The one goal I had during our trip down the US coastline was to see a sunset over the Pacific Ocean. What a dream! It wasn’t until our last night that we had the opportunity. After an absolute horror of a night in Eureka, a long day being excited by supreme beings AKA the Giant Redwoods, we were pretty exhausted when we turned onto Highway 1 and drove back to the ocean. It was an incredible 108 degrees Fahrenheit – translating to 45 degrees Celsius as we left the Avenue of the Giants and made our way up the mountains to get back to the cool coast line. It was even too hot for me and that is saying something – Himself was really suffering! As we topped the mountain and drove down to the coast, it suddenly became much cooler and we dropped the air conditioning and got out to see the welcome sight of the ocean. The famous ocean mist of the Californian coastline was setting in already.
It took us a while to find somewhere to stay as we had planned to sleep in the minivan after being charged a wacking great $77 for the scummy motel in Eureka (see the California – Glorious Redwoods and a Town Called Eureka for more details). California is very strict with sleeping in lay-bys and every parking lot and roadside lay-by or view point has a sign saying “no overnight parking” so we had to find a campsite. However, we hadn’t realised quite how busy the coast’s campsites would be but, of course, the closer we get to San Francisco, the pricier and the busier the campsites and motels are. After driving twenty miles back and forth, both of us hungry (anyone who knows me will know I am mean when I’m hungry!) and tired, we eventually gave up on the camping idea and drove back to Fort Bragg where we found the Surf Motel. Boy, was I pleased to find out they had a room left that we could have. The man at reception was from London and was so pleased to see a Brit that he gave us a discount and upgraded us when he found out about the dire place we had slept in the night before! I hugged him when he did this! Clean bed, clean bathroom, rubbish wi-fi but we didn’t care! We had made it just in time to go and see the sunset on the last night of our time at the Pacific. We joined a few other people up on the cliff top and watched the sun set in the mist over the Ocean. What a wonderful end to a long day and a great road trip.