A long-time ago, there was a place known as el pais grande del sur on California’s Central coast. This was the ‘big south country’ that lay south of the Monterey Bay area and was defined by its wilderness and its notorious jagged coast. It neither helped the vessels that sailed that way nor the people who wanted to take the land route down south.
Now Highway 1 is not the fastest route to the southern part of Califonia, but it is definitely is the most scenic one. And it is without a doubt, a grand experience for everyone who takes delight in a scenic drive, leave alone seaside drives.
The area is now called Big Sur and I’d say it is the quintessential California coast. It treated us to miles of rocky coast, thousands of California’s state trees – the redwoods, and seemingly endless views of the Pacific Ocean. This highway that snakes around the craggy coast of the wild Santa Lucia allowed us to drive at a speed that let us absorb the natural loveliness of the region. However, there were several turn-out points too, where we stopped, stepped out, felt the sea breeze and captured frames after frames of the spectacular sights around.
I lost count of the number of bridges we passed; there were so many creeks emptying themselves in the Pacific. Now, the most famous bridge is one called Bixby Creek Bridge or simply Bixby Bridge. It is a big attraction on the route. I’d seen photographs of this structure in several travel brochures and magazines that carry stories about Big Sur but we missed the overlook that was closest to the bridge. So we stopped at another vista point around another bend that jutted out to sea and I managed to get a shot of the bridge, although it is only partially visible.
We spotted the Point Sur Lighthouse that stands on a hillock out at sea, had a picnic at Pfeiffer State Park and went for a small hike along the Big Sur Creek before we set further south to Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to catch sight of something that is not too common around here — a waterfall that falls right into a small beach and splashes into the tides that come in.
After spending some time at the end of the trail that showed us this waterfall called the McWay Fall, we decided to call it a day, even though we had been to only half of Big Sur. On our drive back north, we watched the sun go down and felt very fortunate for another drive beside the Great Pacific and for so many absolutely-gorgeous sights along the way.