The road is open till a bit further north than Cambria where you can stop at the Elephant Seal Vista Point close to San Simeon. Even though we had to drive back south for a bit afterwards we didn't want to miss that and I am glad we didn't. The animals we saw were amazing, they seemed fat and lazy and were rather loud and smelly, they didn't seem to care at all about all the tourist staring at them and taking photos.
We got to Monterey in the early afternoon. At first I didn't quite understand what our Navi tried to tell me but then I realised that we were indeed going to stay right in the middle of these beautiful dunes for the next two days. The position of the Monterey Tides is stunning, wherever you are in that hotel you will hear, see and feel the pacific and it was really just a small strip of beach that separated our room from the waves. It was a fantastic place to watch the sunset. Right before the sun disappeared into the Pacific, the water was so intensly teal, it was incredible.
On our second day in Monterey we went Whale Watching. The weather wasn't very promising but we stayed mostly dry and what we saw made more than up for the missing sun. I've been to a few Whale Watching tours but never have I seen close to as many animals as this time. It started with otters and harbour seals while we left Monterey. Then we encountered this huge group of seals and dolphins. Our guide estimated that there had to be about 300 dolphins and they were all around our boat.
Next the captain tried to find whales. It took a while but then we were lucky and got to observe two groups of orcas. They had killed a baby grey whale and were feeding on it while it's mother was still swimming close by. We didn't actually see the whole gruesome thing happening but we could smell the dead whale. We stayed there for about 2 hours and were able to see the orcas again and again. Sometimes they were further away but then they actually dove straight underneath our boat, so we could hear them breath. It was very cold on the boat and we were frozen through but it was such an intense encounter.
It seems that we were really lucky because this is not what you usually see. This film was taken by the same crew we went with just one or two days later...
Back on land, we had to get our laundry done and then we decided to see a bit of highway #1 by driving to the south. We got as far as Bixby Creek Bridge which I had been dreaming about since watching Big Little Lies.
Sadly the next day it was already time to leave again. I wished there had been more time but this means we have to go back another time and explore more. At least I got to knit a bit in that beautiful lobby of the hotel right before we left for San Francisco.