Thar she blows!

Trip Start May 06, 2014
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Trip End Jun 05, 2014


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Flag of United States  , California
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

No, really, the Motel Crapi is great. It really is.
Neither Jette or I like a warm bedroom, and the Motel has air con in the bedroom, which is simply terrific.

Last night, Jette turned it on, as she went to bed.
All I can say is, it is like trying to sleep whilst being strapped to the undercarriage of a Boeing 747 as it is thundering down the runway preparing for take off. Not only does one get the wind tunnel effect, but it also comes with full sound effects.
One doesn't even need to wear 3D glasses for the complete experience.

Anyway, the noise from the jet engine in the corner did drown out the irritating whine of the 'fridge, so all in all I think it was a result.
Actually, this morning, upon investigation, it appeared that someone's fingers had done some walking and turned the setting on the 'fridge to its polar setting. Jette had put the two defenceless bananas in there and they had gone black with the cold, and were stiff and decidedly unhappy.
The cherries she had bought were now like bullets, and the bottle of water was a solid block of ice.

Mel called for breakfast, so we packed ourselves up and drove into the drive in.
Two country breakfasts!
Bring it on.

American TV is pretty dire. As usual there was a TV in every corner of the room.
They delight in very lengthy adverts, so much so that older people like me can totally forget which programme one is actually watching.
This morning the adverts seemed endless, but one particularly caught my eye.
It showed the usual terribly good looking 50-60 year olds having simply heaps of fun, before cutting to the product they were selling.
'Pocket catheters.'
Hmmmn.

Following this, a last minute visit to the loo before we set off left me a little surprised on two counts.
Firstly that when I opened the door it was occupied, secondly that it was occupied by not one, but two young ladies.
As you do.

Our destination today was a Quality Inn in the Dunes, near Monterey.
Let's see what quality Quality can muster.

The suburbs of SF are as grubby and disappointing as most cities and one yearns to escape from the drabness. I have never had to stop for an orange vested street cleaner before, though. He held up a hand and then rushed out in the road in front of me with one of those grab sticks to pick up a bit of litter from the road and looked immensely pleased with himself for doing so.

It was a relief to get out of the city. I cannot say I enjoy driving on their 6 lane freeways where people overtake on either side and change lanes like they are playing Hot Potato.
Add the crazy bikers with a death wish to the mix and it can be hair rising.

The dirty sprawl of the city gave way to a greater variety of greenery than we have seen for some time, with the occasional lake and tall eucalyptus trees.
There was noticeably more traffic on the roads too.

Half Moon was our first stop. It is a smallish place on the west coast. Yesterday we had passed one winery after another, today it was garden centres.

We thought we might go and see the sea, but the nice young girl wanted to charge us $8 to park, and as we only wanted to take a picture, we smiled, stopped to take the picture and drove out again.
All the State Beaches wanted the same exorbitant fee, but there was invariably a stopping place along the road just a few yards further on. Yes, it did say NO PARKING, but we weren't really parking, just loitering while we took a couple of pictures, which doesn't count, officer.

There was a sort of faint sea mist over the coast, which stretched the whole way, but the views of the coastline and the white seaspray over the huge breaking waves was great.

Santa Cruz seemed to be a good place to stop. There was a bakery and coffee stop where we had the most delicious coffee and baguette. The bread was artisan and they had a number of young people training to become proper bakers on an artisan bakery programme.
They are doing well!
Although there was a large collection of other goodies, we managed not to succumb.

At one point, there was a little no through road which went off towards the sea, so on impulse we followed it. Jetty Road.
What a gift!
From there we saw a load of sea birds, and then Jette spotted some sea otters.
As we were looking, we heard the sound of sea lions, and saw a colony of them clustered round a jetty on the other side of the creek.
On our way there, we stopped to see some seals, basking on the shore fairly close to us... and then another otter floating on his back in the lagoon.
Woh!

But it was soon supa mega woh as we pulled into the area near where we had seen the sea lions. There right below us was a large collection of them. Some on the pontoons sunbathing, others in the water swimming and diving...
They make such a noise and the smell is overpoweringly fishy, but they are a great sight.
To see animals like this in the wild is so special.
There were lots of cormorants, pelicans and other sea birds there too... and some sea otters floating on their backs amidst the sea weed.
Oh, oh, oh!

Marina is in the Monterey area and our hotel is in the dunes. They look as if they are still marching inland, but hopefully they will not overtake us in the two nights we are staying here.
Before checking in we went to check out the beach, which was wild and windy. Not the place for a gentle beach day!

Our room smelt slightly strange; maybe musty; so Jette opened the door and the windows, which will hopefully have the desired effect.

Supper was a couple of wraps from a street vendor in Monterey where we went to have a brief explore. The street had been closed to traffic for the little market, but it was just closing up as we arrived, so the wraps and a punnet of raspberries together with the apricots Jette had bought earlier all washed down with some beer made for supper on the move.

Quality it may be, the jury is still out on that, but it obviously doesn't include any sound proofing. I can hear the bloke in the room next door breathing clearer than I can hear myself.
Let's just hope he doesn't snore.

So far, the Capri is ahead on points, but maybe breakfast tomorrow may see Quality gain the advantage?
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