Saturday, January 23

West Coast USA, Day Eleven: Santa Barbara

Another stop that wasn't really on our list, Santa Barbara was a must stop if only to fondly remember the 80's soap we all used to watch with our mothers. But even aside from that, Santa Barbara was a worthy enough stop, a pretty, quiet little town that would have otherwise have been perfect to chill out in. We started with a lazy breakfast after which we spent some time roaming the main street and pier. By this point we were at least half a day behind schedule - the idea was to have spent the daylight hours along the Pacific Coast Highway... But I don't think anyone minded the delay really.

On the advice of a local, we headed to Lizard's Mouth, a nearby hiking trail that promised some great views. Many mistakes were made on this adventure, including omitting to bring enough layers (it was pretty windy and hence cold up there) as well as being particularly risky with fuel - we were on reserve before we even found the place and had to literally freeroll the 10 miles or so back down. But the advice did hold true and the views were more than worth it.

We left Santa Barbara at 3:30pm, the day pretty much exhausted. Next on our list was Pismo Beach, partly as a natural rest stop but mainly to try some recommended food. The drive up was very pretty and green - almost England like, and we once again got to experience first hand the friendliness of the locals as one of our demonstrated how to get a girl's number. At 70mph. With both driving. Sleaziness aside, it was a magical moment.

It turns out that the lazy beach town of Pismo was again a hidden gem worth hanging out in.

But hey, there was always enough time for some Clam Chowder.

But finally our inability to hit a schedule finally caught up with us as we realised the amount of time we had to spend in each place wasn't really up to us any more. In fact it was hurting us by this point: we left Pismo well after sunset and so the Highway 1 was driven pretty much in pitch black. The views we came to see were missed.

We finally came to a stop in Monterey, another small town not 100 miles south of San Francisco.

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