Monterey is another wonderful seaside town with lots of old spanish history. When we arrived in the afternoon, sea lions hanging out on giant mooring balls serenaded us all the way to the dock (check out the noisy movie!). Monterey was full of tourists drawn by places like Cannery Row, Fisherman’s Wharf, a renown aquarium, their historic walk, shopping, restaurants, etc the list goes on. We too were pulled in by the hustle bustle and made checking out the sights our first mission. Later that afternoon I went for a short run and headed out on a walking/cycling path. On return, I popped over a large sandy berm to do a little beach running. Wow! Exhilaration! Salt spray, crashing waves, shore birds…. so fresh and alive! YES this is what fills!
Interesting how the natural world presents a gem: safe harbour, warm water, sunshine, set in a beautiful valley, then humans come along and in a matter of time we are dangling cheap ‘sparklies’ in tourists eyes (restaurants, jewellery, tourist trinkets, clothing). Its as though you are hypnotized by the hubbub and as you watch the throngs of people flock to the shops and sites you get pulled along into valuing something very materialistic. If the natural gem didn’t exist first, the rest would not have followed. I usually feel exhausted after a couple of hours of walking through shop filled streets, yet there I was yet again. The soul filling beauty of the natural world bypassed for the sake of…. ‘sparklies’ ?
So thankful that the juxtaposition of walking through shop filled streets in the morning, then an empty, stunningly beautiful beach in the afternoon, brought some much needed clarity and re-prioritizing! It is actually quite difficult as cruisers new to these areas to tap into local knowledge of best anchorages and places that would prioritize partaking of the natural world. The information you generally receive puts you back onto the Path of Sparklies. Reminds me of travelling alone to Indonesia thirsting for ‘a deeper experience of a few places’ rather than ‘the surface experience of many’. Eventually I had to throw out my Lonely Planet Guide and follow instinct and heart to realize depth of experience. We’ll see what happens…at least the cruising guides help you to know which are the most popular anchorages … which we can then avoid…?
We ended up staying on the dock for 4 nights in Monterey waiting for our next weather window to show up (probably should have waited longer!!). The next 2 days we spent on the beach. Big happy smiles on our faces and sore aching feet from so much unaccustomed sand-walking. Josh kept asking Ted questions about surfing and was doing some serious scheming on how to acquire a cheap, used surfboard. Which leads us to our next post.