Many years ago Hertz kindly upgraded my rental car to a Ford Mustang. These classic Merican ‘muscle’ cars are consistently damned by Top Gear and for good reason. Apart from being badly made and handling like a stuck pig it’s only party trick was an ability to spin the rear wheels furiously in any gear at any speed and without a breath of warning. In dry weather this could be passably exhilarating; in the rain it was pant foulingly terrifying!
Why, I wondered, would anyone ever consider buying or renting such a thing? The answer, I now realise, is to drive the 100 or so miles of Highway 1 in the region of Big Sur. This stretch of coast it the most stunning, spectacular and photogenic of the entire trip and just made for cruising in a drop-top Mustang.
The rental companies must buy them in the thousands because if I had a dollar for every Mustang I saw today I would nearly have enough money for the tips involved in checking in to an up-market New York hotel (in other words a LOT).
We are staying in the heart of Big Sur and the hotellers are in very swanky lodges (I.e the posh word for cabins which is the posh words for sheds). We are actually in the state park and it is all very splendid. The campground is also excellent though a little less swanky. Everywhere is full as it is the weekend and it seems that half of California heads for the state parks.
We have just one more week of riding and will soon start to tackle the 50 mile sprawl that is LA – but first a few more days of good old Highway 1.
PS. You can now add Condors to the Autumnwatch list – Bill Oddie would probably pee a little.