Big Seals and Big Sur

Emerging back into the real world after the majesty and fairy-tale-like wonder of Hearst Castle we hopped in the car to get our first proper taste of one of the places I was most anticipating – Big Sur!

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Heading north on the Pacific Coast Highway from Hearst Castle we were immediately (and continuously) captivated by the unrivaled beauty of this part of the California coastline. It seemed like after every twist and turn one or both of us was shouting ‘Pull Over!’ because there was yet another not-to-be-missed vista.

Funnily enough we almost missed one of the most eventful road-side stops because we were in a hurry. Having not planned on stopping at Hearst Castle we were running late to catch the approaching sunset so when we saw a cluster of cars at one roadside lookout I told G it was fine to keep driving. Curious, though, I peered out the back windows to see why this one spot was so popular…and promptly yelled ‘TURN AROUND NOW!’ in poor G’s ear. (Oops.)

Being the good sport he is, he found a safe spot to do so – what, no turning on a dime like we’re in Fast and Furious? I GUESS it’s better to be safe but it’s not nearly as exhilarating…But I digress.

We had barely pulled into the parking lot before I was out and jogging towards the water to meet my new best friends – a gorgeous gaggle of Elephant Seals!

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Having never seen Elephant Seals in person before I ignored the fact that they’re actually just a wee bit (AKA heck of a lot) ugly and just enjoyed watching them irritate and annoy one another to no end.

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It’s no wonder that some of them choose to shun the group – it’s the only way to enjoy some peace!

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They’re incredible creatures and it was such a treat to see them in their natural habitat, just living life.

As the winds picked up though and the sun crept lower we waved goodbye to the huddled masses and continued on our way north.

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Our destination was Bixby Bridge, which Gal Meets Glam had recommended as a fantastic spot to catch the sun sink over the ocean.

One of the drawbacks of a single lane highway with sharp turns every 20 feet though is that it’s quite difficult to pass anyone so, of course, we found ourselves stuck behind THE slowest driver on earth. It was quite literally a race against time and so when we finally pulled into the lookout at Bixby we both heaved a giant sigh of relief – we hadn’t missed it!

In fact, we were just in time to catch the sun set in glorious technicolour.

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We stood shivering in the wind as the sun went down casting the landscape in shades of pink, red and blue as the warmth left the sky.

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It really is one of the most beautiful spots along the already spectacular Big Sur coast and I couldn’t recommend it more as a fabulous spot to watch the sun set. I’d recommend leaving yourself lots of time though so you don’t find yourself in a stressful situation like we did!

Though amazing we couldn’t help but wonder about the clouds that hung so low over the hills. Unfortunately the source soon became all too clear. A massive wildfire had started and was blazing across the Big Sur landscape. Still ongoing now, the fire has covered more than 93,000 acres and destroyed 57 homes and isn’t expected to be fully contained until the end of September. A true tragedy and all because some campers didn’t properly put out their campfire!

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Driving towards Monterey (our home for the night) we were struck by the incredible, surreal sights of the fire – like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Not knowing how bad it would become we could only trust in the incredible skill of the firefighters and hope it would be contained quickly.

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