Round The World and other travels

A frequent flyer's collection of trip diaries

This is: Round The World 2006-07

Monterey - Carmel and north to San Francisco

I peeped out of the curtains when I first woke up and was both surprised and disappointed to see that it was still raining heavily. Ah, but patience is a virtue! When I looked out again at a more sensible hour, the streets were still wet, but the clearance had arrived, just as promised by the forecast. I had breakfast at the hotel - it was included in my rate - and was ready for the road by about 10, having been slightly delayed by the imagined loss of my passport   It was as though I couldn't really believe that the glitches were over.

I drove the short distance into Monterey and had a quick look around their version of Fisherman's Wharf, before heading off along the coastal route towards the start of the 17 Mile Drive to Carmel. (Actually, the distance to Carmel is a lot less than 17 miles, as the route includes a return leg, but let's not get pedantic ) I made several stops along the way, whenever I felt like taking a closer look at the views.

Eventually, I made it to the highly attractive and exclusive little town of Carmel, which I'd first visited in the eighties when, famously, Clint Eastwood was mayor. I found it a charming and very friendly place : one local even asked if he could offer any help when I opened out a street-map. I had a very nice lunch at a local restaurant and wished I could take a little longer to get to know the place better. My departure was well-timed, however, as it started to rain just as I was leaving.

I followed the often-spectacular coastal Route 1 all the way to San Francisco, remembering to fill up the car before I got too close to the city centre. I thought I did rather well to find my way right to Nob Hill and the InterContinental Mark Hopkins, where I dropped off my luggage before returning the car to the Avis depot on Post Street. Luckily, the doorman at the Mark had provided me with an umbrella, which certainly proved useful when walking back to the hotel. Once again, I had a quiet night in, hoping that the dismal weather would clear before morning.

Tuesday 27 Feb

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