Our cabin in Cambria had been dubbed “the Evil Dead cabin” even before we arrived because in the photos we had seen it closely resembled the cabin in the 1981 film of the same name. It is unsurprising then that we were all a little spooked by the end of the drive down into the valley on country lanes seemingly inhabited solely by a host of night walking animals (we saw deers, a cow and a desert fox). The pitch black allotment, barking dog and cabin looming in the distance only added to the eeriness. However, I for one, had not truly expected as much oddness as the cabin really possessed.
First of all it was basically all windows and glass doors. There was no privacy from the outside world. Inside not even the bathroom provided solitude as it had a saloon door into the living area and a glass door out into the animal filled wilderness. To finish it off none of the doors locked and there was a stinking odour of sulphur. It was odd to say the least.
Despite all that we all slept well and nothing untoward happened. We didn’t hang around much in the morning so, after wandering the garden, we picked some oranges from the trees at the entrance gate and headed out.
First stop was breakfast at Lynn’s in Cambria. Then began a journey up the Big Sur back to San Francisco. Our first view point was to see the Elephant seals at Piedras Blancas. At this time of year the seals are moulting and so many of the males were beached in the sand losing their fur. We watched them, sleep, fight and loll about for awhile before driving off.
Leaving we continued on north and stopped at Willow Creek beach where we saw people searching for something in the shallows. At first we thought they were fishing or looking for shell fish. As we got closer it appeared they were panning for gold or diamonds. Eventually after observing them looking at rocks and a little guidebook sleuthing (thanks Lonely Planet!) we concluded they were looking for jade.
Our first stop on Big Sur real was at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to see the McWay waterfall plunge on to the beach and admire the bright blue seas below the steep cliffs.
Our next adventure took us down through a tunnel in the cliffs to an aqua blue sea with lovely rock pools. We clambered about on the somewhat precarious rocks and were able to catch a glimpse of crabs, urchins and star fish amongst the seaweeds and grasses. Each time we saw them water would rush into the pools and obsure the view until it cleared and we were able to peek in again.
Just before the rain started and we lost the light we were able to briefly explore Pfeiffer Beach in Los Padres National Forest and stomp about on its purple sand.
Heading back to San Francisco we caught a glimpse of the “super moon” before we were subsumed into the traffic heading back up the Bay.