[20 August, Tanju] The final leg of our long-distance driving was the familiar Route 1 in California, hugging the Pacific coast. Both Zehra and I had driven many times before on this road both north to south and south to north. The drive south is more fun. We started our drive at 11 am because we wanted to avoid the morning rush hour traffic of the Bay Area, I was waiting for the delivery of my laptop from repair, and Zehra was editing a paper due that evening.
We reached the coast (& Route 1) at Santa Cruz. We stayed on Route 1 until San Luis Obispo. After Santa Cruz, we stopped at Monterey briefly at Cannery Row and remembered John Steinbeck. (By the way, one of the main inspirations for this cross-country trip was John Steinbeck’s “Travels with Charley“.) Our lunch stop was at Carmel. Carmel is like a cute fairy tale town. We could not walk in the town as we originally wanted because we had to wait Zehra to finish her edits in the restaurant.
The rest of the road was very scenic with ocean, hills and forests. In some sections it was winding along the coast with very sharp curves requiring very alert driving. However there were no closed sections as it could happen in the rainy season due to land slides. We arrived at Morro Bay at sunset and enjoyed the beautiful Pacific sunset with our coffee.
We passed through Santa Barbara since it was very late to enter the city to see anything. We headed to Los Angeles on US 101. We arrived at the AirBnB-rented apartment in Santa Monica at 11:30 pm.