Day 35: Carmel to San Simeon State Park

Left around 10, I think.
Lunch at Big Sur Coast Cafe, about 50km in, around 12.30. Good views, and cool stone sculptures. Annoying flies. Wrote postcards. Ate enchiladas and a green salad. Pretty decent. Both water bottles were pretty much empty, so filled them, with water with ice cubes in. Bloody genius. Stayed cool the whole time I was drinking them.
Random thought. An insulating jacket for the camelbak would be handy, to keep the water cool.

Lots of climbing today. Big Sur just before lunch – maybe 200m of climbing? Anyway, lots of cliff-hugging routes. Beautiful views, impossible landscapes, no way to capture on film, but lovely. Like looking out on a lost world. The cliffs are not sheer, but are sufficiently steep – maybe 45–60%? – that there is only one way in, and that’s to come up/down the narrow winding coastal route. As a consequence there has been very little development, towns are typically one, or two stores, and are widely spread. This is why the coast appears to be empty, like some yet-to-be-discovered land.

Met a girl named Alexa, from Alaska, also touring. Rode with her for a about 10miles, nattering away. She had a short day, and stopped at Kirk Campground “to go get her tan on” was how she put it. I was meaning to go a little further to Lower Cruickshank, but upon arriving at the turnoff, I realised there was no road or path up to it, but instead it was a 2 mile trek up hill to. Nope, not doing that. So, carried on riding. On a hill I caught a couple of older gentleman who were credit-card touring (on some nice! bikes). They said there was lodging at Ragged Point in about 6miles, and a campground at San Simeon, about 20 further. More climbing followed.

When I got to Rasome Point stopped for a coffee and cake, and a decision. It was 5.30, 20miles more to San Simeon – which had a state park, so was definitely a good option. Sunset at 7.20pm, so lots of time, and mostly downhill. Legs a bit tired (120km in at this point) but probably okay. So onward I went. And boy was I flying. Initial downhill, followed by long gently rolling, mostly flat, empty roads, next to the sea, with the sun slowly dropping to my right, and with a slight tail wind. WIN.

Spotted a random beach with a Lot of Elephant Seals on. Stopped there, about 7, and decided to eat dinner there watching the seals play about on the sand as the sun set.

Last 40mins was another easy dash (helped by Velobeats) arriving at 8. Slight chill in air, but okay. Was dark enough to need front light for last ten mins, ie at 7.50!

Met some other bikers; I traded peanuts for a beer, and we chatted about journeys. Also learnt that the disabled shower gives 6mins for a quarter, double the 3mins it advertises/is given on the other showers. Coons are about, and bold – being with 10ft and not scampering unless very bright lights are shone their way.

Its 10.30 now, time for bed. A little noisy next the road, but traffic not too bad, and sea is pretty loud too. It felt good to put some miles down today. Seems strange to think it’s only 10 or so days til I’m done.

Today’s stats…
Odometer.. 2797 km
Distance… 143 km (should really be 147 km, but timer was stopped for a bit, very frustrating when that happens).
Climbed.. 1906 m (again, lost some)
Time taken… 6hrs 24mins
Avg speed… 22.3 kph
Avg HR… 141 bpm
Calories… 3509 cal

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