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California Part 7: Big Sur

It has been over three months since I left the diversely beautiful state of California and I have finally finished editing the last remaining photos. If you haven't seen my previous blogs about my road-trip, please check them out in the menu.

We had given ourselves 3 and a bit days to drive down the Pacific Coast Highway from San Francisco to Los Angeles before departing for the UK. It was our intention to chill out and have some beach time but the weather had other ideas. The grey skies and slight chill in the air didn't stop us from making the most of the incredible scenery of the wild coastline. Big Sur was the last part of California to be inhabited and civilisation can only be found in sporadic clusters along the 100 mile stretch. Other than the winding road, chiselled into the cliff face - itself an exhilarating drive in a muscle car with the roof down - the vast forests of giant redwoods seem relatively unblemished by man's footprint.

We arrived at our motel in the early evening and decided to head down to Pfeiffer beach - a beautiful little spot off the beaten track. The beach draws in photographers from all over the world to capture the sunset as it passes through a hole in a rocky island just off the beach. The overcast sky didn't give me that opportunity but I was still able to have some slow shutter speed fun as the waves came tumbling through the gap....

(Click on image below to enlarge)

After a good night's sleep followed by some pancakes and syrup (with blueberries as I'm on a diet), we set off down the coast for some trekking. We parked up by a little cove which looked liked something from a film set: an 80 foot waterfall, golden sand and turquoise ocean...

From the car-park we took embarked on the 6 mile Ewoldsen trail loop which climbed steeply through thick giant redwood forest. These things are huge and the photos don't really do them justice...

After another night in a motel, we continued further down the coast. Although I didn't get any prize-worthy wildlife snaps we had some fascinating glimpses of animals, including a huge colony of elephant seals at Piedras Blancas Beach. Huge blobs of blubber with a formidable stench and creating a lot of extraneous noise... they reminded me of some of my old rugby team-mates!

(click on image below to enlarge)

We also had sightings of whales in the distance as well as turkey vultures and other birds of prey. Sadly I didn't get a shot of a condor but I'm pretty sure we spotted a couple circling high above the trees.

That's it! After three months, my photographic adventure around California has come to an end. Please follow me on facebook and instagram for more frequent updates and feel free to get in touch for more travel tips. I've been very busy since being back in the UK so I have plenty of material for future blogs... although, in my head, my priority is planning where next to explore!


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