posted on Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Pfeiffer Sur

Yesterday, very interesting night at the Monterey Veterans memorial park! I kind of expected it would be; any cool town with good weather and by the coast in California equal a magnet for vagrants and travellers and where would you think they spend the night? The local Hilton and Marriott are on the pricey side so despite the long hike up the hill, veterans memorial park at six dollars is a bargain. The result is a bit of a greyhound experience in a campsite! Apart from Jeff, Scott, the guy with twins in trailer and myself, all legitimate hiker bikers, the rest were practically bums bringing a bicycle along just to be allowed in. I spent all afternoon and early evening downtown sipping nice coffee and watching all the beautiful people go by and when I got back and into my tent it was an interesting night. Jack and John, the twins were taking it in turn to scream and cry out loud and getting the large Monterrey dog population all excited and into a howling contest. A mother with daughter, as I heard later, got upset as on top of that there was a competitive snorer and she decided in the middle of the night to move her tent and of course make it known to everybody that she was doing so! As far as my neighbour goes, until about 11 at night he held the most interesting conversations and although I never saw his face it is like we were childhood friends and I have always known him. No eavesdropping mind you, he was loud enough to be heard over my radio blasting news  through my earphones too! To cut it short his name was Howard but on a dating site he went as Steve, divorced with three kids, a girl 17, and two boys 20 and 21. I am not sure if the camp was home for him but he had this hour long conversation from a dating site with a poor girl from Pacifica who by now probably thinks she met the guy of her life. He was a very smooth talker, said to her he was a stage actor, with popular radio shows in LA, that he recently bought a house in Monterey, probably now with a serious roof leaking problem if he had to camp instead...and on and on the fairy tale went! They are meeting soon in Pacifica too, good luck to them! The most disturbing news came later in his conversations with a close girl friend and went something like this: 'you know I am strong man and always go through challenges don't you? How do you think I survived years in jail sharing my cell with those murderers'. Not the kind of thing you want to hear in the middle of the night when it is too dark to move your tent to a different town.
In the morning everybody at the hiker biker camp survived, the only common complain was a serious migraine and general lack of sleep. We all had a common goal, getting out of there as soon as possible and ride down the hill fast! After that a brief stop at Monterey Starbucks was a return to sanity and a hot cup of coffee and another sunny day ahead made me really looking forward to the ride down the Big Sur coast. It was an amazing day starting with Seventeen Mile ride, through Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach and ending in Carmel all amazingly exclusive places with extremely large houses and perfectly landscaped golf courses. Despite the artificial landscape around, the road was as incredible as I remembered it, always by the coast and with hardly any traffic. In Pebble Beach I was lucky to witness the incredible spectacle of whale watching! Eight humpback whales were feeding on sardines just a hundred meters from the coast and for half an hour I was staring at their majesty and wishing that my large camera zoom was for once just a bit larger. Carmel was a quick stop and I can confirm I still would like to be reborn there if I ever get another chance! On the way out I joined Highway 1, briefly stopped to take a picture at the beach where I once stayed with my tent and continued on with countless stops to take in the views, frame it into pictures and being 2014 a few movies as well!
All made even sweeter by the memories of Veterans Memorial that by now was long forgotten and seemed just a bad dream.
I reached Pfeiffer Sur State Park and it turned up to be the best campsite I have stayed in so far with fantastic hiker biker reached after crossing a wooden bridge and set in a spacious redwood forest and by a brook! Jeff was there and later was joined by James and Austrian guy for an authentic hiker biker night!