Sunday, January 18, 2015

family road trip!

Have car; will travel.

Yep, just give us a weekend with no concrete plans and you'll find us driving on the highway to wherever the road would take us. That's how my family was back in the day (e.g., we drove to Imus, Cavite to see the Christmas lights on the road when my mom saw it featured in the news). And I'm happy to find out that that same sense of adventure is still there.

With my brother and my father as drivers, we took the scenic drive from the Bay Area to the Central Coast. Our aim was to reach the Hearst Castle; however, if we didn't reach it, it's fine because the journey is just as important than the destination. I was itching to take photos but it's difficult to do so in a moving car and I was seated in the middle, away from the windows, most of the time. 

We stopped to take in the view of this lighthouse on top of a hill.

Thankfully, we made a lot of pitstops along the route because there were many viewpoints for picture-taking! We even saw what looked like whales swimming to the south, the same direction that we were taking. They were too small to see properly though, so we didn't know for sure what kind/s of whales we were watching.

We stopped for lunch on a cliff overlooking the sea... and did we see whales?
I've read, somewhere, that at this time of the year, elephant seals should be seen in large numbers on the shore. I didn't know if we'd see one in this trip but I was hoping that we'd see some wildlife (aside from the whales). At first, we just saw two pups playing in the water, secluded by the thick foliage of trees... that was before lunch. As the afternoon drew to a close, however, the road we were on  started hugging the coastline... and there I saw the seals. There were a LOT! In fact, they'd come in such big numbers that people had parked their cars, took out their cameras, and photographed them. Good thing is that there's a fence. People weren't supposed to get close enough to touch the elephant seals. After all, these are still wild animals and can attack people if they are perceived as threats.

Elephant seals on the shore
Aside from the elephant seals, raptors also made their appearance, as well as sea birds. Then, alongside the road, we'd passed by several herds of cattle and of horses. I was already half-expecting to encounter a bear but this area wasn't the right place to be in for bears. One animal I kept missing, maybe because of the season, was the squirrel. Not one nut-loving fuzzy-tailed creature in sight. 

Maybe they knew I was coming.