Had an interesting drive today. We left Santa Barbara early, the idea was to drive to Monterey up on the coast and go to the Aquarium. However, we had various people give us differing times for travel, and in the end it took us about 5-6 hours, with a couple of stops on the way. Partly because we were meant to leave the interstate – i.e the busy busy road – and head back to the Pacific Coast highway, however, I didn’t figure this out until after the turnoff, so we kept on driving
But what has been interesting today.
Firstly, the sky has been littered all day with the vapour from endless planes flying across. Another thing was is the dramatically changing landscape. By Santa Barbara the scenery was lush and flowering and then the further we headed north the mountains and landscape turned quite brown and dry. And yet this area, as we found out later was called the Salad Bowl. I can understand why. For thousands of acres full of lettuce, carrots, and literally 20 miles of grapes growing. IT was amazing as this was so lush and fertile and yet behind it the land was dry as a bone. The rivers that we passed over were dry for the most part. One wonders if the lack of water is because it’s been diverted for irrigation or because of the lack of rain. We read that the southern area only has 50 days of rain a year. Would they like some of Auckland’s rain!
Road surfaces at times were quite poor which surprised me. I didn’t expect that at all. Monterey is on the coast as was famous as a ‘sardine town’ for its canning of sardines back in the 1920s. The old cannery area in the waterfront has become a tourist attraction with shops and food things and of course the aquarium. A great educational spot regarding our planet’s oceans.
We’ve booked into a motel nearby which comes with a continental breakfast. Not sure what that means in the USA, but we think it’ll be coffee and Danish, which is kinda fun.
One funny thing happened today. On the freew ay, Neil was playing with the buttons that are attached to the rear view mirror – it has a compass thingy on it – which is very helpful – but then he pushed this button and it was a built in phone for emergencies and an operator answered. We just about died. Apologised and said we didn’t reaslie what it was, then she cut the call and we all cracked up. It was hilarious, but nice to know we can get contact if in need of help. What a great idea!
Catch everyone tomorrow.