Page 25 - Worthing Lifestyle Jul:Aug 2019
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   to explore Monterey - it’s an easy 10 minute car ride to Fisherman’s Wharf and there are lots of restaurants, bars and a pub just steps from the door. The Four Sisters Inns also offer what was to become a favourite fixture in my day when we stayed with them, the nightly wine and hors d’oeuvre hour - a chance to sample some delicious local wines and some fabulous home cooking by the team. Enough to keep the hunger at bay long enough for a quick dash to Lover’s Point to see a glorious sunset make way for salmon-pink sky.
Monterey’s unique topography means it is a world- famous destination for oceanic adventures, with its submarine canyon system filled with nutrient-dense water, attracting larger predators. It’s on the migration route for many species of whales and depending on the time of year, you are almost guaranteed sightings of grey whales, humpbacks, orcas and even blue whales off its coast. If you’re like me, proximity to wildlife like that is too much to resist, and I wanted to get out on the water to see these majestic creatures a little closer up. There are a bevy of whale watch tours available at the wharf but I opted for Discovery Whale Watch, namely because they guarantee sightings and small passenger numbers - no jostling on the deck for a view! In our three hours on the water we saw a spectacular feeding frenzy of eight hump backs, diving, slapping the water and even vertically lunging at the school of anchovies from below and breaking through the surface. We also caught glimpses of sea birds, sea lions and rare harbour porpoises. Back on dry land, if you still want more aquatic action, then the Monterey Bay Aquarium is world-famous and rightly so - it’s one of the most amazing places to develop your understanding of marine life and see creatures in ways you never thought possible - the jellyfish room and open sea tanks are not to be missed, nor the impossibly adorable sea otters.
"ALONG THE WAY YOU’LL FIND SOME GLORIOUS STRETCHES
OF COAST - RUGGED PANORAMAS BLOOMING IN A RIOT OF COLOUR."
After exploring all of Monterey’s sights, it was time to motor down the highway a little further to Carmel-by- the-Sea, an oceanic hideaway, as quaint as Monterey
but with fewer crowds and a small-town feel. The city is primarily known for its beautiful Mission building and for the cottages of its small and village-like centre. It’s a great pit stop if you want to explore further down the coast toward the world-famous Big Sur, and as a base it has an incredible number of parks just moments away - including the Scenic Bluff Park and the beautiful Point Lobos park, where you can find an abundance of marine life visible just off the coast. After exploring these parks and seeing groups of sea otters and migrating whales off the coast, we made out for Big Sur - however, the weather had other ideas and as we drove a huge weather front moved in, eclipsing the coastal roads and shrouding us in an immense fog - we hightailed it back to The Coachman’s Inn, another in the Four Sister’s group, to huddle with a glass of wine in front of an open fire.
The next day had a big cross country drive ahead, so we filled our boots at the ample breakfast table (think some
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