The Monterey Peninsula is some of the most incredible coastline I’ve ever been to, and it’s teeming with wildlife. And massive expensive houses. We drove the 17-Mile Drive, getting out every so often to take pictures, paddle in the rockpools, spot whales (and we did! out in the distance), and I even managed to scribble a few quickies before hopping back into the car. There’s me sketching quickly by the rocks. The last time I’d been, the fog rolled in and out like an army of ghosts, but this time it was warm and sunny.
We visited the Point Pinos lighthouse, which was very interesting. It dates back to the 19th century, and is pretty well preserved. You’re not even allowed to use the toilet, it’s so well preserved. When I was a kid I used to want to live in a lighthouse (so many of them in north London). I think it was because of that show Round the Twist, where they all lived in a lighthouse, or it might have been because of Fraggle Rock. Let’s face it, it was the latter. My son enjoyed ringing the huge bell downstairs, but we weren’t allowed to go up to the lamp. During World War II, in fact only days after Pearl Harbor was bombed, Japanese planes flew by Monterey Bay, and this lighthouse was used as part of the coastal defences.
After 17-Mile Drive we lunched in Carmel-by-the-Sea, where Clint Eastwood was once mayor. I popped into a little candy store that sold British chocolates, at a price. $2.95 for a Curly-Wurly!!! Can you believe it? They used to be 15p. There was a Lamborghini parked outside. Curly-Wurlies are surely not luxury items. I imagine this rich movie star now, supermodel girlfriend, Lamborghini zooming down the coast, chomping on a Curly-Wurly. Didn’t stop there. $3.95 for a Fruit-n-Nut! Four bucks for a Walnut Whip, sod that mate, I’ll go without. I didn’t even check how much the box of Maynards Wine Gums were. We drove on to Carmel Mission, which is an absolutely gorgeous building on the edge of Big Sur, which looks like a trip back into the Mexican West. Another quick study, this time in wine red copic, and then off again.