Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday October 8th

Billions of blue blistering barnacles, what a road I've been on today!

But lets start from the beginning; I woke up early, got ready and checked out from the hotel. Got in a taxi to the Rental car office (Hertz) to get my car. And got hit in the head with the calculated bill. Real hard. My car + insurance and stuff would be about 14 000 SEK (just under $ 2 000). Plus gas. :(
I kinda thought it would be a lot less when I was making my budget...

Anyhow, somehow I pick myself up from the floor and agreed to it. I didn't want to make changes to my plans these next few days, but I have already begun thinking of ways to limit my car useage to bring the price down. Maybe I'll take a bus to Las Vegas for instance, we'll see.

So - I drive south on Highway 1 and just outside San Francisco the fog finally disappears and I can see the coast. And holy cow, it's amazing!

I drive for a while and I get to Monterey, where I go visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium (where they filmed parts of Star Trek IV for you movie people). Not the main reason I am there though, I have just heard so much good about the place I wanted to see it.

Inside, they had the normal things like penguins (why always penguins...?):

But they also had Sea Otters,

and a very nice part with many differet kinds of Jelly fishs. Here are some of them:

Their "Outer Bay" aquarium was intriging - and it contain perhaps the worlds ugliest fish?
Look for the Sunfish in the centre of this picture:

And some of you will understand why I took this picture. I give you... the Seacucumber!

(piratey injoke - don't even try to understand it).

The aquarium was great fun - and more if you have a family. They had done lots of small exhibits and "touch & play" stuff for kids. Even I enjoyed them. :)

OK, that was done - back to my southbound travel again!
Passing Monterey and Carmel, the road became narrow and very crooked.
Having steep sloops on my right side and not much railing was an interesing experiance. Something to try once, but maybe not more. :)

Here is an example:

More photos of the fantastic view Highway 1 gives you:

Finally I arrive at San Simeon, a small town midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. The reason for staying here tonight is that Hearst Castle is just next to it and that's where I plan to go tomorrow before I start driving south again.

I check in at Motel-6 (thanks for the tip, Carita! :) and it looks pretty nice.
Ate a very good burger at the motel's resturant, while watching the new South Park episode on television (12x08 - The China Problem). One of the funniest SP episodes I have seen in a long time. :)

Apperently the road from here to LA is a normal freeway, so it will go much faster (and safer!) than today. It took almost 1½ hour longer than expected to get here because of 1) I had to drive pretty slow not to fall of the road and 2) I had to stop every 10 mins to take pictures! :)

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