date = 2010-11-06
distance = 51.7
We aspired to another short day. The guidebook suggests a 60 mile ride
along this hilly and cliff hugging section of Hwy 1, or two 30 mile days
so one might enjoy Carmel and what's to enjoy of Big Sur. We chose the
latter. We set out in good time after a brief chat with a Swiss couple
who will also be riding through Baja. It's nice to know there will be
other cyclists on the road.
Up and over the hill, we arrived at the Hwy 1 gate where cars pay a
$9.50 toll to drive the 17 mile road. We bypassed this section, which
involves more hills (and not to mention 17 additional miles) with some
spectacular mansions and estates. We spent the morning in Carmel. I
with a cappuccino gleaning a local magazine for news about town while
Rob had an americano. Clint Eastwood used to be mayor of this town.
According to the magazine, him and his wife continue to be active
community members when not attending the many gala gala do's required of
a Hollywood couple, such as the Toronto Film Festival.
Carmel is blocks and blocks of small stout adobe houses surrounding an
upscale commercial district along Ocean Drive. It's interesting
approaching these ritzy places as bike touring budget travelers.
Walking into coffee houses wearing full rain gear, including shoe covers
whilst others are adorned with fall colour sweaters and wraps. Using,
and forgetting there, the spoon that makes up part of Rob's camping
utensil set to sop up cappuccino foam. Not even considering clothes
shopping because the paniers are at capacity.
After a short setback to retrieve the camp spoon we sailed past the
Carmel Mission and back onto the highway. We stopped at a beach down
the road for lunch: cooked lentils, chevre, a red pepper, walnut and
pomegranate pesto and salad greens wrapped in tortilla. Fighting a
headwind and a little disappointed to have cloudiness over what is
supposed to be a very scenic ride we headed into our campsite at the
Pfeiffer-Big Sur state park. Another dark hiker/biker site amongst
redwoods where we set up tent atop Eucalyptus leaves and ate some
camping fare by candlelight.