Last week we drove from LA to San Francisco. For most of the journey, we trundled along the Pacific Coast Highway, hugging the Pacific coastline and, quite often, shrouded in fog.
I love the ocean. I sometimes feel that I have no 'right' to love the ocean. I was born and raised in a city, miles from the coast. My blood runs thick with accountants, not sailors. I get quite astonishingly sea sick. But I do love it.
The coast line is stunning. Around every corner there was a new arrangement of cliffs and sea and drama. I would have stopped every 10 minutes if I could just to stand there and try (and fail) to take it all in.
Not long after we left San Luis Obispo we saw a sign for an elephant seal viewing point. I didn't really have any idea what it meant but it was early enough in the drive for us to be enthusiastic and giggly at the idea of finding out (later on, we became slightly more jaded and grumpy and the idea of our hotel in San Francisco probably would have seemed more appealing).
We we greeted by a beach filled with huge elephant seals, as the name should have suggested to me. Although they spend most of the year at sea, at this time of year the males beach themselves to moult. They flick sand over themselves and wriggle around to speed up the process and every now and then do the most adorable sneezes. I'm not really an animal person (I'm sorry) but even I wanted to take one home. They were most definitely the unexpected highlight.