Monday, February 24, 2014

Big Sur Adventures: Mcway WaterFall & Pfieffer Beach

While driving down the coast of highway 1, I determined that people were right by saying that it was a very scenic highway. Although I was driving on a mountain, I didn't find it as intimidating as driving to Santa Cruz. I guess the reason for that might be because there's two lanes on the way to Santa Cruz versus one lane for highway 1. I guess that means I felt less intimidated when I knew I wasn't as cramped and that a car might quickly pass over to me in the left. There were multiple places down the highway that are beautiful and you can just park in the small road if there's any more space left or maybe even a parking lot. Among one of the sights you can see while driving down highway 1 are beaches, whale watching, Bixby bridge and other bridges, national parks, and other sights. If I knew there were more to see in highway 1, I would have planned my trip down there differently.

One of the main reasons why I decided to go to Big Sur this weekend was because I saw beautiful pictures of the place on Pinterest. As part of my personal goals, I want to see more of California, especially its hidden gems. I recently created a "Places to go in California" board and there were a few pins of Big Sur on there. Not to mention whenever I searched through the travel section, Big Sur was a popular one that showed up for places in California.

Among one of the destinations I randomly stopped while I was at highway 1 on route to McWay WaterFalls was this random beach. I tried to look for signs of the name of the beach, but I couldn't find it. But, that beach is absolutely lovely! Well worth the visit!

After parking on the small strip of road, I walked down the path and it led to the beach.

I love that there were multiple kind of rocks on the beach.

As I walked down the beach, I noticed this huge rock in the middle of the beach. I really like it because its a mini waterfall rock in the middle of the beach.

After visiting that beach, me and my friends were on route to meeting my other friends at McWay Falls. Pretty soon we realized that we had no reception and didn't even had reception when we arrived. After I parked, I quickly found where the waterfall was and decided to head there to see if my friends were there, but they weren't. After looking around the area, I determined that they have not arrived yet. So, I decided to stand in the small street parking and across the street from this sign hoping that one of us will notice each other when they drive by.

As I was standing at that spot looking at cars, I noticed a park ranger checking out all the cars and he came around twice, so make sure you are parking correctly if you are parking in the street or to pay your fee if you are parked in the parking lot.

After standing in that spot for a good 15 minutes,  I spotted my friends driving past and I yelled out "HEY!!!," but they just drove off. There I was thinking. "did they hear me or they just went to find parking?" I decided to walk towards their car and noticed they were parking on the small road. I walked up to them and they told me they drove past the destination and was an 1 hour away before they turned back.

There are two routes down to McWay WaterFall trails. One of them is to go down this hill, which was made by tourists and is short and quick. It's pretty dangerous, so if you don't want to risk it, you should take the other path, which isn't that long.

One of them is to walk on the trail that is made where the fee parking lot is located. After walking about 3-5 minutes on the trail, you will walk through this tunnel and keep walking to your right until you see the waterfall.

The stream of the waterfall is pretty small, but the beach and waterfall together is magnificent.

I just love how the water sparkles. It was lovely. It was a great view. Too bad we weren't allowed to go down to the beach.

As I walked down the trail, the view was different and beautiful.

After me and my friends finished touring Mcway Falls, I decided to go to our next destination, which was Pfieffer State Park. I'm glad that I looked at the map a few times before making this trip, as well as the views on the road. Otherwise, without no reception I wouldn't have known my way to Pfieffer State Park unless I bought a map. Unfortunately, since parking was $10, we decided to head to the beach instead. I asked the park ranger for the directions to Pfeiffer Beach and she handed us a small strip of paper with instructions on how to get there. Once we exit out of Pfieffer State Park, we would make a left and continue and pass two openings, but only turn at the second opening, which had a yellow sign "narrow road". While I drove down the narrow road, I noticed how small and windy it was. Also, I noticed there were horses there!

As we almost reached the parking lot, a park ranger greeted us and told us that parking was $5. After parking, there was a brief walk to the beach.

Imagine seeing that small stream when you first hit that beach and thinking that's the beach? But, luckily, that was not the beach.

Pfieffer beach was one of the places I seen a lot of pictures of on Pinterest. And, I got to say the pictures on Pinterest look better than mine. I think it's the camera and that a lot of them had a picture with the sunset. That being said, I wished I was there when the sun was setting.

Before some of my friends and I went back home, they wanted to eat dinner. We decided on going to this restaurant called Damatra in Carmel, CA. After looking at the menu, I decided I didn't want to get anything, but my two other friends decided to order food. The restaurant seemed perfect for a date.

The ride back home didn't seem as intimidating as I thought it would be. Most of the time, it was only me and this other car ahead of me, which was good because that car provided more light. Also, the road back was just straight roads and I didn't have too turn much at all. I wished I could have looked out the window, while I was driving because there were a lot of stars outside.

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