Sonntag, 1. Juli 2012

July 01 - Big Sur to Lucia

Our alarm clock rang at 7:30 and we got up at 8:00. We had a very delicious breakfast in the "reception building" of the Big Sur Lodge

this could get my favourite breakfast:-)

and after packing we left our lodge at 10:50.

Some impressions of our most expensive stay during our vacation:

bathroom door, closet and sink outside the bathroom

one additional bedroom we didn't use

Christoph packing in front of his bed

my bed, a fireplace and desk

our patio
On the way downhill from the lodge to the check-out place Christoph figured out that his brakes needed readjustment and so I had some time to take a closer look at the souvenir shop.

Lodges in Big Sur
on the way down from the lodges to the reception

next to the reception building
At 11:10 we started biking. That day I didn't really feel like biking: I was under the impression that either I was walking my bike uphill or riding it downhill but really using my pedals was rare:-)
Directly after the lodge a 4km uphill (2 arrows) part started and Christoph was biking uphill very slowly but for me it was just too steep. So my morning began with a 1h-walk in the sun:-).

almost on the peak!!!

finally!!! (after 1h:-)
but I could still smile:-)
Afterwards it went downhill for a while

Christoph said it was tough for him too, but he
could already take a nice break until my arrival:-)

and then I had to walk my bike uphill again. Finally I could really bike til lunchtime which we had in a turnout.

without words....

impressions on our way to Lucia_1

late lunch in a turnout
On the way to Big Sur we had almost no wind or tailwind which was helpful most of the time. As we were around that beautiful area on a Sunday there was lots of traffic and this part of the coast didn't either have a shoulder or a very narrow one with lots of grass and rocks on it. For biking on a Sunday it wasn't really the best choice but the coast was so beautiful that we didn't regret it.


I like those bridges
the bridge really fits in the environment...

reminds me of the German song: "über den Wolken"...:-)
a glance back
At 16:45 we arrived in Lucia which basically consisted only of a lodge and a restaurant+shop. The restaurant was still closed and I went into the adjacent shop to ask when they would open and how far it was to get to the Hermitage, our place for the night.
The young woman in the shop answered "JUST AROUND THE CORNER" which turned out to be my "favourite expression" during our trip... The restaurant would open in 15 minutes and I went back to Christoph and told him the news. Christoph asked me if I preferred to stay and wait for the restaurant to open or if I preferred to go the Hermitage first, take a shower, unpack and return later for dinner. I decided to take option number 2 because I still remembered that Christoph wasn't really pleased the day before, when we had such an early dinner in Big Sur. So I thought it might be better to return later...
We got on our bikes and after 2 bends Christoph was waiting for me with an expression on his face that didn't let me expect the best... He said: "You won't like it" and pointed to a traffic sign on the other side of the road which said: 2 miles scenic drive.
Our hermitage was on the hill/mountain in front of us.... So far I had really enjoyed our trip, I was still ok and not as exhausted as on some of the former days. But the problem was that my mind had already arrived after that woman had told me that we are just one corner away from our destination. My body had already started to relax and going uphill 2 more miles (steep!) was the worst thing I had heard that day...
But we had no choice, so we started biking uphill, but after a few meters it was clear that I had to walk. The "scienic drive" was very steep (4(!) arrows in my opinion) and my arms and back hurt after a while. I begged Christoph to walk with me and he was so kind to join me. In spite of his company my mood was getting really really bad. I was so pissed off: first of all with that woman who saw that I was wearing a bike helmet and who could have told me that we were close but that a steep hill would await us. And second with myself: how stupid could one be.... One didn't have to be brillant to realize that a hermitage wouldn't be located near the road. As the name hermitage already said: no one should be around and being located on a hill/montain shouldn't have been a surprise at all.
After a while I was getting really moody and I was swearing and grumbling full-throated. Christoph had never seen me like this and didn't really know how to handle me. I just told him to let me swear and grumble because I needed to get rid of my anger. I told him several times that I didn't care about the scenic view and that I could kill that woman from the shop instantly as well as myself.
After a while I resigned and we kept walking in silence. 2 cars passed us but they didn't stop and we didn't hitchhike. The breaks got more and more often and when we finally met some pedestrians walking downhill they assured us that it wouldn't be far anymore (but at that time I had already lost my confidence in the distance-description of American people). But they were right this time. It wasn't far anymore. And they had already told us that we didn't need to worry about our dinner because it was already waiting for us in the fridge! (good news:-) ).
2 hours later (after reading the sign "2miles scenic view") we finally arrived. The reception was already closed but we had a nice welcome note hanging on the door telling us where to go.

my welcome note
We had separated rooms (I was in room 8, Christoph in number 7) and luckily the rooms were close to the path and not (like some others) deep down the hill in the middle of nowhere hidden between bushes and trees.
First of all we took a shower and had dinner. Dinner was already in the fridge in the common kitchen. Even though the dinner turned out to be completely tasteless we were thankful for it. None of us wanted to go downhill again and eat in the only restaurant in Lucia. We would have gone to bed hungry rather than going down and up again:-) We learnt that the monks prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner for their guests and put the meals into the fridge. Thus everybody could eat whenever he/she wanted. We just had to go into the common kitchen and warm it up in the microwave (pretty convenient). Each of us had the dinner in his/her own room. Around that area (common kitchen, common showers, rooms) we had to be silent. Talking was only allowed or welcome if one couldn't avoid it at all and if we had to talk we should whisper. So we ate separately and everybody was absorbed in his/her own thoughts. After the shower and the meal I made my bed for the night and read all the instructions that were written down on small notes and that were attached to the drawers, the desk, the bed and the bathroom.

notes with instructions like these
were hanging everywhere:-)
I felt much better and it was time to say "sorry" for my bad behaviour to Christoph. He said I shouldn't worry about it. He was exhausted too, his wrists hurt (walking a recumbent bike by pushing it uphill and placing the hands on the back of the seat was no fun either...). We did our dishes and then I was reading in my book from 21:00 to 23:15.
Bedtime was at 23:30 and I didn't sleep very well because I had a lot of "wild" dreams.

my room at the hermitage,
behind the window was a nice patio just for myself

my bed and the cross shouldn't be missed of course

each room had its own toilet and sink
but the showers were shared by everybody
my dinner
(each room had its own plates, tray and cutlery,
stored in own of the drawers)

the view after sunset
(I was able again to enjoy the view:-) )

Tour stage

Tour stage: Big Sur to Lucia
Distance: 44.10 km
Total time (breaks included):  11:10 - 18:45
Average speed: 10.75 km/h
Real running time: 4h 06 min

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