San Francisco to Los Angeles

We left San Francisco after picking up a Toyota Corolla from the airport and planned to travel down highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles, we hadn’t really planned it out as we had expected to do it differently in a camper, but that wasn’t available to us in the end, so we set off from the airport with the intention of making the most it and taking it fairly easy, we got onto highway 1 easily and were soon along the coast road, it wasn’t long before the city was behind us and we decided to stop at the first decent looking beach which turned out to be Pacifica, luckily for us it also had a Mall across the road and were able to get some towels and footwear more suitable to the beach ( I said it wasn’t very well planned) . It felt good to just relax on the beach for a few hours. The weather hadn’t been particularly good since we arrived in San Francisco (one of the Uber drivers called it June Gloom) like a combination of clouds,mist and smog that doesn’t burn off till late afternoon. As we left Pacifica to continue down the coast with no specific destination in mind we decided to stop before it got dark at a coastal car park/ picnic area after driving for about an hour, we had picked up some food at a supermarket before leaving Pacifica so mixed up some salad, avocado and turkey which felt a lot healthier than what we had been eating lately.
We were unsure about staying overnight there ( signs saying no camping but we intended staying in the car and seeing how we got on)
In the end it was us and two other cars that got woken by a forest ranger about 12.30 and moved on (state park we were still in closes dusk to dawn) so we drove on for about half an hour till we found a side road leading down to a beach with a car park that had other vehicles that had parked up for the night and managed to sleep undistrubed ( Jake said he slept better than he had for ages).
The next day we decided to travel as far as Monterey to spend sometime there, as we had slept in the car the night before and got going early we were in Monterey fairly early and had time for breakfast and lunch whilst looking around fisherman’s wharf and the pier and we even both managed a short run in the afternoon ( taking it easy to see how legs adjust after Two months of walking with a pack)
After sleeping in the car the night before I didn’t really want to do it again so had booked into a motel in Monterey.
During the evening we drove over to Carmel-By-The-Sea to have dinner and look around, it was fairly busy with other visitors wandering up and down the Main Street.
The next day after checking out at 11.00 we spent most of the day traveling along Highway 1 as we still had 350 miles to Los Angeles where Jake had been looking forward to visiting a gym (Zoo Culture), we had been told that part of the highway was closed around Big Sur as the road was being repaired but got lucky as it had recently reopened.
The views along highway 1 really are spectacular at times and although it was very busy with others touring as well we found time to stop and enjoy the views.
We made good time with the intention of getting to at least Santa Barbara that day and stopped there and had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant for a change from mostly American grills which we had been frequenting since coming off the trail.
Jake had suggested that we try and sleep in the car again, so thought we would give it a go again, I had heard when we were planning on getting a camper that Walmart would let people park there overnight if they arrived late and departed early as well as using there store, so set off from Santa Barbara to Ventura where there was a large Walmart, We arrived, used the store and parked at the edge of the car park about 10 and settled in for the night there were other cars and RVs also there after the store had closed at 1100, due to the heat we had left the windows down and must of both dropped off to sleep quickly as at about 1230 we were woken by a private security guard saying “excuse me who can’t stay here overnight” and being compliant Brits got ready and moved on, as we were only 60 miles from LA I decided to get there at night instead of hitting rush hour in the morning, we ended up finding a side street near universal studios to get a few hours sleep before finding a Starbucks for breakfast and heading to Santa Monica beach before checking into a Best Western hotel near the gym that Jake wants to go too.
Will update again soon
Chris and Jake. Take care x

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