As you leave Carmel on hW1 a sign warns of "hills and bends for 76 miles" as a biker this makes you grin but you have no idea of what is about to follow. Some of the most spectacular and beautiful scenery I have ever encountered as the road winds it's way along the cliffs balancing between the mountains and the ocean. Words can not describe how beautiful it actually is. The only draw back is having to spend virtually the entire route looking out for drivers who are spending more time looking at the view than the road and their driving and who keep dabbing the brakes for no reason what so ever.
Finally you wind out of the hills into a flat open plain and start to pull away from the coast and after a short trip down 101 I arrive at my overnight stop of Santa Maria. After a short and most welcome swim I head for a beer at O'Sullivan's bar. As I enter there are a group of 3 locals huddled at the end of a very long bar. OK I will either be ignored or welcomed into the group. After a very short while it was clear that it was option 2 and a fun evening followed of chat, beer and banter followed which is why this post was delayed.