Behind the wooded hill another higher slope cuts the blue sky like a knife of colour. Out to sea the surf swirls turquoise and white between crinkled rocks and bobbling seal heads that jacknife into sleek curves under the water. Random photos out of the car window catch an echium silhouetted againt the skyline: dozens more dot the slope. Carmel is pretty, pricy, twee and delightful: Big Sur turns out to be the whole coast as well as a specific place although the named dot on the map does have cabins and camping and curios. After the third time we find out the next 'town' on the road signs is a camping ground we turn back to enjoy the sweeping road and stunning coast the other way round. We see birds big enough to be the condors that live here and two chipmunks (if they're monks from the monastery we pass Simon says they must be fryers). Sunset in Carmel - this afternoon the sand was pleasantly warm and now it's pleasantly cool: the kelp on the beach looks more decorative and! less like twitching eldritch horrors torn from the depth. The sea and sky go from hazy to blue to lemon and silver to rich apricot and gold. I see a surfer ride a wave and leap into the air with his board: simon gets an action shot of a surfer upside down falling of his board.
After four days of partying and being social and kicking back at Baycon (and being asked by random strangers if they can take a photo of my hair which is festooned with peacock feathers and pink shimmering mylar) it's a lovely change to kick back with scenery and sunshine. Billy Bragg's 3cd collection Do I have to paint you a picture is great driving music but I discover leaving the bottle of water on the boot and driving off is much funnier when you joke about having left it on the roof and driven off just before starting to look for it :-)