Big Sur Coast: Point Lobos and Garrapata Beach



Friday 2 Sept : Some walks around Point Lobos

Point Lobos, A Nature Reserve is a fantastic area of walking trails round probably the loveliest stretch of coastline in this area.

We’d enjoyed the China Cove walk last visit but I think it’s the loveliest one and we wanted to re-visit it. China Cove itself is tiny and not easily accessed but is a lovely sight from above. They used this stretch of coast to stand in for Cornwall in the wonderful film ‘Rebecca.’ The next main beach is better again and a steep path and steps soon take you down. It’s usually empty. We strolled along the fine creamy sand with the waves crashing, the water a pale turquoise, all backed by pines and cypresses. Gorgeous.

Carmel coastline

Then round past Bird Island with its cormorants and pelicans. I love the ocean which swells and surges around Big Sur. It seems particularly alive and full of life. It’s a short walk all in so we drove round to Whaler’s Point parking area and spent an extra half hour enjoying this deep little cove with its old Whaling Cabin, full of memorabilia of busier days.


Rocky Point for lunch


Decided we’d head down the coast for lunch, as Rocky Point’s restaurant had impressed us last time with its grand location. Got a great table out on the veranda surrounded by flowers and beautiful gardens and of course stunning views of the ocean beyond. I was feeling a bit guilty about my calorie intake and ordered a Parma Ham Salad with Mozzarella (I left the cheese, as I’m no great fan of it , but unfortunately it was the main event on the plate, rather than the lovely Ham which I’d thought there would be a lot more of.There wasn’t.) Chris had a first class Hot Roast Sirloin Sandwich with a tasty pouring marinade and good chips. Excellent dish! The location really was unbeatable however, a joy.




Stopped off at Garrapata Beach on the way back, a glorious empty wild beach where the surf and draw is so dangerous you are even warned not to paddle! I’d noticed this stretch of coast before and felt very drawn to it.


It didn’t disappoint! Mountains coming down to the sea, a fynbos covered hinterland and a creamy, enormous beach with no trappings of development to spoil it. Beautiful .We spent a good hour here, just walking along and exploring.


Ah, the Mission Ranch called again, we had to go there on our last night. It’s just too lovely and special. (on our last trip, we’d watched humpback whales blowing just off Carmel Beach as we ate our dinner.) Got a seat this time in the main veranda and sat sipping our drinks, a Margarita for me as usual and Chris with his Chardonnay. Life felt good and we felt very privileged to be here. I also had another of those moments when I felt very emotional about my parents, my Dad especially and the fact that I had lost them both. Dad used to love hearing how we got on and was always in touch. But he passed away five years ago, succumbing finally to lung cancer. He was someone I never ever thought could not BE in this world, a larger than life personality, totally involved in our lives. The thought that he’s not here any more is often overwhelming and it has taken me a long time to deal with that. He was often astonished at some of the places we visited – ‘why the hell do you want to go there?’ but I think he would have enjoyed here somehow. A wild ocean was always a draw for him and, having a Scottish Borders background, he would have approved of the sheep pastures here in front of us. Made him feel at home a bit.

This time, Chris had a very good steak sandwich and I ordered just a starter of Cesar’s Salad and munched on their good bread too. Followed of course, by their Pistachio Ice Cream again.

Just as the sun went down later, I headed out myself to the beach nearest our house and got some sunset shots looking back towards Point Lobos.


How could I have possibly thought all this wouldn’t live up to the Desert National Parks? It’s a beautiful area, very, very special.

Previous Day – Big Sur Coast: The Steinbeck Centre and Carmel Beach

Next Day –Big Sur Coast:heading for Santa Barbara