Samstag, 30. Juni 2012

June 30 - Monterey to Big Sur

I'd like to call the following 3 days my moutain stages:-)

Just for those who are interested of the elevation profile of our tour you should see the following pictures:

elevation profile of our first 4 days

elevation profile of tour last 4 days
here one can see how steep it was to bike up to Big Sur f.e.

that part we didn't bike anymore
(I put the picture just to complete it)

We had set our alarm clocks for 7:30. When it rang both of us were tired (none of us had had a good sleep:-)). During the night I heard voices outside our room talking very loudly and then there was a very loud "bang" in the middle of the night. i got up to see what was going on but couldn't see anything....
After a certain amount of time we got up, had breakfast with the rest of Christoph's cheese in the lobby of the Inn, packed our stuff and started at 10:05. Before we could leave the reception area we met a German couple who asked us a lot of questions about our bike trip. When we finally started moving we first went to the grocery shop close to our Inn to buy drinks for the day. Our "real" start was 10:45 and for me it began with walking up a very very steep hill (I would say more then 3 arrows >>> this time). When we reached the peak of that hill a 4km descent (to Carmel) was waiting for us. Even though the shoulder was narrow and lots of traffic was around us I enjoyed it.
After that part I would summarize the rest of the day as follwed:
First we had some one arrow uphill and downhill parts and during that part of the ride there were very nice and expensive houses with ocean view along the Highway that could be hardly seen from our position. This part of the coast was just wonderful!

after passing Carmel it looked already so nice!

just awesome!

a fancy stone house hardly to recognize from the road

short break

very low hanging clouds

have I already mentioned that blue is my favourite colour:-)

looking back

it was getting foggy and cloudy

the weather was changeable that day

Then we had a long uphill part lying in front of us. The higher we came the more foggy, cloudy and windy it got.

very windy! And the view down was blocked by the clouds

At the Bixby Bridge we took a short picture-break and chatted with some other tourists.

the Bixby Bridge

Then there was a long downhill part waiting for us but this part was very windy again and we had to hit the brakes all the time and bike very carefully.

Later on I was walking uphill again (mainly because of the headwind that was blowing) and afterwards it went just a little bit up and down.

we survived the headwind
at least we were always rewarded by the view:-)

slightly down and up

one of my favourite pictures!

approaching Big Sur

When we reached Big Sur at around 15:15 I was just happy that I had managed the day that good. The 3-days-break had just been perfect and Christoph was right: After a while your body gets used to the exercise and your are getting fitter and fitter. For me it just took a little bit longer than for others (Christoph included) and I really needed that break. But while we were biking to Big Sur I felt quite alright.
Shortly after passing the entrance sign of Big Sur we had our late lunch/early dinner. I ate Pizza and ordered a Smoothie and we were sitting outside at a table watching the preparations for a wedding ceremony that was about to start in one of the restaurants.

having a Smoothie

Our break lasted from 15:15 to 16:45 and at that time we still thought of having arrived already => Wrong thinking!!!
With a very full stomach and almost unable to move at all we figured out that there were still 2km lying in front of us:-( I had to walk my bike again (my stomach wasn't pleased with me moving at all) and finally we arrived at 17:30 at our expensive Lodge. Our cabin was located in the woods, we had no TV, no wifi, no telephone (everything was just related to nature) but a fireplace (what a pity that it was too warm around that time of the year...), 2 sleeping rooms plus a big bathroom and a patio.
After arriving I took a shower, then we went down to the reception area and the small grocery store and bought something to drink.

the reception area, breakfast place and
small grocery and souvenir shop
were in that cabin
our lodge, front door

our lodge, back view
When we were back in our room Christoph still wasn't tired enough and so he asked me to walk uphill to watch a waterfall and the sunset on the top of the hill where all the lodges were located. At 19:50 we left the cabin but after 10 minutes I returned (I was too tired, had exercised enough and I wasn't sure if we could make it because the sun was already about to set). Christoph continued without me and I went just back and was dozing on my bed.

Christoph's view on the way up

the small waterfall

again the view

and here comes the proof that he really made it in time:


over, sunset_4

When Christoph returned at 20:30 he was coverd in sweat again (he almost run up the hill and just made it in time for the sunset) and had to take a shower again.
He went to bed at 22:30 but I was reading til 23:45, at midnight I went to bed.

Tour stage

Tour stage: Monterey to Big Sur
Distance: 50.26 km
Total time (breaks included):  10:45 - 17:30
Average speed: 13.5 km/h
Real running time: 3h 44 min

P.S: The lodge was really nice but we think that we paid to much (the bathroom, especially the shower was pretty old and even though the idea about the lodges in the middle of the woods was to focus on the nature we were missing any kind of electrical devices - not even an hairdryer was available - and for that price we just agreed that it was too expensive! But as you might remember: we hadn't had another choice...)

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