Saturday, 31 December 2011


On Christmas morning, once we'd got the obligatory phonecall to the family over and done with, we had a whale of a time. Driving the deserted streets to Pacific Grove, just North of the Monterey hostel, we took a look at the Monarch butterflies. There weren't nearly as many as I was expecting, considering this is meant to be the biggest Monarch butterfly wintering colony in California. But the morning's main spectacle was to be seen from the northernmost point of the Monterey peninsula. First we saw one whale, then more whales, and at one point three whales to our right and two whales to our left, that we didn't know what direction to look in. We must have seen at least fifteen whales, all of them headed southwards, grey whales, presumably on their migration. When we'd finally dragged ourselves away from the whales (I feel like I've become addicted to watching them)we drove back to Monterey, along with what now seemed the masses (seems the Americans take a while to get started on Christmas before they hit the roads en masse in their cars). From the hostel we walked to a beach where loads of harbour seals were hauled out before going to prepare our overexpensive sprouts, roast vegetables and vegan stuffing, while dancing around all the other people in the kitchen who were preparing a communal Christmas dinner in the hostel.

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