Date: 19/07 – 23/07
City: Monterey, California
Miles ridden: 107
Cumulative miles: 9236
We tried to book accommodation in Monterey, all the prices were ok except for Saturday and Sunday, where prices nearly doubled. After a while we found something reasonable that averages out over the weekend. Then we took off to the mystery spot, a place of optically illusions. It is a house on a hillside that apparently slid down the hill and stopped in the middle.
Sigrid watched ‘The Matrix’ too often J
Being in the mystical spot made us feel a bit dizzy, but it was fun. After a short break we started direction to Monterey, well technical speaking to ‘Seaside’. We took our time and after settling in the motel we went to dinner to a sea food restaurant with nice meals.
After dinner we were ready for a walk to the beach. We passed some nice lakes on the way. It was a slightly longer way than expected, so we missed the sunset (by that much). Regardless, sun or not, Sigrid had to put her feet into the cold ocean.
The next day we visited the Monterey Aquarium, lots of people were raving about it, so we thought we have a look. First thing first we noticed was the expensive parking fees around the aquarium, so we drove around and ….. got lost. We ended up in a dead end at the wharf, and there where motorcycle parks for free! And to make it even better, a free shuttle bus was going from the Fishermen’s wharf to the aquarium and back. So we hopped onto the shuttle bus, which looked almost like the cable cars in San Francisco.
We learned that Monterey had long been famous for the abandoned fishery in Monterey Bay, which stopped around 1950 due to overfishing. Anyway, we arrived at the aquarium and the first exhibit pool we saw was the kelp forest pool, and were there just in time to see an albatross being fed. It was the first time that I saw a living albatross. The albatross can fly for days without landing, but starting and landing is not its forte and it looks a bit clumsy.
This one here lives in the aquarium because it cannot fly anymore. After feeding was finished we had a closer look at the kelp forest pool, the pool was 3 floors high. It featured plenty of different types of fish, including a large schools of sardines which reflected the sunlight hitting the pool. The picture doesn’t do it justice.
Then we went to the jellyfish section, to be honest, I don’t like jellyfish very much, but the expo was just stunning and much more enjoyable then I thought. There were all kinds of different jellyfish in different tanks and they looked stunning
In biggest tank it looked even more impressive
And then there was the sea horse display with the weedy sea dragon
and leafy sea dragon
There was much more to see and to do, the pictures above were our highlights. We left the aquarium around 6 PM and went for a sunset on the beach nearby. During the sunset I got an idea, I might strengthen my left hand if I do some exercises, hmmm, the only thing around was a glass of red wine, well….. I moved the glass with red wine up and down. The sunset was nice; it looked like an atomic mushroom cloud (nothing to do with the red wine).
The next day started with a cold cloudy morning. There was a sort of mist in the air and it felt a bit like rain. So we decided to start a bit later and check the Wharf out. We parked the bike on the bike only park again. First thing that we saw was the customs house that was the place where the American flag got raised when California was claimed by the Americans (it belonged to Mexico before).
The wharf was an accumulation of art, gift shops and restaurants. One of the major foods was the clam chowder and each restaurant gave a free sample. We tried them all to make up our mind, but when we arrived at the end of the board walk, we weren’t hungry any more. At one place we found plenty of seals and brown pelicans, when we got closer we realised why there were there, it was the place where the fishing cruisers cleaned their fish. I like the picture with the sea lion in front, not sure why he reminds me on myself J
It was still early in the day so we decided to hop onto the free shuttle bus and go to the Cannery Row. This area was used before the sardine industry collapsed for putting the sardines into tins. All the empty manufacturing buildings have been converted into shops, hotels or restaurants.
During our stroll we found the ‘Mirror Maze’ so we had a look and got lost a couple of times.
We had a look around the water front, where, to our surprise, we found the ‘Bubba Gump Shrimp Co’ (from of Forest Gump!).
On the way through the shops, I got into an argument with a blue fury guy J, I left him hanging…
By now we are used to it that we can buy Australian wine in a 1.5L bottle cheaper in the US then we can buy 0.7L of the same brand a in Australia, but look at the advertisement we found in one of the shops (keep in mind it was around 30 degrees).
The only thing that I haven’t seen here is a vegemite add J
Well that was a nice day; let’s see how the whale watching goes tomorrow!
The next day we got up early and went back to the wharf where the whale watching tours start from. Due to some comments made about whale watching on the internet, we took some sea sick tablets one hour before and brought warm clothes including our long johns
The sea was relatively calm before the break water. As soon we were on open sea, the boat started to roll quite a bit but luckily the tablets were working. Even though that this was not a fishing trip, lots of people did burley the fishJ. We saw a couple of whales blowing and diving, but none of them was breaching. This time we took more videos then pictures since the photo camera has only a 5 times zoom (Yep, there are whales in the pictures below, can you find them? J
After we were back on land, we had some brunch – we figured it might be better to have something to eat AFTER the whale watching. The sun started to come out, so we decided to ride to the Carmel Beach City Park, which is not too far from Monterey. On the way to Carmel it became cloudy again, but the temperature was still warm enough for a stroll and a powernap on the beach.
It was a nice day, so went home to pack our gear and get ready to get back to Modesto the next day.