47km – 2788 in total
Since I went to sleep relatively early, I managed to get ready and leave the campsite by 9am. I did a couple of kilometers lap inside the campground to warm up, as the big hill started right outside the gate.
It took me 40 minutes at the lowest gear to get up at the top of the hill and see the ocean again. But the ocean wasn’t there any more. It was hidden by a thick layer of morning mist. Inversion is very common in this area, as the cold ocean winds meet the warm land and condenses.
Right at the top, there were a couple of restaurants at prime locations with amazing views. One of them is the famous Nepenths. So many different people had suggested me to have a look, so I stopped for a second breakfast, by the warm sun and the best possible view of the foggy ocean. Apparently Rita Hayworth and Orson Welles used to own the land over there.
Right opposite the restaurant there is a gallery. The modern building looked very interesting, so I thought I would go and have a closer look to the sculptures.
I moved on and enjoyed a long downhill ride through windy roads, occasionally dipping under the clouds. The mist was just adding another element to the already spectacular scenery. Even if I couldn’t see the beach under the cliffs, I could hear the ocean and the crashing waves.
I stopped at the Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park for a very short hike to see the waterfall by the beach. Of course I couldn’t see anything, but the walk it self was nice.
I continued to the south, through more windy hilly roads. The fog had burned out by noon. My destination wasn’t that far today, due to the lack of campground in the area. I didn’t mind, as I still have plenty of days to get to Los Angeles, which is now less than 500km away.
I had two options for campsites. The first at Limekiln State Park has showers, but no hikers/bikers and the regular sites are at $35. The second option was 5km south to Kirk Creek National Forest Park which doesn’t have drinking water and showers, but has bikers/hikers. As the location of the first one wasn’t as appealing under the highway bridge, I filled up all my bottles and moved on. It was the right decision, as the campsite is what I was expecting to find at my first day in Big Sur. The spot was right by the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Apparently even if it’s a very primitive site, it’s one of the most popular ones and it was actually full for the day. Thankfully that’s not an issue as a cyclists, as they can never turn us down. It may not have a shower, but it does have a creek near by. Since the sun was still out and warm, I went for a dip in its fresh water.
As the sun was setting, the mist slowly came in again. It’s almost full moon tonight, but I am not so sure how much of that I will be able to see.