals do their thing; largely nothing.

Volunteer rangers were on hand to explain everything including tidbits like, "as the sun's heat gathers strength during the day, the seals slowly rotate on the beach until they're directly facing the surf line. This allows the crashing surf to keep them cool. The result is a spectacular line of animals 'striping' the entire beach."

The next highlight of note was a small crest where we encountered California Condors riding the thermal currents sweeping up the hillside. We watched half a dozen birds swooping and gliding mere metres away from us. I could have stood there for hours. Wait until you see my photos! You'll understand.

I'll write more shortly and upload a few photos. For now we're comfortably settled in for the evening at the Best Western Monterey Beach resort enjoying views of expansive white sand beaches.

Posted from my iPhone

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