Day 43 Tue 8/3. Monterey – LAX – MEL – Newport

Another pre-dawn champagne on the beach – wind was now almost non-existent but had scotch mist and low cloud so once again no dramatic sunrise.  Finally away from Monterey about 10 and headed for Hwy 101 rather than the trip along the coast through Big Sur – not enough time for that today.  Turned into a great day for driving – warm and sunny though the wind returned with a venegance for a while south of Ventura.  Saw some small deer at the side of the road then after the very impressive descent through the canyon nth of San Luis Obispo saw a squirrel but only just – had run out to the middle of the second lane on the freeway and THEN decided to turn around and head back for the road edge – Quick glance in the rear view mirror fully expecting squashed squirrel but miraculously dodged the wheels of the car behind me.

Apart from short coffee and rest stops kept at it most of the day and rather than the traditional coast approach through … kept to the hills and came down past the airport a bit after 5 – plenty of time but by the time I stuffed around unsuccessfully trying to get a last quick beach side stroll had to rush to get the car gassed and do the last monor shuffle of the titanic deckchairs of my very overweight bags.

On making to check in at V Australia had further confirmation of one of my basic life beliefs – that the difficulty in achieving something is inversely proportional to the amount of time spent worrying about it beforehand.  Was WAY over weight and had come very close to mailing myself some stuff home, but instead walked straight up to the check in with no waiting and had both bags accepted without a mention.  Amazing.

Had a champagne to wash down some quite acceptable calamari in the main terminal which finally seems to NOT be being rebuilt, and after about 2 sips started to sway and almost fell off the chait – I think I might be a tad tired.  Wandered back to our terminal for the security check in – got to get body scanned for the first time and the TSA people were at least polite enough to keep their laughter to themselves and had a minor incident when they discovered a corkscrew (with small blade) I’d inadvertantly left in the daypack.  Oops.  Pretty cool about it – though they did confiscate it.

Now having yet another coffee trying to stay awake as I type this.  Will post photos for the last few days once I get home, then I can start planning the next excursion …..

Update Thur afternoon – pretty uneventful flight home – had spare seat next to me so meant could spread out a bit, but still only managed to doze occasionally. Lovely to see Melbourne turning on some classic early autumn weather – I have really missed drizzle – and relieved to arrive home to finad out I had NOT forgotten to lock the doore etc when I left.  Now I just need to saty awake all day to start shifting the body clock back to Oz time.

As well as posting the last few days photos sometime soon I eventually hope to edit together some video and load it here – will put up an update page to notify of any changes, additional phots / videos etc.

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